Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Taste of Nostalgia - Turkish Pide

I have a lot of people to thank for this one.  I want to take my Aussie to Istanbul so he can experience the city that I love.  I want him to see the exquisite beauty of the Blue Mosque, experience the pleasures of a cup of tea by the Bosphorus, and I want him to eat some amazing Turkish food.   We can't afford that vacation just yet, but next year, who knows?  For now, though, when I start to miss Istanbul, I go into the kitchen and do my best to recreate some of the recipes I fell in love with when I live there from 2008-2010.  (See? I can't even believe it's been that long!)

Now, not being Turkish, I don't have a stash of family recipes.  I have to either take ingredients I remember, sometimes finding American substitutions, and whomp something together, or I have to start googling.  A search for "Turkish pide" gave me the information I was lacking - do I cook the topping first? (No.), and how long do I bake these suckers in my electric oven?    I'm used to pide coming straight out of a wood-fired oven like it did at the pideci near my apartment.  (Best pide and lahmacun I've ever freaking had, btw.)

My pide doesn't have the texture of wood-fired, but daaaaaaaaamn!! It was good.  I took a bite and went, "Oh, yeah. That takes me back."   Mmmm...nostalgia.  Food really can transport us to another place and time.  Magic.  :)

For the pide:

1/2 cup lukewarm water (no higher than 110 F)
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 packet (about 2 1/4 tsp) yeast
5 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 c lukewarm milk

flour for dusting

For the filling:

1/2 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Cubanelle pepper, seeded
1/2 medium onion
1/2 bunch parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine onion, pepper and parsley until very finely chopped.  Mix with meat, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat the milk until lukewarm - again, no higher than 110, or you'll risk killing the yeast

Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.   Stir in the warm milk and yeast mixture.

Stir to combine.  The dough will be somewhat sticky.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Sprinkle with extra flour and knead for 10 minutes.

Place dough into an oiled bowl and turn to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.

Punch down dough and let it rise a second time, 30-45 minutes.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Cover the dough you're not working with so it doesn't dry out.

Roll a piece of dough into an oval, approximately 1/4 inch thick.

Take 2-3 tablespoons of the filling and spread it in a thin layer, leaving a border.   Fold the sides of the dough and pinch the ends, forming a boat shape.

Preheat oven to 425.

Brush the pide with beaten egg and bake 15-18 minutes, until filling is done and dough is golden brown.

                                                                           Kiymali pide

Afiyet olsun...

By the way, these pictures earned not one, but TWO Turkish Seals of Approval from my friends.  :)

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