During my travels, I also sampled some truly great food! My most memorable experiences were in Turkey. Due to Turkey's unique placement in the Mediterranean and its superpower during the Ottoman has influenced cooking of almost all the countries in the Mediterranean - including, Algeria, the country in which I live now.
As I've mentioned before, the influence of the Ottoman Empire can greatly be seen in the cuisine of Algiers and Constantine, where most of the Turkish pachas took up residence. Centuries of Ottoman empire rule helped to spread Turkish cuisine and ingredients into Eastern Europe and throughout the Middle East. Many well-known recipes show an influence from Turkish cuisine: yogurt salads, fish in olive oil, stuffed vegetables and vine leaves, and syrupy filo dough desserts.
Upon my arrive to Algeria, one of the first places I visited was the Le Palais des Raïs in Algiers, which right in the heart of downtown Algiers in Bastion 23. It was built by 1576 par le Dey Ramdhan Pacha, it's still being used for festivals, cultural conferences, Ramadan soirés and celebrations of Mouloud Ennabaoui Echarif.
In Turkey, many dishes , are often named after certain historial figures as a way of honouring them. But in my opinion, these names also give much piazzaz to the dishes as well.
Like the origins of most recipes that came from 'Old Countries' to enrich the dinner tables of food lovers, the dish that I present today is one made for and named after a Hassan Pacha Ibn Kheireddine, (Hasan Paşa in Turkish) was the son of Raïs Kheïreddine Barbarossa (aka Red Beard) - who was a great Turkish Algerian ruler.
Hassan Pacha after the death of his father, was appointed ruler of Barbary coasts of Algeria in 1517. He ruled over the lands from the Moulouya river in Morocco to La Calle, which close to the city of Annaba, formerly known as Bone here in Algeria.
His father, the famous Turkish- Berber privateer-admiralswas apppointed ruler, or pasa of this region along with his brothers by the ruler of Constantinople in the early 16th century.
Hassan Pacha, a very liberal and popular man lead the Ottomans into many victories. And to honour all his victories this dish was prepared by the great kitchen in the Sultan's palace.I love this dish for many reasons: - it is a nice family friendly way of updating the same old meat and potatoes everyone seems to like, - it is a dish common to both Turkish and Algerian kitchens and finally - it just tastes great!
Now here is how this old yet relatively nouvelle cuisine looking dish went ... Hasanpaşa Köftesi called here in Algeria Kefta Hassan Pacha
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