Oh Midwinter in Turkey, how I miss your bone-shaking, awe-inspiring storms and all the cracks of sunshine that offer respite after the heavy downpours. Icy cold starts before the brighter hours where sun rays warm up both the body and mind.
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so they say but being away from my beloved Aegean home is undoubtedly causing some aches. I’m missing the calming colours of the winter Pazar and the foods they lend too as much as my home and family life.
Some recipes are just made for the winter months; Tangy citrus treats like Turuncreçeli, rich stews like Orman kebabs and other “guveç” stews and vegetable-based offerings like these cauliflower fritters – KarnabaharMucver.
Maybe it’s the steam rising from the stovetop clinging to the windows or the slow-cooked smells filling up the kitchen that soothes but winter cooking just screams home-comfort to me.
Our kitchens can be sanctuaries as we go through more lockdowns and curfews this winter, but unless you enjoy whiling away hours cooking several times a day having make-ahead and quick grabs can be a lifesaver. Running to the fridge for healthier options rather than the treat cupboard during binge-sessions of tv series or new reads and meze’s and finger foods from Turkish cuisine fits the bill perfectly.
There’s a Mucver or two for each of the seasons, and various types of fritters can be found in houses around Turkey, both savoury and sweet but for me, the ultimate winter finger food (or main as it more often is in my place) and the one I keep craving as I think of home recently is the cauliflower version adapted from my Mother In Law’s recipe.
Lightly fried and pimped up with a little strong cheese and plenty of nutmeg I’ll make a good batch or two to enjoy in the evening with garlic yoghurt spiked with sumac flakes and the following days straight from the fridge when rumbles appear in the sky and stomach.
- 1 Medium Cauliflower
- 1 Medium Onion, grated
- 5 Sprigs Parsley
- 1 Teaspoon (Level) Baking powder
- Nutmeg, to grate
- 1 Egg
- 50 Grams Kaşar cheese
- 140 Grams Flour (1 – 2 çay glasses)
- Oil for shallowing frying
Garlic yoghurt ingredients
- Thick plain yoghurt
- 1 Garlic clove
Cut the cauliflower into large florets and cook until just tender either by steaming or boiling.
Plunge into cold water to prevent them from cooking any further.
Once cooled drain and placed into a large bowl and leave to air drive for a few minutes.
Using a fork to mash break the pieces down into large minced pieces.
Add the onions, parsley, baking powder and nutmeg using the fork distribute all the way through.
Add the cheese, egg and one glass of the flour.
Bring the mixture together – It should hold its shape like a dough. (If the mixture appears not to hold or looks liquidy add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time.)
In a medium to large frying pan, heat enough olive oil for shallow frying.
Create the fritters either by dropping a heaped tablespoon into the oil or by shaping in your hands (Making your hands wet helps with sticky mixture).
Fry for a few minutes until browned and then flip over to fry the other side.
Remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper.
Serve warm or cooled with garlic yoghurt.
To find more of Christa!s amazing receipes copy and paste the following link