Kibbeh

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  • 1-1/4 cups bulgur wheat, #1 fine grain
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pound of lean and tender meat (lamb, beef, chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-1/4 cups diced yellow onion
  • oil to deep fry
  • pita bread
  • salad
  • tzatziki sauce
  • humus

Measure out the bulgur. Add 3/4 cup of water. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Toast the pine nuts for about 5 minutes in a medium oven, shaking and moving them about so they toast evenly. Mix the toasted pine nuts with butter, and lay on a paper towel to absorb the excess butter.

Combine the salt, pepper, allspice and cinnamon.

Cut half of the meat into cubes, and grind it. Heat the olive oil over medium heat, browning the meat and breaking it into pieces with a fork. Once the meat is cooked, reduce to medium-low and add 1-1/2 cups of diced yellow onion, half of the spice mixture, and the pine nuts.

Keep stirring until the onions have become soft, and started to turn translucent. Remove from heat. Set this filling aside.

Cut the remaining meat into cubes, and combine with the remaining onion. Grind the meat and onion together. Combine the ground meat with the remaining seasoning, and kneed with hands.

Remove the bulgur from the fridge. If the bulgur is a little dry, add some water; if a little damp, add some more bulgur. Kneed the bulgur into the raw meat, and pass through the meat grinder again.

Divide the meat-bulgur mixture into 9 equal parts, then cut each part in half. Roll each of the 18 parts into a ball. Roll each ball against a table, until it becomes a little longer (perhaps a couple inches long).

Scoop some filling and have it nearby. Have a small bowl of water nearby. One at a time, fill the kibbehs. Gently insert a moistened finger into the kibbeh, working down without tearing, until the kibbeh has a deep indent and walls on each side about 1/4" thick. Gently drop some filling into the hole, being careful not to overstuff. Close the hole, and roll the kibbeh into a ball. Set aside.

Once all the kibbehs have been prepared, they can be either frozen, set aside overnight in an airtight container in the fridge, or cooked immediately.

Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit to deep fry the kibbehs. Cook the kibbehs, six at a time, until they are golden brown.

Serve immediately with pita, salad, tzatziki sauce, and humus.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 120 minutes (start at least one day prior)