|I was determined to bring back at least one good recipe from each place I visited on my recent overseas teaching tour, and I wasn’t to be disappointed in Turkey.
You may recall my visit to the gözleme shop during my stay in Istanbul. Gözleme is a savoury Turkish pastry made by rolling dough with a thin roller and repeatedly folding it. It is then filled, and browned in a pan. Vegetarian varieties include ispanakli (with spinach), kasar peynirli (with yellow cow’s milk cheese), katmer (plain) patatesli (with mashed potatoes) and peynirli (with white sheep’s milk feta cheese).
This dough recipe was given to me without testing, so I cannot verify it’s authenticity.
For the Dough:
120g strong unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
60-90 ml lukewarm water
As far as the filling for the gözleme pictured on this page, it appeared to be spinach and cheese with a few spices.
The usual things that go into a spinach-filled gözleme are fresh chopped uncooked spinach, a pinch of grated nutmeg, a scant tablespoon of flour, salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of kasar peyniri (a hard, tangy cheese made from sheep’s milk). Sometimes kirmizi biber, roasted and crushed chili flakes, are added to spice up the filling.
I did, like many English-speakers, experience some difficulty with the Turkish language in that there were practically no words that were even vaguely recognisable. The case of the cheese was an interesting exception. The Turkish word for white cheese is peynir.
One of my students in Istanbul, Ramiz, manufactures his own peynir, and was happy to present me with a packet.
For many years I have prepared a homemade white cheese that is called panir in India. Those two words (panir and peynir) are obviously etymologically connected. I would be interested to discover more about this connection.
Anyway, this column is getting rather chatty today. Chatty is good! Here’s some pictures of some serious Gözleme being made in the little shop-front kitchen I visited some weeks ago.
I should add here that there are many many versions of these gözleme, some folded more than others, some rectangular, some semi-circular, some tear-drop shaped. Here we see a ball of dough being prepared.
It is slowly rolled into a large tear-drop shape.
The pastry is sprinkled liberally with the spinach filling.
The filling is gathered on one half of the pastry.
And the pastry is folded over itself, enclosing the filling.
The gözleme is sealed.
It’s sealed some more.
Now the chef takes a small disc of metal and rolls it around the outskirts of the gözleme, cutting off excess pastry.
The gözleme is placed on an interesting convex stove top.
The gözleme are turned when needed.
And browned to perfection.
We tried three varieties for lunch, all in the name of scientific research – Potato, potato and cheese, and the spinach ones.
Posted by Kurma on 16/9/06; 7:26:50 AM