After a stormy autumn day and night we have had a few cooler days. This has resulted in eating indoors and the doors and windows being closed. It was chilly at night. The new duvet has come out, Hilary made soup, we have started buying winter vegetables – the celeriac looked really good and the leaves go really well in lentil soup.
The temperatures are back on the rise, by mid-week the days should be really pleasant and the evenings cool rather than cold, but it is another reminder that the seasons are changing. As they change so does what we eat. There will be more soups for breakfast, less fresh fruit. Soup is commonly lentil, usually with whatever else is around, beet leaves, celeriac leaves, cauliflower or broccoli stems, anything that might otherwise go to waste.
We have also been experimenting with baking. Today we have Swedish apple cake in the oven, made with local eating apples rather than Bramleys. It was meant to be topped with a butter, sugar and cinnamon syrup which would soak into the cake, instead we ended up with toffee. So we have toffee apple cake.
Recently we have discovered that caramelised onions, classically French, go really well with kaşar and yufka. So a French / Turkish fusion, caramelised onion and cheese tarte tatin borek. Delicious. One recipe for caramelising onions we have used in the past was was originally from Ainsley Herriot Meals in Minutes, has a cheat and fast method for caramelizing the onions. This one does not cheat, being retired we have time not to cheat and to do a bit of experimenting to find the best shape for the actual borek….
For four borek you need one yufka, about 200 gm of butter, enough grated kaşar or similar yellow cheese to go round the perimeter of the yufka and as many onions as will sensibly fit in your frying pan when sliced. I use 5-6 depending on size but it would be less if they were really big. Slice the onions really thinly into half-moons (piyazlık) and put them in a frying pan on low heat with a slosh of oil (I use Riviera olive oil, not the virgin oil for this) and a bit of butter – maybe 15 gm. Leave them there for a long time, stirring them occasionally. Leave them until they are caramalised (it takes about an hour, sometimes more, and they need stirring more towards the end). I put in a small slosh of balsamic vinegar (again, I would not use the good stuff for this, even if I had it) and stir it round till the onions are evenly brown. Then take them off the heat and let them cool down a bit.
The yufka gets spread out on the counter and brushed all over with melted butter. That’s what most of the butter is for. Keep a little back for the top. Cut the yufka into four segments (I use a pizza cutter which is perfect for the job). Now arrange the grated cheese and caramalised onion around the perimeter of your yufka.
Start rolling. Take each segment separately and roll up from the perimeter to the centre, enclosing the filling. Once you’ve done that, wind the sausage shapes into spirals, tucking the ends underneath and put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. When they are all done, brush them generously with butter and put in a preheated 200 degree oven where they should get nicely done in about forty minutes.