Tag Archives: eggplant

Weekly Menus: Week of 8/5/2012

Gentle Readers, this has been a whirlwind summer for The Practical Cook and the Juniors. We have often found ourselves lacking the sheer stomach space to consume all we want to try. Not a bad problem to have, I know. However, it has also meant a real lack of kitchen time. I think I’ve cooked in other people’s kitchens more than my own!

The magic quadrant of pancakes from #projectpancakes

The magic quadrant of pancakes from #projectpancakes

Not a bad skill to acquire. Last night’s #projectpancakes was a huge success, as you can see. We field tested a couple of mixes with add-ins for a tough crowd. And there was bacon. That was less of a hard sell. Wright’s Hickory Smoked, the victor from Bacon Madness, again reigned supreme.

Underline your panckaes with bacon. For emphasis.

Underline your panckaes with bacon. For emphasis.

However, I find myself lacking inspiration. I resubscribed to Everyday Food, on my iPad. Let’s see how that format goes, if I use and enjoy it as much. So here’s what I’ve got for the week. Would love to hear from you all, what you’re cooking and eating these days. I also wonder if I’m going to be able to get up at 6 AM again before too long–schooltime draws near!

Totally counts as a vegetable. Cucumber gimlet for the win!

Totally counts as a vegetable. Cucumber gimlet for the win!

But alas, back to the late days of summer. Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Weekly Menus: 8/5/2012

Weekly Menus: 8/5/2012

And the four-square grocery shopping list:

The still lean Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 8/5/2012

The still lean Four-Square Grocery Shopping List: 8/5/2012

Which all translates into:

Sunday: Italian
We’re being treated to a 3-course meal featuring pork. Part of my ongoing quest to learn to cook Italian courtesy of the cantankerous Waldorf.

Monday: Eggplant something
This will be Turkish (broiled and pureed, a smoky base) or Italian (oregano/thyme plus a hit of red sauce and mozzarella)  in nature. TBD.

Tuesday: Leftover surprise
This may change because now we need to do some field research this week. So it may be Mexican and leftovers may be lunch.

Wednesday: Field Research (Dine out!)
I am fortunate enough to know a couple of local chefs, and the Juniors have demanded a seat at the table. Since summer is the perfect time to stay up late, we’re going out more than usual! I will reveal our mission in a future guest blog by the Juniors themselves.

Thursday: Beef and Veg
Because both of these things need to be eaten, work in volume, and can be frozen for the future.

Friday: Dine Out!
More field research! There are not enough meals in the day. Truly.

Saturday: Dine Out!
Though this may very well turn into leftover surprise. Or a salad! I adore the Whole Foods salad bar on a Saturday. The challenge of not building a $20 salad and the infinite variety!

Share your summertime cooking strategy (or eating strategy works too)! Post a comment! The crickets and I await your feedback.

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Coming up Wednesday: Kitchen Tool Talk, More of My Favorite Things.

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Turkey Talk: Restaurant Review of Bosphorus in Cary, NC (with video)

Gentle Readers, when fellow adventurous eaters say “get in the back of the car, we’re leaving,” The Practical Cook hops in without question. Though I would like to tell you this was the getaway vehicle (a la Jack Bauer):

This was not the getaway car, though it should have been.

This was not the getaway car, though it should have been.

It was not. However, the destination, Bosphorus in Cary, NC, is worth the trip, no matter your means of transport. So delicious, I had a moment at the table in regards to the eggplant. Apologies to dining companions Buttercup and Waldorf for bearing witness, but as the tape indicates, I’m lucky I got any food at all. Let’s investigate, shall we?

And here’s what we ordered, in translation:

The Bread: It just came to the table, unbidden, but you do want to try some with the mildly spicy dipping oil. Take that Dr. Atkins.

Turkish bread with peppery oil dip. Do not cut carbs on this one.

Turkish bread with peppery oil dip. Do not cut carbs on this one.

Bosphorus Meze Platter: The Sampler Platter, not to be missed. Everything was good, the  baba ghanoush was not to be missed. I do heart eggplant, but this was perfectly balanced, smoky without being bitter or overly chunky.

The Meze Platter at Bosphorus

The Meze Platter at Bosphorus

Cigar Bourek (Sigara Boregi): These are the taquitos or mozzarella sticks of Turkey, apparently. Deep-fried phyllo dough stuffed with feta, served with marinara. I liked these, but wanted a slightly more pronounced feta taste. The Juniors will love them, I might save my fried quota for the next item.

Turkish Deep Fried! Because that is what I do. (Cigar Bourek, phyllo wrapped feta.)

Turkish Deep Fried! Because that is what I do. (Cigar Bourek, phyllo wrapped feta.)

Fried Eggplant & Green Pepper (Patlican Kizartmasi): And then I had a moment at the table. This was the first dish I tried, ordered because of my love of the eggplant, and I was not disappointed. It was warm and crispy, yet smooth with the yogurt. It was a veritable vegetarian party in my mouth. Hunt this dish down and eat it. Try to avoid sharing.

Turkish Fried Eggplant at Bosphorus: I must have dimmed the lights for this photo so I could be alone with it.

Turkish Fried Eggplant at Bosphorus: I must have dimmed the lights for this photo so I could be alone with it.

Lahmacun: Ground beef with spices atop a thin dough. This isn’t crisp like a pizza, more like a really good tortilla or roti. And these things rock. I almost didn’t get to eat one, because I was too busy communing with the eggplant/photographing for this review, that’s how good they are.

Lahmacun (or Turkish Beef Pizza) at Bosphorus in Cary, NC

Lahmacun (or Turkish Beef Pizza) at Bosphorus in Cary, NC

Ali Nazik: Beef and lamb kofta-style kebab over a bread salad. OMG. I would order this for the bread salad alone, drenched in tomato sauce on one side, and yogurt on the other. With my texture issues, this isn’t one I would’ve ordered on my own, but was one of my favorite items. Take the leap of faith, order this, then tell me what you think.

Ali Nazik with Bread Salad: Try this!

Ali Nazik with Bread Salad: Try this! It tastes like delicious.

Bosphorus is family-friendly, delicious, and not hard to find, even by Cary standards (I find the place unnavigable, forgive me). The wait staff was amazing, the food arrived almost before we ordered it, and I left just wanting to eat more. Put it on your short list to try. Thank me later by sending me a picture of your dinner.

Have you tried Turkish food? Post your thoughts in the comments section, or Tweet at me. I’m standing by, waiting for your call.

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Tomorrow, Hoppin’ John, Simplified.

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