Turkish

Salty Sesame Rings (Susamlı Çörek)

Salty Sesame Rings (Susamlı Çörek or Tuzlu Çörek)

My aunt GK passed away a couple of years ago, and as I write this post, I’m reminded of the amazing cook she was. I was always impressed by how quickly she worked in the kitchen and how her cooking was all about feeling, instinct, and of course experience. There was no measuring, no writing recipes down, and there were certainly no rules. There wasa lot of joy and laughter. She adapted and created dishes with an ease and confidence that most people, including chefs, could only dream of. She was always inviting me over and offering to teach me her secrets; I only wish I would have accepted more often. She was sadly taken from us much too soon, and her delicious dishes lost with her.There was a time when my aunt, mom, and I would make Salty Sesame Rings (Susamlı Çörek), what feels like, weekly. As far as pastries go, these are probably some of the simplest ones you’ll ever come across, but trust me when I say they’re addictive. I have yet to meet someone who hasn’t tasted them and fallen in love.

Salty Sesame Rings (Susamlı Çörek)

Also referred to as Tuzlu Çörek, these savory little Turkish pastries make a great snack and are traditionally served with tea. Topped with sesame and black caraway seeds(Nigella Sativa), they remind me visually a bit of mini everything bagels. You could, naturally, customize your batches by adding or removing “toppings”.Parents looking to get their kids involved in the kitchen will be pleased to know that this recipe is perfect for just that. Whether they’re helping you mix the ingredients, shape the dough into rings or add the “toppings”, your kids are guaranteed to have a good time. One warning, however: kids who like to lick the bowl will probably enjoy eating this dough too. I still hear my mother and grandmother’s voices yelling at me that I’m going to end up with a stomach ache if I don’t quit it. For some reason, I just couldn’t make them understand that the batter – or in this case, dough – is the best part. And, no, I still don’t listen and have yet to get sick!

Salty Sesame Rings (Susamlı Çörek)

Milk Pudding (Muhallebi)

Milk Pudding (Muhallebi)
Milk pudding (Muhallebi) is one of the easiest and most versatile desserts. A staple in Turkish and Cypriot cuisine, Muhallebi can be customized to fit any occasion, mood, or taste. Sweetened milk is boiled and, with the help of a thickening agent, transformed into a light and creamy pudding that’s served as is or garnished with any combination of nuts, jams, fruits, or syrups.
Recipes vary quite a bit from one person or region to another, so certainly experiment.