Stop and Smell Me | September 2014
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Back to (Turkish) Basics

It’s back to school for many, back to a busy schedule for others, and back to the age-old question: what to make for dinner. Why not a flavorful, spicy meatball seasoned with the flavors of Turkey? A spin on your normal meatball routine, these meatballs come together quickly and make a lot (40!) so that leftovers can be frozen, either raw or cooked, for a quick meal after work or school.

Turkish Peppers

Spice up your meatballs with two signature peppers in Turkish cooking: Urfa and Marash. Named for the cities near which they are grown, Urfa and Marash peppers are two powerhouse peppers in Turkish cooking. Both pack a medium heat, with the Urfa lending smoky, deep raisin-like notes and the Marash a bright, fruity flavor that cuts perfectly through strong flavors like lamb and beef. Once you try them, they’ll soon become a pantry staple. 


No, not poison sumac. Used in Turkey and throughout the Middle East, sumac, the fruit of a flowering plant, adds a tart, lemony brightness to a wide range of dishes. Try sumac sprinkled on red onions for a simple condiment for your kofte, or dusted on hummus, potatoes, or salads. 

Rose and Orange Blossom Water

Rosewater and Orange Blossom Water are used to flavor pastries, puddings, syrups, or drinks. If you’re new to the waters, try making a refreshing Turkish sherbet: Whisk together the juice of 1 lemon, 1 ½ cups water, simple syrup to taste, and 1 to 3 teaspoons of Rosewater or Orange Blossom Water. Serve over ice.

Turkish Spice Blend

The taste of Turkey in a handy-dandy spice pouch. A traditional blend of paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, oregano, red pepper, and cilantro, this blend is a natural in Kofte but also pairs nicely with chicken, fish, soups, and vegetables. In other words, it’s a versatile blend that deserves a spot in your spice stash.


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1309 5th Street NE
Washington, DC 20002


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