by Natalie Bartlett and Danielle Brehmer
Anyone who has been to Quail Springs knows how much we love food! In these last weeks we have had a lot of fun learning about culinary traditions from around the world, cooking traditional recipes from Ethiopia, Armenia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Vietnam. We’ve learned a lot about the beauty of other cultures, eaten truly delicious meals and we wanted to share some of our internationally inspired kitchen here with you!
These recipes come from a recent evening of cooking Turkish food. We want to thank our lovely friend Yeliz who visited last summer from Turkey and recommended a yogurt soup called Yayla Corbasi. This dish is said to originate back to the nomadic herdsmen of old-time Anatolia, and the word ‘Yayla’ means ‘highland meadow.’ With yogurt, butter and fresh mint as some of the main ingredients, this is a classic food from the milk-drinking pastoralists of the grasslands!
Like these ancient shepherds, we also have an abundance of fresh goat milk each day and one of our main staples is homemade goat yogurt. We used our rich Quail Springs yogurt to make this delicious, simple and hearty soup. Recipes for both follow!
Yogurt – Modified from Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making
- 1 quart milk (whole milk works best)
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt with live cultures
- Heat milk to 180 degrees F, preferably in a thick-bottomed pot on the stovetop, stirring often and being careful not to burn the milk.
- Cool the milk to 116 degrees F using a cool water bath (set pot in a large bowl of cold water).
- Add the yogurt starter and mix well.
- Transfer yogurt mixture to containers with lids (glass jars work well).
- Place containers of yogurt in a warm place (an insulated cooler works well). Use warm water bottles and towels to keep yogurt warm at 100 degrees F for 6-9 hours. The longer it cultures, the more sour the yogurt will be.
- Refrigerate when done and the yogurt will continue to thicken as it chills.
- Save some of the yogurt to use as a starter culture for your next batch!
Yayla Corbasi – Recipe from Ozlem’s Turkish Table
Serves 4-6 — Prep time: 10 minutes — Cooking time: 40 minutes
- 5 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cup whole grain basmati rice, rinsed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 ¼ cups plain, thick and creamy yogurt
- 1 tbsp. plain flour (for gluten-free version, please use gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. dried mint
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the dried mint & paprika flakes sauce:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (you can use olive oil instead of butter, if you prefer)
- ½ tbsp paprika flakes – you can use more for a spicier flavor!
- ½ tbsp dried mint
Bring the stock to the boil in a heavy saucepan and add the rice. Stir well and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and has released its starch to thicken the soup. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile in a bowl, combine the yogurt, flour, egg yolk and beat until smooth (the flour and egg yolks stabilize the yogurt and keep it from curdling). From the pan, take a cupful of hot stock and whisk it into the mixture. Return the thickened egg mixture to the soup pan, stir in the dried mint and season with salt and ground black pepper. Stir well and simmer gently for another 10 minutes, or until the soup has a creamy consistency.
To make the dried mint and paprika flakes sauce, melt the butter gently in a separate pan on a low heat. Stir in the dried mint and paprika flakes, stir and cook on a very low heat (so that the spices don’t burn) for about 30 seconds, until the spices start to sizzle. Whisk this sauce into the soup.
Serve hot with a sprinkle of extra paprika flakes for a spicier flavor, if you like.