(june, the first day of summer. number 40.)
Lucas did some significant traveling in Spain this May, Sofie once lived in Spain, and I still feel fresh off the boat from my European venture which ended in Turkey. Though Turkish and Spanish foods aren't particularly alike, we used our own memories and imaginations to create this mix of flavors, textures, and ideas that would hold together as one meal.
Apparently, modern relations between these two countries started in 1782, when they signed a document entitled Agreement of Peace, Friendship, and Trade.
Before sitting down:
Tinto de Verano
Apparently a ubiquitous beverage in spain. Cheap red wine (La Grangia, from Spain, 2012- we had bottles and bottles…), Orangina, ice. We drank it from champagne flutes.
Raspberry Sage Water/Lemon Sage Water
Crushed raspberries (S.G.) and sage (S.G.), and lemons, and water.
Heidi Swanson recipe that everyone (including us) has done before (link to New Year 2011). Why? Because it's so damn good. This time we did a little more of this, a little less of that. They were very citrus zingy.
Arbequina (sp) Olives
Our favorite little spanish olives. I'd given these to my dad for father's day a month earlier, and had confirmation of how awesome they were.
Blanched almonds, garlic, green grapes, bread crumbs, a little chili. Frozen green grape to garnish.
A pilav of rice, lentils, fried onions, and deep spices. Served in a paper cone with slices of lemon.
Sig Kofta + Herbal Salad
A turkish street food dish based on an ancient dish featuring raw meat. Nowadays, its bulgar wheat with loads of bright spices in it, shaped into balls and put into wraps and on top of salads.
Ours was the latter, served on salad greens and herbs (both S.G.) with thin slices of tomato and cucumber and a light tahini dressing.
Fava Bean Kuku
Awesome Yotem Ottolenghi recipe. The running joke as I made it was that it was, indeed "cuckoo." Tons of onions, blanched fava beans, fresh dill, fresh mint, rehydrated barberries, saffron infused cream, and whipped eggs (we used Sofie's mom's awesome eggs). One of the only times Secret Restaurant Portland has followed a recipe with exacting precision, knowing it was a such a singular vision and outside my comfort zone. I walked around proudly showing it to everyone around the house, comparing it to the photos in 'Jerusalem,' bumbling about like an idiot.
Grilled Spring Onions with Romesco
Purple spring onions, lightly dressed and charred, stalks and all, served with a pungently delicious romesco sauce.
Balik Ekmek + Ayran
Turkish fish sandwich. I ate these served on the docks and right off of boats pretty much every day of my stay in Istanbul. We did our own take on it here with sea bass, on our own pretzel rolls, thin spread of labneh, a little light green lettuce (S.G.), loads of lemon juice, and flaky salt.
Served with a shot glass of Ayran, a turkish salty yogurt drink. We made our own!
Spanish style strong flavored tapas sandwich, also on housemade pretzel roll. Olive tapenade, creamy heady cheese, boquerones, and black cod roe.
Rose Raspberry Granita
Fresh raspberries (S.G.), seeded and turned to blood red pulp, rose water and sugar added, then forked & frozen over the course of the day. Served in little tumblers.
Rose Jam, Honey, Feta/Labneh dolup, Turkish Delight sliver, Halva sliver. Served with freshly fried papadums.
For those who wanted to hit it, we served Turkish coffee. I managed to find some of the turkish coffee I had tasted/brought home as Christmas gifts in Turkey- from the historic Kurakhaveci Mehmet Efendi brand, at one of Portland's world food stores.