There are days – you know the ones – when you must make a meal out of nothing. In winter, my go-to is Jen’s Linguine with Sardines, Fennel, and Tomato (often with onion instead of fennel, since that’s always around). In summer, it’s slices of sourdough and perfect tomatoes and some sort of cheese. When it’s not that, it’s migas or chilaquiles. I really like tomatoes.
But still, it’s nice to have other options. And last night, while planning Friday night dinner, I came across a Guardian article about making dinner from the pantry. Bookmarked, saved.
I had been gushing over yet another round of videos about Turkish cooking, trying to back my way into a decent recipe for Kanafe. Not so simple. Turned out it was much easier to figure out a dinner plan for the evening. I revisited that Guardian piece, saw Fuchsia Dunlop’s recipe for spicy sesame noodles, and called it a day.
Good Chinese food is all about balancing the hot, sour, salty, and sweet. So why do sesame noodles always get a pass? We load them up with peanut butter until they’re gluey and cloying. If we’re being honest, here, I find it sort of gross. But thanks to Fuchsia, there is a better way. I’ll never make sesame noodles the same again.
[click to continue…]
Turkey’s on my mind this month, since my brother has spent his summer doing research and meeting interesting folks in Kurdistan, Tel Aviv, and now, Istanbul. I spent a week in Istanbul back in 2006, but according to my brother, so much has changed since I visited. I feel like I missed at least half the great food Istanbul has to offer, and he’s definitely making up for my poor planning. For the rest of us, though, here are some great links to food in Turkey, specifically Istanbul, and then a slew of other links that caught my eye this month.
- The dough for Katmer, one of my favorite Turkish pastries, is notoriously thin. Watch an expert make it effortlessly (then go find some – it’s amazing.)
- Anissa Helou’s whole vimeo channel, while we’re at it. From baklava to lavash to tagliatelle, she’s caught it all on video.
- Robyn’s food tour with Istanbul Eats, run by my buddy Yigal. I’m full just reading it.
- As if they knew I’d be doing a Turkey edition of link love, Yigal and team recently posted an awesome-looking tour of Gaziantep, the food capital of Turkey. Wish I could go on this so, so bad.
- Last but not least, if you’ve never had isot biber, you’ve been missing out. It’s a Turkish chile (also called urfa biber) that’s similar to Aleppo chile, but, I would argue, better. Also, Aleppo chile is really hard to come by these days, for obvious reasons; isot is a great substitute. it’s smokey and floral and in some cases, mixed with sumac and salt and other stuff. It’s what I use in my green beans and in so many other things. It’s really a staple around here. You can get it from igourmet (linked above) or Kalustyan’s. To give some perspective on how essential it is to my cooking, I have two different jars of it that live permanently on the counter, and at least one kilo stowed away. It’s that essential.
[click to continue…]