Aug 19, 2015

Walthamstow Garden Party: We Hand it to Hülya

Ever since we learned Hülya Erdal, founder of Made By The Chef, was coming to the Walthamstow Garden Party we’ve been looking forward to experiencing her flavoursome Eastern Mediterranean treats. As a professional chef, teacher and presenter we knew our Sunday morning demo slot was in safe hands.

We weren't wrong! In a trice Hülya had fully engaged and enchanted the audience with her hearty laugh and anecdotes about local produce and Mediterranean cooking. 


Bunches of mint were passed around the audience by her capable assistant Julie, along with the falafel mix Hülya had created that morning - a sort of Blue Peter affair.

 We learned that a simple substitution of quinoa for couscous allows a wider range of people to enjoy it as it is wheat free, and we heard that by supporting your local market you can come away with arms of fresh herbs and giant spring onions!

The real test was in the taste. Several appreciative “mmm”s and “yum”s testified her reputation lives on.

If you'd like to see Hülya live in action again you can follow her through her website, twitter and facebook and she'll be on stage again at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair presenting on Tuesday 8th September.  

Meanwhile, here are the recipes for the fantastic Turkish inspired dishes she created:

'Raw' Falafel with Quinoa Tabbouleh nestled in Flat bread finished with Tahini drizzle, Pomegranate Molasses and Sumac 

'Raw' Falafel 

These are a delicious carrot version of falafel that can be made and dehydrated to maintain a raw food diet. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven which keeps them healthy instead of frying. Great thing about falafels is they're versatility as a snack and main meal and they're gluten free, vegan and vegetarian.

You will need (Serves 4):
·         200g sesame seeds
·         half tsp Himalayan or sea salt
·         5 good sized carrots, peeled and finely grated, (to make up about 300g)
·         2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pureed
·         1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
·         quarter tsp ground cumin
·         quarter tsp ground coriander
·         2 tbsp flax seeds ground in a small processor
·         handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped 

Note: If you don't have a dehydrator, preheat the oven to 180oC/Gas 4.
·         Grind the sesame seeds and sea salt in a food processor until very fine. Squeeze out any excess moisture from the grated carrot then add with the garlic, lemon, spices and ground flax seeds.
·         Process all the mixture till smooth, adding a little water as you go if the mixture is clogging up.
·         Finally, add the fresh coriander and pulse once or twice to combine.
·         Shape the mixture into twelve small patties.
·         At this point, to maintain a 'Raw' diet, you would dehydrate at 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 hours, turning once through.
·         If you don't mind baking them, then place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes turning about half way through until golden brown on both sides.
·         Top with the tahini sauce and serve in flat bread with tabbouleh. 

Tip: The falafels can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, both dehydrated and baked, for up to four days. They can also be frozen.

Tip: You can also make the mixture ahead, refrigerate overnight and cook the next day.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad 

Instead of the usual couscous, try using cooked quinoa, which works as brilliantly and adds a nutty flavour and texture to the tabbouleh. Make the dressing or add your own touch.

You will need (serves 4):
·         200g Quinoa, or use the cooked packet version such as Merchant Gourmet or Food Doctor
·         half tsp salt
·         large handful fresh coriander – chopped large handful fresh mint, leaves only, chopped
·         8 baby plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
·         1 pointed red pepper, diced
·         2 small or half a large cucumber, grated and all the water squeezed out 5 spring onions, thinly sliced in diagonals
·         half pomegranate, kernels only 

For the dressing:
·         2 tbsp lemon juice 4-6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil fresh ground black pepper and sea salt
·         1 tsp French mustard, plain or wholegrain 

·         Place a tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and fry the quinoa until it lightly browns and you get a nutty aroma. Then following the packet instructions, cook in the usual way. Once cooked, transfer to a large salad bowl to completely cool.
·         Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients, or place in a jar or bottle and give it a good shake!
·         When the quinoa has cooled completely, fluff with a fork to loosen the grains then add in all the other salad ingredients. Mix through – Add the dressing to taste
·         Tip: This is great served with a drizzle of strained yogurt, tahini and falafels or your favourite meat dish. 

Turkish style flat bread 

If you ever wanted to make your own flat bread then here's a simple recipe to get you started. Serve with your favourite salad and meat or vegetarian dish.

You will need:
·         225g strong unbleached white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
·         50g strong wholemeal bread flour
·         1 sachet easy bake yeast (about 7g)
·         1 tsp sea salt
·         1 tbsp olive oil or melted butter
·         1 tbsp natural yogurt
·         about 200ml lukewarm water to make a soft dough 

·         Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre
·         Pour in the oil and yogurt, then start adding the water. Using your hand, draw the flour in from the sides, forming the mixture into a dough, add a little extra water if necessary
·         Knead the dough on a very lightly floured work surface for about 5 minutes
·         Divide the dough into eight pieces, and then you could divide each ball into 2 pieces if you want to make smaller ones. Knead each piece and form into balls
·         Place to the side on a lightly floured surface or tray and cover with a tea towel, leave to rest for about 30 minutes
·         Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into thin, flat rounds, about 6 inches in diameter or smaller if you're making more than 4.
·         Heat a griddle or flat frying pan and wipe with a little oil until almost smoking hot
·         Cook each flat round separately, for about a minute or two on each side till lightly golden browned and each bread has puffed up/buckled slightly 
·         Pile them up one by one, keeping covered with a tea towel as you fry the rest 

Tip: You can make one or two large breads and bake in the oven or up to 24 small individual ones to cook on the griddle and they work well served hot or cold but keep wrapped in a tea towel if serving later.

Tip: The Tahini dip will keep for a week in the fridge stored in a jar.

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