Kibbeh is a torpedo shaped crunchy appetizer ,adored not just in Middle East but also in the Middle Eastern eateries around here.The authentic Syrian spring kibbeh stuffed with fresh home made cheese was embraced by the 2 hostesses(Nisrin and Mona) for the Walima cooking club this month.Yearning in vain for fresh cheese,my recreation of kibbeh is void of any stuffing but I did add a touch of vegetables to make up for the flavor.Usually deep fried,I chose to grill,although one can also BBQ or bake them.And for my vegetarian viewers who wish to make these,there is good news,the soy granules work just as well as the minced meat.
The other main ingredient is the bulgur wheat,that is not the same as cracked wheat.Bulgur wheat is quicker to cook,for its is par boiled and toasted before breaking them unlike the cracked wheat which is broken directly from the wheat berries.
Recipe : Grilled Kibbeh with vegetables
Makes a dozen kibbeh
1 1/2 cup Bulgur wheat or Cracked wheat*
1/2 pound lean beef or lamb or turkey,minced [Vegan substitute : 1 1/2 cup soy granules,soaked and drained]
1/2 medium onion,chopped
1 medium carrot,shred
3-4 kale leaves(or use other greens like spinach )
1/4 cup pine nuts or almonds,coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon of Middle Eastern 7 spice mix (black pepper, all spice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, white pepper, dried rose petals this is optional )
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon canola oil
*Cracked wheat will require longer soaking and cooking time.
Wash and soak the bulgur in little cold water for 10 to 15 good minutes and then drain all of the water.
Mince the drained bulgur with all of the vegetables,nuts,salt and spices,in a food processor twice, the third time we add the meat and mince all together to combine, you might need to do this in several steps if the machine is not big enough.
Empty the mix in a big bowl, dip your hands in some water and start mixing and kneading the bulgur mixture well to combine nice dough. Adjust the seasoning if need it.
Take about 2 tablespoon of kibbeh each time and shape in flat diamonds.Wash hands thoroughly after handling the kibbeh mixture.
Grease a baking tray with the oil,arrange the kibbeh on the tray.Bake the kibbeh in preheat 400F oven, check every 10 minutes and brush again, dipping the brush in the pan drippings.
A tastier way of cooking these kibbeh,brush oil on boyh sides,then BBQ or grill on medium heat,6-8 minutes on each side,until golden brown.
Serve the kibbeh with Green Salad or Yogurt Iran (a diluted yogurt in some cold water and salt, some add dried mint and garlic)