Saturday 19 March 2016

Globecooking recipe : Köfte (Turkey)

As a keen globecooker, whenever we go on holiday, I look out for local ingredients and spices that I can bring home for an authentic taste in The Madhouse kitchen. We've visited the spice markets in Morocco and Tunisia, a supermarket in Poland and a weird version of Tesco's in Turkey where I picked up some fabulous foodie souvenirs of our time abroad. 

One such item was this sachet of Köfte Hara meatball seasoning that we brought back from Kusadasi in Turkey. It's a blend of breadcrumbs, flour, black pepper, chilli, coriander, curry powder, onion, garlic, salt and sugar.

Turkish Köfte

ingredients :

600g beef or lamb mince
1 egg
1 onion
1 packet Köfte Hara seasoning (or make your own with 1 cup breadcrumbs, 1tsp mint, 1tsp cumin, 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp pepper, 1tsp smoked paprika)
fresh parsley

Finely chop the onion and put in a bowl with the mince. Add the seasoning, fresh parsley and the egg to bind it all together. Using the instructions on the seasoning sachet that I used, I also had to add 200ml water which seemed strange but actually gave it a beautifully moist texture.

Leave for an hour for the flavours to mingle (you can skip this if you're in a rush) then use your hands to shape into golfball sized meatballs.

I wanted the traditional shape of the flattened patties that we ate on holiday so I used the Optigrill to cook them. You could go for the equally authentic option of squishing the meat mixture around wooden skewers though, or just go for regular round meatballs - whatever floats your boat ! You could eat the köfte hot or cold with a dip as a starter, with rice and salad or in a flatbread, but I decided to knock up a quick tomato sauce to go with them.

Cirio had sent through a selection of their tomato products to experiment with so this was the perfect time.

I started off by gently frying an onion.

Once it had gone soft and started caramelising (you could even add a spoonful of sugar to help it along), I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2tbsp tomato concentrate and a generous splash of passata. This creates a liquid sauce which is ideal for making the köfte tagine that we first tried in Morocco (and which I had originally planned on recreating here), which uses the hot sauce for cooking the meatballs (rather then cooking them separately) and eggs. I would have added red and green peppers to the sauce too but I'd used them all up earlier in the week.

I put the köfte into the sauce to reheat them just before serving so they ended up taking on the colour of the sauce and went almost invisible on the plate ! Served with rice, they were very tasty - wonderfully juicy and providing a definite undefinable taste of the köfte we'd eaten in Turkey.

*** Don't miss my country-by-country globecooking recipe index ! ***

Fancy trying some more Turkish delights? How about some of these :

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