Sunday, May 17, 2009
Kibbeh Loaf. I Am Into Bulgur Lately.
I used to work across the river over in Troy, NY and one of my favorite lunch spots was always Al Baraki. I have heard that the Troy location has since changed over to something new but the Lark Street location is going strong. One of my favorite items was their kibbeh wrap. It was a nice slice of loaf style kibbeh (as opposed to the torpedo shaped ones), hummus, some sort of spicy white sauce, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. I have tried a couple of times to recreate the kibbeh part of the wrap at home and this weekend I think I came up with the closest imitation to date.
I started by soaking about 2 cups of bulgur. After about an hour I used a kitchen towel to squeeze excess moisture out.
Kibbeh in pie form generally has a sort of "crust". The crust generally seems to be the same ingredients as the rest of the loaf, but with a higher ratio of bulgur. I used about 2 cups of soaked bulgur, 1 cup of ground beef, 1 medium onion, teaspoon cumin, teaspoon hot paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt/pepper. All of this went into the food processor until smooth. For the body of the loaf I used a little more onion and spices, about a 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour, and a ratio of about 2 cups bulgur to 2 and 1/2 cups of ground beef. I pressed most of the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of a casserole and filled with the other meat mixture. I finished by topping with some more of the crust mixture, drizzling with olive oil, and dusting with some more cumin and cinnamon.
This was covered with foil and place in a 350 degree oven for an hour. I then removed the foil and let it go for another 30 minutes. The whole loaf was probably about 3 pounds or so. It came out looking very ugly but smelling awful good.
When cooled a little bit I sliced some 1/2 inch thick rectangles and served them on some whole wheat pita bread. For condiments I used some prepared hummus as well as some store bought tzatziki sauce that I had thinned with water and added a little horseradish to.
It was very delicious and I finally got the texture of the kibbeh closer to the pros over at Al Baraki. I think I had previously not been using enough bulgur. By the way, I have been very excited about good ol' bulgur lately. If you can get the whole grain version it is packed with fiber and wonderfully good for you. I have been brainstorming other uses for it as opposed to simply in Middle Eastern fare, but I haven't really thought of anything yet.