Monday, November 26, 2012

Bar Pilaf with Shrimps - Karidesli Meyhane Pilavı

Bar Pilaf with Shrimps - Karidesli Meyhane Pilavı
Meyhane is a cross between a restaurant and a pub. "mey" means "wine" and "hane" means "house", however, in Turkey, Rakı, not wine, is usually the drink of choice in any restaurant, any given time. Rakı is consumed slowly and with food, mainly with appetizers called "meze". Many lasting memories are made in the company of good friends, good food and rakı. Typically a "rakı table" will have several mezes allowing guests to sample different tastes over the course of the evening.

"Meyhane Pilaf" features different sautéed vegetables cooked with lamb or beef with bulgur providing a variety of delicate tastes. It is a complete meal just by itself. I believe this is the reason why this dish is called meyhane pilavı, or bar pilaf.

I have modified the recipe and cooked it with shrimp and it turned out delicious. Enjoy!


For marinated shrimp:
  • 1 lb medium to large shrimp, shelled, deveined
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill
  • 1 table spoon fresh mint
For pilaf
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 red bellpepper, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cups size #3 bulgur, rinsed and strained
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 table spoon butter 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash and drain shelled, deveined shrimp. In a blender, combine olive oil, mashed garlic, fresh dill and mint. Blend by pulsing, making sure the herbs are chopped but not liquified. Place marinade in a bowl, add shrimp. Keep it in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. You can marinate the shrimp the day before and let it stay in the refrigerator overnight for better mixing of flavors.

In a large size pot, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped bellpeppers, sauté for anther 4-5 minutes. Add the mushroom, sauté for 3 more minutes. Add finely chopped tomatoes, let it simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 5 more minutes. Add boiling water, bulgur, chili powder, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well with a spoon, lower the heat to slow and let it simmer until the bulgur is cooked and all water is absorbed. Set aside.

Remove shrimp from the marinade with a ladle with holes, adding it to a large pan. Sauté shrimp over medium heat until both sides are pink, about 3 minutes on each side. It is important not to overcook the shrimp to avoid drying.

Add shrimp to the pilaf, gently stir making sure the shrimp is evenly distributed. Transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot.

Afiyet Olsun! Bon Appetit!

Marinated shrimps
Chopped onions and bellpeppers

Chopped tomatos and parsley

Pilaf cooked with vegetables
Cooked shrimp
Shrimp added to the pilaf, ready to be served
Bar Pilaf with Shrimps - Karidesli Meyhane Pilavı

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