Mezze II

I tried the Turkish mezze party again, recently. If you remember, I had one last Spring in which I far overestimated my own capabilities (or at least, my capabilities within time limits), and ended up madly cooking through the whole party and forgetting the feta pastries in the oven. Phew. You have heard Ina Garten’s story about making individual omelets at a party? That’s my version of that story.

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This time, I was more sensible. Gone were the tiny fiddly manti dumplings. In were a couple of easy-to-prepare salads and a lot more store-bought stuff. This year saw the return of walnut sauce, the introduction of tomato chili sauce, the deep-sixing of the generally despised baba ghanoush (I know it’s good, I just can’t make it so), and the substituting of store-bought for home-made hummus and chaman.

Feta pastries were repeated. Peppers were grilled but not stuffed. Kofte were introduced. Squid was deep fried with only slightly more success than before.

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These are little patties of bulgur wheat, held together with spices and tomato paste. I couldn’t get the seasoning quite right and they tasted a little acrid to me, though Sparks liked them a lot.

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And this is a surprisingly tasty bean salad, garnished with hard-boiled egg. As I grow up I’m learning to like more and more kinds of beans… this was my first success with Great Northern.

I once again encourage you to try this. Sparks, who has been consulting with a friend in the Ukraine about vodkas, now wants to try a Russian zakuski party, while I’m dreaming about Venetian cicetti. Three cheers for finger food!

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