Somer Sivrioglu is the happy proprietor of Efendy's, a great turkish restaurant in trendy Balmain in the Inner West of Sydney. I have visited quite early in the piece and have not been back recently, but it was a very happy and delicious experience. Hence why I was keen to revisit Somer's cuisine.
Also, Somer has just released a book, three years in the making, called Anatolia, part travelogue, part recipes book and it is a phenomenal book, beautiful manufactured and designed by Murdoch.
Barbara Sweeney had organised for Somer to perform at the Everleigh Market where she runs a regular stall called Talking Cookbook, where she gives free cooking advice to people visiting. Rumor has it that I might be invited along one of her next attendance and bring my own cookbooks...
So, here we go, watching Somer preparing two of the dishes from his book
It was a delight to watch and listen to Somer cooking his Turkish Deligths. I got a chance to taste everything and it was deliciously simple and earthy: the turkish version of cucina povera! Perfect!
By popular demand, and part of the promotion of our upcoming trip to Provence, I am reposting this recipe of the Bouillabaisse, probably the most famous fish soup in the World, or at least in my world....Enjoy with no moderation.
And yes, it is where it all started, in Marseille, a busy fishing and commercial port, now the second biggest city in France besides Paris. After a period of chaos and neglect, it has to be said that theCity of Marseille is back to a proper tourist, shopping and food destination, as it was when i was a little boy...
At the time, you would find some of the best bouillabaisses on the Vieux Port, and you could still probably find a proper one there, but you are probably better of moving to the Corniche and eat Chez Michel, or to the quaint little calanque of Vallon des Auffes and eat chez Fonfon. Or even better off to Cassis on the set of Marseilles or Martigues on the west, both about an hour drive away from Marselle.
My grandparents used to take us to either for what they thought was the best places for that local stew
Today, I would probably recommend Cassis, because of all the other attractions of the place, specially out of season - May, June, September and October being the best.
Well, after this lengthy introduction, I hope you are hungry and ready to go throughout all the steps of this fantastic recipe. There are various schools as how to serve this dish, whether you serve everything in one plate, or if you have it in two servings - I prefer the last one, hence it is how i served it today.
This has an influence on how you prepare it, and in today's case, I was not sure on the time at which we would have lunch, so I catered for that too in my preparation.
Now, what ingredients will you need?
Well, it is common to have three type of fish and probably some shellfish as well.
I had some salmon and turbot left from previous lunches in the freezer, and I found some barbounias at the Fish Market, which will do as my rock fish for today. The rule is to have white fish, another fatier one and some rockfish like rascasse, but they are out of season, and i also bought some mussels.
You will need onions - I used spanish and shallots - garlic (bien sûr...) and fennel, celery, carrots for and tomatoes the stock and potatoes to serve with the fish. Guillaume Brahimi adds some orange zest so I did!
Did I mention olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme? What would you do without these staple ingredients?
And, by the way, I asked the fishmonger to fillet the barbounias and give me the heads and bones also.
You will need about two hours to prepare and cook this dish, so plan ahead, specially if you have guests
In the view of our upcoming trip to Provence, I thought I would wet your appetite by reposting a few classic recipes from the region. Here is a popular one to start with.
When it comes to French cooking, one can name a dozen recipes in a blink of an eye which are more suitable for winter than any other time of the year. So I had to scratch my head and do a bit of brainstorming with other foodies francophile friends to come up with a decent list of summer French recipes. And here is the first one: Salade Niçoise. One could argue that Nice being French for only a handful of decades, this is actually more Italian than French. Anyway let's get on to it!
Let us start with the ingredients:
Serve a nice Provence Rosé - like this Moncigale 2012 - whose name means "my cicada", currently on sale at Vintage Cellars -Ultimo . This is what the expert has to say about it:
"Full in the mouth, this food-friendly, minerally and textured wine has red berry fruits that are balanced by a tangy orange-zest character and a dry aftertaste." - Roger Voss
After having organised so many trips and itineraries for friends and acquaintances, the real humans behind Our French Impressions, Patricia and Jean-Marie, have finally done what so many have urge to do - organise a trip to Provence - here it is!
Jean-Marie's family on his mother side have deep roots in Provence having been one of the prominent landowners in the region up until the mid last century producing everything from lavender to rice, olive oil to soap. To this day, the family remains deeply attached to their origins and know "their" Provence intimately. Jean-Marie is also the nominated family cook, whose travails are well documented on this blog and beyond and who learned his trade watching his grandmother and mother cook for decades.
The Auld Alliance was consecrated when Patricia, of Scottish descent, met and married Jean-Marie - after a hair-raising international courtship - some 30 years ago. Her natural curiosity and experience in tourism saw then visit every nook and cranny of the region, discovering the best "tables", sourcing sumptuous wines and uncovering some of the most sought after artisans in the country. Patricia's expertise will ensure the smooth running of the tour, providing the "gear" to put the show on the road.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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