Vlad III vs. Mehmed II

On this day in 1462, Vlad III the Impaler (Dracula) launched The Night Attack, an assassination attempt against the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II who sought to annex Wallachia to the Ottoman Empire. The assassination attempt failed and Mehmed marched into the Walllachian capital of Targoviste. When he discovered 20,000 impaled Turks and Bulgarians, he wisely retreated. The battle was immortalized by Victor Hugo in his poem, The Legend of the Ages, and Francis Ford Coppola opened his film, Dracula, with it.

You may not be hungry right now, especially for a sauce with red in it, but trust me. This Turkish sauce is really good on grilled vegetables, fish, and as a dip. I adapted it from Clifford A. Wright, replacing cayenne with harissa for a bit more complexity.

Açili Esme (Spicy Yogurt Sauce)

1 t. salt
4 garlic cloves (or more, to taste)
1 c. Greek yoghurt
1/2 t. harissa (or more, to taste)
extra-virgin olive oil
Pound the salt and garlic together in a mortar until blended and soft. Stir in yogurt and harissa. Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.


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