Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sample recipe from The Cooking of the Middle-East: Kadin Göbeği (“Lady’s Navel” fritters)

Here is a Turkish dish with an unusual name. I usually find sweets that are steeped in syrup too sweet, but the cream should alleviate that.

1 lb. (ca. 450 g) sugar
3/4 pint (425 ml) water
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Put the sugar, water and lemon juice into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and cook, uncovered, until the syrup reaches 220°F (105 °C). Set aside and let it cool to room temperature.

5/8 pint (355 ml) water
1 1/2 oz. (40 g) butter
1/8 tsp salt
8 oz. (225 g) sifted plain flour
3 eggs
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1/2 tsp almond essence
3 tbs chilled double cream, stiffly whipped

Put the water, butter and salt in a saucepan and bing to the boil at high heat, stirring until the butter melts. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until well mixed into a smooth mass. Make a well in the center of the dough and add one egg. Beat well until well mixed. Repeat with the remaining eggs. The dough should be thick, smooth and shiny.

Heat 3-4 inches (7,5 to 10 cm) of oil in a large deep-fat frying pan or electric deep-fryer, to a temperature of 360°F (180°C). To prepare the fritters, pinch off about 1 1/2 tbs of dough and roll into a ball 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Dip your thumb into the almond essence and press it into each ball to make a “navel” 1/2 inch (ca. 1 cm) deep. Deep fry, 5 at a time (or as many as will fit into your pan/frier with good space for turning), for about 10 minutes, turning them for even browning. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain briefly, and dip into the syrup to steep for 5 minutes. Transfer to a dish and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, drop a teaspoon of whipped cream into the “navel” of each fritter.

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