Friday, September 29, 2017

On the weekends when we lived in Turkey, I loved going to have a traditional Turkish breakfast – where the meal is like an event.

And if you ever get to experience a Köy Kahvaltısı (village breakfast), especially with a group of friends, the meal can last for hours and feature dozens upon dozens of Turkish specialties. On my recent trip to Bodrum, I experienced exactly that at Etrim Doğa Restaurant & Köy Kahvaltısı, located in a tiny, traditional Turkish village up in the hills about a 40-minute drive from the main city. The meal is cooked by the sister of Engin Başol, who owns the attached Etrim Turkish Carpet cooperative with his father (more about that business in another post).
In Etrim, you are served a fabulous, traditional, Turkish village breakfast with the warm and generous Turkish hospitality that I miss so much. There’s no menu, and the dishes keep coming out of the kitchen. Plus, you are sitting in a tranquil setting with the fresh country air and perhaps a few (really) free-range chickens pecking at your feet.
A Turkish village breakfast is meant for sharing with friends!
Just look at the spread we enjoyed!

Lokma is a Turkish fried sweet dough that is covered in a simple syrup. I guess you could call lokma a kind of doughnut or sweet fritter as we would in the United States. Lokma is often served as a dessert (sometimes garnished with cinnamon, sesame seeds or coconut) or as an accompaniment to coffee.

Zeytinyağlı Taze Fasülye – Mediterranean-style green beans and tomatoes cooked in Turkish olive oil.
çiçek dolması are courgetti/zucchini flowers that are stuffed with aromatic rice with herbs and onions. These stuffed, edible flowers are a specialty in the Aegean region of Turkey. I love them!
One of my favorite Turkish treats are sigara börek – cigar-shaped savory Turkish pastries stuffed with feta cheese and herbs, and cooked until crisp. Delicious!
Otlu börek – a new-to-me Turkish pastry is delicious baked pastry made from thin sheets of  yufka (phyllo dough) and layered parsley, dill, green onions and a mixture of wild greens.
Ezme – a delicious spread of tomatoes, onions, peppers and herbs with a red pepper paste. Spread a generous dab of this on some freshly baked bread.

Fresh tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, black and green olives, spicy green peppers and Turkish cheeses.
Zeytinyagli Sarma – Stuffed grapevine leaves with aromatic rice, although the filling sometimes changes and different herbs are used.

And of course, rounding out all this amazing food is unlimited glasses of hot çay (Turkish tea).

As you can imagine, going out for Köy Kahvaltısı is a leisurely activity and best not to be rushed. You could easily spend a whole afternoon in the village of Etrim when you visit Bodrum!

Etrim Doğa Restaurant & Köy Kahvaltısı
Etrim Mahallesi köyü
Pınarlıbelen, Muğla, Turkey 48400

Best to call ahead to make group reservations.  +90 532 602 6769
Social media: Instagram and Facebook 

(I was the guest of Etrim Doğa Restaurant & Köy Kahvaltısı with a group of Turkish bloggers, but all the opinions expressed here are my own.)

My Traveling Joys

Monday, September 18, 2017


I’ve just returned from a wonderful, but all too short long weekend in Bodrum, Turkey. I can’t believe it’s been more than three years since I’ve visited my favorite “homeland.”

I was a guest of Slow Food Bodrum and participated and taught a baking class as part of the 3rd Annual Karaova Grape Harvest Festival. It was a fantastic foodie event that I’ll have to tell you about in more detail soon.
But first, here’s the recipe I made for the event and I’m sharing with you now. You can use any kind of fruit in the tart – Turkish figs, grapes, pears, berries – you name it. Also, if you live in Turkey or can get your hands on them, feel free to use ground up apricot kernels – which give the tart a yummy almondy flavor!

Afiyet olsun!

Joy’s Basic Sweet Tart Dough 
Yields: approx. 2 tart shells 9-10-inch size

255      g.         butter, soft 
200      g.         granulated sugar 
¼         tsp.      salt 
2          ea.       large eggs 
500      g.         flour, sifted 

Using a stand mixer or hand blender, cream together the butter, sugar and salt with a paddle until smooth.  
Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl until mixture is smooth. Add the flour and mix on low until incorporated.  

Shape dough into two flat disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. 

Using a rolling pin, roll out dough on a floured surface and cut into a circle. Line the selected tart pan with baking paper and lightly spray with a non-stick spray. Press the dough into the selected tart pan. Allow to chill at least 30 minutes before baking. (This step will prevent the tart from shrinking during baking.) 

Dough scraps can be pressed together, refrigerated and reused one more time.

Fragipane Filling
For 1 tart shell

230      g.         butter, soft
230      g.         granulated sugar
230      g.         ground almonds/hazelnuts (mixture is nice) Or you can substitute ground Turkish apricot kernels. In Turkey, these apricot “seeds” are much cheaper than nuts.
3          ea.       large eggs
50        g.         plain flour
Optional:         lemon or orange zest, finely grated
Approx. 1 kilo fresh fruit such as figs or plums

Cream butter, sugar and ground nuts together.
Add eggs and flour and zest, if using. Cream until well blended.
Spread over the bottom of a tart shell. Layer fruit on top.
Bake at 170C for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover the top of the tart with aluminum foil towards the end of the baking if the top is getting too browned. The tart is done when you insert a skewer or knife tip into the center of the tart and it comes out clean.

Serve tart at room temperature.
This is one of the tarts I made while in Bodrum using the ground up apricot kernels.