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Turkish Cheese Fondue (Muhlama)

Turkish Cheese Fondue (Muhlama) with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Cornbread Croutons

Chef Ana Sortun
This dish from the Black Sea region of Turkey combines toasted fine cornmeal with melted cheese to create a fondue (called muhlama) with a flavor reminiscent of cheesy popcorn. Any quality cornmeal will do (Chef Ana Sortun uses cornmeal from Four Star Farms in Northfield, Mass.), but fresher cornmeal means better muhlama. If you can’t find kasseri or kashkaval cheese, asiago is a fine substitute.


  • 1 cup cubed cornbread
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal or corn flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup grated kasseri or kashkaval cheese
  • 1 cup torn fresh mozzarella such as Massachusetts Fiore di Nonno mozzarella (about 1 large ball)
  • ¼ cup goat’s milk feta such as Flying Goat Farm's feta, crumbled
  • 4 cups halved Brussels sprouts
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Turnip slices and/or pickles to serve


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Spread cornbread cubes on a baking sheet and toast about 12 minutes, or until just browned.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet. Stir in cornmeal to coat. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, about 6 minutes, or until cornmeal starts to brown. Reduce heat to low, and continue toasting cornmeal until golden and aromatic. Whisk in water until mixture is smooth. Whisk in grated kasseri or kashkaval cheese, mozzarella, and feta, until mixture resembles fondue. Keep mixture warm over low heat.
  • In a separate sauté pan on medium-high heat, melt remaining butter until it just starts to brown. Add Brussels sprouts and sear until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Toss sprouts and season with salt. When just tender, remove from heat, add vinegar and parsley, and stir to combine. Pour on top of the cornmeal-cheese mixture, and top with cornbread croutons. Enjoy immediately with turnips or pickles.


Adapted from Oleana

Chef Ana Sortun

Oleana has been screaming-hot on the Boston food scene since 2001, and chef Ana Sortun has been at the helm for all 13 years. The Seattle native first came to Boston in 1993, fresh out of Parisian cooking school and hungry for a flourishing restaurant scene that simply didn’t exist before the West Coast's tech boom. After spending time in Turkey, Sortun brought that flavor palate to Oleana and beyond. Sister restaurants Sofra, a Middle Eastern bakery and café, and Sarma, which serves Mediterranean meze (seasonal small plates, which are also offered at Oleana), are located just north of Boston. All three are supplied by Siena Farms, which sits 25 miles west and is owned by Sortun’s husband, Chris Kurth.

Photographer Kristin Teig

Kristin Teig is a food, travel and lifestyle photographer based in Boston. Having grown up in San Diego, some of her earliest food memories consist of rolled tacos in aluminum foil-covered trays and bags of spicy carrots. While studying painting in Italy during college, she shared a family meal that sparked an obsession with documenting meals and the stories behind them. See more of her work at http://www.kristinteig.com/