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Old 05-29-2010, 03:12 PM   #21
Sous Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
Interesting. I don't call those "Mediterranean," for me they're "Middle Eastern."
Dh is from Turkey and he grew up right on the Mediterranean Sea... Turkish is the quintessential "Mediterranean" diet. I know of nothing more "Mediterranean" than Greek and Turkish food, actually. Like any food, the culture of what people eat doesn't start or stop at a border... it's a continuum. I'm sure the food is different in the north and east of Turkey closer to Iran, Georgia and Armenia than it is in Istanbul. Still...

In Turkish appetizers are called "Mezes". They usually put out cold appetizers that will sit on the table for the entire 3 or 4 hour(!) meal. The hot appetizers are brought out one by one.

Börek (hot app)
Saute together 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1 diced onion, 1 tomato in some butter. Cool then add 1 egg, a cup of chopped parsley, some dill and salt and pepper. Mix together. Using two phyllo sheets, brushed with butter, cut into long strips about 2" wide. Add a small bit of beef mixture at the top of the phyllo strip, then wrap with the "folding a flag" method (like spanikopita triangles), brush outside with butter and bake about 25 minutes in a 350/180C oven. (I can get more detailed if you like this idea, but there are tons of recipes on the net that even have pictures.)

Mücver (hot app)
3 shredded zucchini
3 eggs
5 scallions (green and whites) chopped
1 c. chopped dill
1 c. good french (sheep's milk) feta
3/4 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
oil for frying

Shred zucchini. Salt and let sit in a colander to drain for a couple of hours. Squeeze out excess liquid. Combine remaining ingredients except oil. Form into patties (like crab cakes). Fry in oil. Salt as soon as they come out of the oil. These work REALLY well at room temperature. They are a favorite here.

Typical Bean Salad (cold app)
2 cans Cannellini Beans, drained (or dried, cooked)
1/2 red onion sliced very thinly
2 roma tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 c. chopped cilantro (or parsley if cilantro is not liked)
good extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

Another cold app that they like to do is a variety of fresh vegetables dressed simply with REALLY GOOD extra virgin olive oil and freshly-squeezed lemon juice.

If you google for turkish mezes you will get a boatload of very authentic recipes. In Greek I think they're also called Meze or Mezedaki or something similar. I'd also look up Spanish tapas.

Good luck!
Life is too short to eat processed, artificially-colored, chemically-preserved, genetically-modified food. Or maybe that IS why life's too short.
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Old 05-29-2010, 03:19 PM   #22
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Thanks Velochic - those look delicious. Even with my subbing in ground turkey for the beef, I think they'll be wonderful.

And I agree - Turkey is also a Med country. ChefJune needs a geography lesson - lol!!!
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:22 AM   #23
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I laughed at the various takes on "Med" foods. In Slovenia (definitely not a med country), when we went several moons ago (soon after the iron curtain lifted), burek was a staple. The same as borek, more or less, and a friend went to Turkey the year after and we were surprised by the similarities. Made with phyllo and formed like a long pastry, then sliced; filled with cheese, ground meat, or both. (think of a savory jelly roll)

Food doesn't recognize political borders. Greeks and Turks have historical problems with each other, but many dishes are similar. I was just surprised to discover that eastern European countries have similar dishes as well!

To make many of these dishes vegetarian, drain and squeeze frozen chopped spinach to use as a filling, with feta or chevre cheese if you do cheese.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:48 AM   #24
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Location: Long Island, New York
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I appreciate all the input, suggestions and trivia about the Med appetizers, but I have just learned that the focus of this party will now be Italian So, now im looking for Italian ( which is technically a Mediterranean country) appetizers. But this one i think I have covered, but suggestions are welcome ( remember, vegetarian)

Ive already considered Bruschetta, a few different kinds of stromboli, stuffed mushrooms, stuffed tomatoes, stuffed peppers, assorted olives, fried artichoke hearts, mozzarella sticks, fried ravioli,orzo salad ( with olives, sundried tomatoes,spinach,cheese, garlic & oil)
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:24 AM   #25
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I don't know how many people will be attending Larry, and it's seems like you have so many great ideas especially with the bruschetta as there is a wealth of toppings you could use... I like to take thin japanese eggplant sliced into 1/2" rounds dipped in egg, then panko and fried... Place small round of mozzarella on top, then a half of a ovendried cherry tomatoes, and bake until cheese melts... Put a small basil leaf on top and serve, these are wonderful just like eggplant parmigiano, only bite sized...
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