Recipe | Chef Deniz Tarakçıoğlu · Curator | Hakan Burcuoğlu · Venue | Commissary Connect · Gear | Leica
The apotheosis of egg-matrimony—Çilbir—is a ubiquitous staple of Turkish provenance that has taken the world by heart, tongue and soul. Poached eggs laid to rest on a bed of velvety yoghurt [spiked with garlic], topped with generous drizzles of pepper-paste laced beurre noisette—its signature coup de grâce. It’s rich, unctuous, refined, and yet so simple. No wonder it’s even got Nigella tickled pink. It’s undeniable—Turkey’s gift to the breakfast [and brunch] gods is now more than mainstream. And in bigger news, it’s the headliner of our upcoming pop-up, HardBoiled.
Chef Deniz’ rendition [as always] mercilessly strips this classic from its humble beginnings, resulting in a playful loss of its innocence. Incorporating yet another Turkish favourite—Manti—hand-folded purses [dead ringers for fagottini] that eloquently veil lashing hot merguez—the result is blasphemous harmony that more than gilds the lily.
400 gr high protein flour
4 organic, free-range eggs
30 ml water (if necessary)
Merguez Filling [Not pictured, navigate to bottom of page for method of preparation]
450 gr chunks of lamb shoulder, clean of sinew, very cold and slightly frozen
5 gr or a generous pinch of each; cumin seeds, black pepper, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, sumac
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a red onion
50 ml of Turkish pepper paste
10 gr Kosher salt
Beurre Noisette, with Chilis
200 gr butter
50 gr Turkish chili paste
2 cloves of garlic
Salt, to taste
5 organic, free-range eggs, poached
Thick yoghurt, seasoned with garlic, salt and lemon juice
Fresh coriander leaves
Green onions, sliced
Method [Recipe serves 6 as an appetizer]
01. Working on a flat surface, make a well in the flour using your index finger and crack your eggs into it.
02. Whisk the eggs with a fork [or a spoon] working outwards, incorporating a little bit of flour at a time.
03. When the mixture comes together it should be slightly crumbly. If too dry, sprinkle a couple of drops of water to achieve desired texture.
04. Knead the dough aggressively [by pushing and pulling using the inside of your palms] for 5 minutes.
05. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least an hour. After rested, slice the ball of dough into 4 segments.
06. Stretch the dough thin using a matarello [rolling pin] or pasta machine.
07. Using a pizza slicer, cut the sheet of dough into 1.5-inch squares.
08. Wet your fingers with tepid water and roll the sausage mixture into tiny balls, 0.5 inches in diameter, roughly larger than the size of a hazelnut. Place sausage balls in the middle of the pasta squares. Using a pastry brush, gently brush tepid water around the sausage to act as a binding agent for the folding process.
09. Fold pasta into purse-like shape in 4 steps, as pictured below.
10. Instagram your delicate purses with the hashtag #thecuratorialistmademedoit
Beurre Noisette with Chilis
11. Brown your butter in a saucepan. Add the chili paste and turn the heat down. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. The mixture should look split. Turn off the heat and add minced garlic. Season to taste.
Cooking the Eggs & Dumplings
12. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Salt the water liberally. If cooking from fresh, dumplings will take 3 minutes. If cooking from frozen, cook for 5 minutes. After dumplings are cooked, toss in a mixing bowl with emulsified butter, if desired.
13. Poach your eggs. [If you don’t know how, click here.]
14. Season the yoghurt with minced garlic, salt and lemon juice.
15. Smear yoghurt uniformly onto a plate. Gently lay the poached egg[s] in the middle, surrounded by the dumplings.
16. Spoon the beurre noisette all around, and finish with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Dry mint and sumac also pair brilliantly. Serve immediately.
15. Stuff your face, as pictured.
***Bonus tip from Chef Deniz: “Pair with ice cold artisanal vodka”.
Method for Merguez Sausage filling;
01. Chill your sausage grinder attachment in the freezer for two hours.
02. Combine the meat and spices. Grind the ingredients through a coarse grinder into a chilled metal bowl.
03. Reserve 1/2 the meat and grind the rest through a fine grinder with 3-4 ice cubes for textural contrast.
04. Combine all the meat in a mixer and mix on high-speed with a paddle attachment until light residue of fat is slightly visible on the sides of the bowl, approximately 2 minutes. The meat should be emulsified.