Results tagged “pumpkin”

Beetroot crispbreads

Add dried spices to the dough for more flavours.  To stay within the flavours of Nordic cuisine, try caraway seeds, dried dill, dried lemon balm or even small pieces of roasted bacon.  Serve these crispbreads with an assortment of cheeses, a fresh herb pesto or with pickled herring, like they do in Sweden.  

IMG_0352.JPGRecipe from Mia Kristensen of CPH Good Food.

Kabak tatlısı (candied butternut squash)

Here’s an unusual alternative for using up a butternut squash or two.  Or you could use pumpkin.  We first enjoyed kabak tatlısı in Istanbul as a dainty dessert at Musa Dağdeviren’s wonderful Çiya restaurant.  After that we spotted it in various places as we travelled around Turkey and had the good fortune to learn how to make it from both Zeliha İrez, at her lovely guesthouse, and Engin Akin, a food writer and cooking teacher.  This recipe follows their tried-and-tested method.  You will need to do some maths; the candying stage follows a ratio of 2:3:4 of squash:sugar:water.  I use a large copper preserving pan, but any really big, wide saucepan will do.  It’s really good and I dare you to try it!

Smplatedkabaktatlisi0001b.jpgThe use of calcium hydroxide, also known as ‘pickling lime’, ‘hydrated lime’ and ‘slaked lime’, is optional.  It will work just fine without it; simply miss out step 2.  But if you can find it, do use it, as its effect is remarkable.  Smkabaktatlisi20001.JPGSomehow (and I’d really like to know how) it causes the pieces of squash to develop a firm, almost crunchy skin, so that when you bite into a piece you will experience the marvelous texture combination of the crystalline exterior and soft gooey insides.  Plus, it helps the squash keep its shape while cooking for so long.  Calcium hydroxide is used for similar purposes in Indian cookery, so you can find it in good Indian food shops.  It comes as a white paste.  I got mine from  Their little green tubs of ‘chuna edible lime’ hold approximately 4 tablespoons each and cost just 75p.  (I’m trying to ignore the fact they’re labelled ‘for external use only’.)

Kabak tatlısı belongs to a fascinating family of sweet preserves, including rose petal, aubergine, fig, tomato and green walnut, which we found in Romania, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey.  During our travels in these countries we became slightly obsessed with these beautiful ‘spoon sweets’ and spent a good deal of time trying to uncover their origins.  You can read about what we found out here.



Culinary Anthropologist