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Author Topic: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted  (Read 3021 times)

Offline antler

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Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« on: August 17, 2013, 07:18:38 PM »
So, why did the Priest faint?
For the last couple of weeks I have been trying out a few recipes, ready for 1st September, when that bright, red kitchen of Villa Kismet beckons me to get something cooking. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than being given the opportunity of cooking for 7 family in a foreign county, in a location that looks out across the beach to the sea, on a balmy evening in early September. Most will think I am mad. Who cares?

So, for me, it would be rude not to respond with something authentic – but simple – reflecting the colour and the tastes of the region. And something that I can conjur up with my basic culinary skills.

A recipe I really like - and I remember having this conversation with Mehmet at Mussakka – is one for Turkish Moussaka. As a young family, we had our holidays on the Greek Islands – mainly, the Dodecanese and especially Kos. We all grew up on yesterday’s Moussaka. In a large pan, covered in foil (or flies), you cut it out like a cake, whacked it in the fast oven, and spent the next two days with food poisoning. But we were proud we had tried the local food.

So, when Mehmet said, “no, this is Turkish Moussaka, give it a go” I went along with him, only because I trusted him.
What transpired was a really light, fresh, meaty dish without any of the stuffiness of the béchamel, or potatoes or whatever that made the Greek version so heavy. This was sublime. Hearty, yet light. And served one spoonful at a time by the side of your table, it is my way to enjoy food.

So, keen to pass this on, I found this recipe and have tried it out: it’s lovely (for me) and I have tweaked around with it, tried it with beef and lamb over the last couple of weeks, and this will be on my table at Villa Kismet very soon. It is so simple, even it if it is bit of a fad to roast the vegetables in batches.

http://www.sarahmelamed.com/2011/09/moussaka-a-greek-and-turkissh-favorite/

What stemmed from this for me, was playing around with aubergines and I remember how much I love that very simple dish, the “Stuffed Aubergine” that I enjoy most at Adam’s Place on a lunch time, or early dinner as the sun sets.  I know it from Adem as the Fainted Priest, and when you google it, you get all these folklore stories of why the Priest may have fainted. Isn’t that lovely?  Did he faint because it was soooo good, so full of Olive Oil – or what?!  I am sure there are more versions of the story than the recipe itself. The more the merrier. Please tell me the one you know.

This recipe below, looks really good to me, to keep me happy with a lighter, veggie (& shorts restraining) version - but with a slab of a shoulder of lamb, slow roasted for a few hours, to keep the carnivores happy; plus, some tzatsiki on the side, then, we should all be happy, too. Not that I am vegetarian. I just love the lightness that Imam Bayildi delivers. And the romance behind it.

www.petersommer.com/turkey-travel-country/turkish-food-cuisine/imam-bayildi-turkish-aubergine-eggplant/

Morrisons were out of aubergines today, so a trip to my local, organic butcher came up trumps from their small range of vegetables – the perfect, plumpest & freshest aubergines, a handful for… £1.96. They were intrigued (all 3 of the butchers, as they cleared up) why I wanted these vegetables and what I would be doing with them - so I told them (half) the story & they almost fainted.

As I sit here with my large glass of wine, I’m thanking Sarah Melamed for sharing her recipe, as the aromas of fresh lamb, parsley, sage, tomatoes…and olive oil & aubergines – enough to make the Priest faint – wafts out to the conservatory, with the rain beating down, off the Yorkshire Dales.

But I know that the next time I cook this, I will be somewhere far away and very, very different to here.

Somewhere very close to my heart.

Antler.


Linkback: https://www.enjoykalkan.com/forum/holiday-reports-and-reviews/12/imam-bayildi-the-priest-fainted/11501/
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 07:21:07 PM by antler »

Offline kalkan4eva

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 07:28:13 PM »
I absolutely LOVE this post.....can't wait until you are in Kalkan. I'm so looking forward to hearing all about your culinary escapades.... :)
Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt :)

Offline Chris_S

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2013, 11:43:56 AM »
The version of why the Priest Fainted, and the one I prefer, even though it's probably as inaccurate as the others is this:

The Imam's wife made the dish with all the spices and ingredients that she could find.  At the time spices (think of the spice trade long ago) were not necessarily inexpensive.  The Imam is said to have fainted when she told him the (expensive) spices that she had put in the dish.

Obviously the Imam was a man who believed in frugality!  ;D
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Offline Blue Lizard

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2013, 12:54:08 PM »
I heard he fainted because she served it naked :o >:D
People Of Britain.. When your missus asks "Does my bum look big in this? Never say "Dunno your blocking the light."... just sayin ????

 ta ta for now
Lizard

Offline samson

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2013, 04:36:05 PM »
I was told that the "priest fainted" because the finished dish looked like a ladies body part! how he knew what it looked like "god only knows" lol :)

Offline antler

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2013, 04:43:33 PM »
BL, Samson, you are so funny - I'm wondering what I might have started, now.

Offline Blue Lizard

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Re: Imam Bayildi - The Priest Fainted
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 05:55:31 PM »
Mrs L has kindly reminded me of a menu we read which stated they served  "The priest has farted"....now this was obviously something lost in translation or a variation of this very old traditional dish useing different ingredients...cabbage and Baked Beans perhaps :P >:D


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