Homage To My Father… Kibbe With Spinach

Yesterday in Lebanon everybody was celebrating Father’s Day. My dad left us ten years ago and I miss him a lot. I was very close to him and he was the only person who knew what I wanted without me saying anything. When I was young, he treated me like a little princess and I think he spoiled me a bit. I got nostalgic thinking of him, so I decided to make homage to this big man by cooking his favorite meal. His mother used to cook it for him and he’d encourage me to eat it by saying: “if you want to grow strong, you should have this kibbe. The spinach has a lot of iron and it will make you strong like your Papa”.

Ok, I want to stop being emotional and post the recipe that I took from my grandmother.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo fresh spinach
  • 1 cup fine bulgur
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 large onions, chopped into wings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • an dash of chili pepper (optional)

Preparation:

  • Wash the spinach leaves and boil in hot water for 2 minutes, drain then wash with cold water and keep in the strainer until needed
  • To make the kibbe dough, wash the bulgur and discard the water then mix the bulgur with flour, salt, cinnamon, paprika and cumin to form a soft dough (add water if needed); mix it it with the grated onion
  • Take a small piece from the dough, shape it into a small ball then flatten it, place it on  slightly floured plate; repeat until all the dough is used
  • Boil the kibbe dough in hot water for about 15 minutes
  • Heat the olive oil and fry the wing chopped onions until golden brown
  • Add the boiled spinach and the kibbe dough to the frying pan, let it cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally
  • To serve place the kibbe with spinach on a plate and sprinkle some chili pepper if used

ET VOILA.. MAIS CE N’EST PAS TOUT!

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE FATHERS IN THE WORLD 🙂

Bulgur With Meat (Burgul Bi Dfeen)

We Lebanese like to have a side dish with the stew, usually rice, pasta, potatoes or bulgur. Bulgur is a main ingredient in our cuisine. It could be fine in kibbe and tabboule, or coarse when cooking it with tomato, vegetables or meat. The meal I am making today is called “Burgul Bi Dfeen” in Arabic, which translated means buried in bulgur. Maybe they named it such because after cooking, the meat is buried under the bulgur 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams meat lamb chunks
  • 500 grams baby onion, peeled
  • 1 cup chickpeas (soaked one night ahead with a dash of bicarbonate of soda)
  • 2 cups coarse bulgur
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon corn oil

Preparation:

  • Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pot and fry the meat until brown and add 1 teaspoon of salt and seven spices before covering it with about 2 liters of water and boiling it until nearly tender
  • In another pot heat, the remaining oil and fry the onion until golden brown, then add the chickpeas and cover with one cup of water; let it cook on a very low flame until tender
  • Add the cooked meat to this pot with the bulgur and cover with about 3 cups of meat stock; season with salt, pepper and cumin and cover the pot to let it simmer on low heat until the water is absorbed
  • Serve it with yogurt on the side

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT 🙂

Kibbe With Yogurt (Kibbe Bel Laban)

As I mentioned in a previous post, Kibbe is a traditional Lebanese food made out of ground meat mixed with bulgur and spices. Today were going to make them in a ball shape stuffed with minced meat cooked with onion. These balls can be eaten fried or cooked in yogurt. This is the kind of meal you like to share with your family and your friends. The kibbe meat is the same for all the recipes, the stuffing as well. Also, I have to mention that kibbe can be eaten raw when the sheep’s meat is fresh.

Ingredients: for the kibbe:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup fine brown bulgur
  • 300 grams  beef meat
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur and grated onion, add the salt and spices
  • Place in a food processor a little at a time until all the quantity is used
  • Your kibbe is ready place it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing

Ingredients for the stuffing:

  • 300 grams minced meat
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seven spices
  • a handful of pine seeds (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the stuffing)
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation of the stuffing:

  • In a saucepan heat the oil, fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 10 minutes, then add the pine seeds, season with salt, spices and the molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes until the pine seeds turn golden

Stuffing the kibbe:

Your going to need an additional ingredient, a tablespoon of corn flour

  • Dissolve the corn flour in a cup of cold water
  • Make a medium sized ball from the kibbe dough with you wet hand (dip it in water and cornflour), and using your index make a hole in the ball of kibbe, and with the other hand (wet also) turn it around your index until it thins out and the hole becomes wider
  • Place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing inside and close it, turning the ball in your hand to form a nice shape
 Stuffing the Kibbe

Usually I make a big quantity and keep in the freezer; they can last for months uncooked.

These balls can be fried and eaten with yogurt or salad, and it can be cooked with yogurt.

Fried Kibbe

Ingredients for the yogurt cooking:

  • 1 kg of fresh yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Preparation for the yogurt: For about 16 pieces of kibbe balls:

  • Dissolve the corn flour with one cup of cold water and add it to the yogurt
  • Place the yogurt in a pot on fire, stirring constantly. When it starts boiling, add the uncooked kibbe balls and reduce the fire, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes
  • In the meantime, mix the crushed garlic with salt and dried mint
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic mixture until light golden color, then add it to the yogurt and let it cook on a very low heat for five more minutes
  • Serve it with rice cooked with vermicelli

N.B: 

To make the rice with vermicelli, fry a handful of vermicelli in hot oil in a pot until golden brown. Next, cook it with one cup of rice while adding an extra half cup of water to the normal measure of water to allow the vermicelli to cook.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Vegetarian Potato Kibbe (Kibbet Batata)

There is a wide variety of Kibbe recipes in Lebanon, as I mentioned in a previous post Baked Kibbe. It can be made by mixing bulgur with meat, or with pumpkin and even with potato like the one I made today. The bulgur is always the main ingredient of all kinds of Kibbe, it should be fine and brown color. This recipe is vegetarian, which makes it suitable for Lent. The major ingredients are simple, based on bulgur, potato and onion, but it needs a lot to spices and flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 cup of fine brown bulgur
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1 small onion grated

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3 large onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon 7 spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preparation:

  • Boil the unpeeled potatoes in a saucepan with salted water, until they becomes tender
  • When the potatoes are cold peel then mash them
  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from the excess water
  • Mix the mashed potatoes with bulgur, the grated onion, the flour, salt and the spices; mix by hand very well until smooth
  • Cut the onion of the filling into fine strips and mix with all the spices
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C
  • Grease an oven pan with little of olive oil until you cover the bottom
  • With wet hands place a thin layer of the potato Kibbe mixture and flatten it
  • Place the filling of onion and cover it with another thin layer of potato Kibbe
  • Wet a knife and cut the Kibbe into a square or diamond pattern
  • Drizzle the remaining of the olive oil on the top
  • Bake for about 30 minutes in the oven, until the top becomes a nice golden color
  • Serve with a green salad for better taste

Nota Bene:

  • You can also shape the potato Kibbe in a small ball; stuff it with the onion and close the ball forming a flat circle. Fry it in a deep frying pan. It is also DELICIOUS.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT..:)

Baked Kibbe (Kibbe Bilsaniya)

Kibbe is a famous Lebanese traditional food. It is made out of meat and bulgur with stuffing inside it from minced meat onion and spices. There are many ways to cook it: it can be baked in the oven, or rolled into balls with the stuffing inside it then fried and even cooked with yogurt. All these recipes require the same ingredients to make the Kibbe mixture and stuffing, however there are some variations. For instance, there is a vegetarian form of Kibbe made from pumpkin.

It’s a bit complex to make this dish, so I tried my best to simplify it for today’s post. Don’t be discouraged and feel free to post any questions in the comments if you need some clarification on any point, I’ll answer as soon as I see it. Together, we’re going to make Kibbe like rock stars! 😀

1.For the Kibbe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of fine brown bulgur
  • 600 grams beef meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices

Preparation:

  • Wash the bulgur and drain it from water
  • Grate the onion until very fine
  • Mix the meat with bulgur, add the salt and seven spices with the grated onion
  • Place the mixture in a food processor a bit at a time and keep blending until the mixture becomes creamy and all the meat and bulgur is used

Now your Kibbe is ready, put it in the fridge until you prepare the stuffing.

2.For the Stuffing:

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams minced meat (better fresh not frozen)
  • 3 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spices
  • 1/2 cup pine seeds (this is optional, but it is traditionally added and enhances the flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon grenadine molasses
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preparation:

  • In a large saucepan,  heat the oil and fry the onion until golden brown
  • Add the meat and fry with the onion for about 15 minutes
  • Now add the pine seeds, season with salt, seven spices and the grenadine molasses
  • Cook for about 10 minutes or until the pine seeds becomes golden color

Let the stuffing cool. Now you have all the ingredients to make the Kibbe in the oven. All you need to do now is assemble them.

3.Putting it all together:

You’re going to need one more additional ingredient: 1 tablespoon of corn wheat.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C and butter a baking pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of corn wheat with 1 cup of cold water. Wet your hand in this corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe.
  • Take enough Kibbe and spread it on the bottom of the pan to make a thin layer. (Remember to keep your hand wet with the corn wheat solution when handling the Kibbe!)
  • Add enough of the stuffing on top of the Kibbe to just cover it.
  • Afterwards, add another thin layer of the Kibbe over the stuffing, the same way you did for the bottom one. With your hand still wet from the corn wheat solution, press gently down on the top layer with the palm of your hand to flatten (not squish) it
  • Divide the tray into four equal parts with a knife (go through each of the layers)
  • With the knife still in hand, lightly make diagonal lines on the top layer to form small diamonds. This adds texture to the dish and also helps it bake properly
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the upper crust. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until you see it become a nice brown color
  • Serve it with plain yogurt, or yogurt salad: crush one clove of garlic with a pinch of salt and mix it with yogurt. Peel and dice 5 cucumbers. Mix with 1 tablespoon of dried mint.

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Tabboule

Tabboule is our Lebanese pride, along with hummus. Lebanon is the record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records when 250 of our Lebanese Chef’s made the biggest plate of Tabboule in the whole world. We Lebanese can and will eat tabboule any place, any time: for breakfast, lunch, as a snack or even at dinner. It is THAT Delicious. The best thing about it is that tabboule is made just from vegetables and bulgur, so anybody can enjoy it and it goes well with most anything!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of finely  chopped fresh parsley
  •  few leaves of fresh mint chopped with the parsley, or else they will turn black
  • 1 small onion filnely diced
  • 3 red tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of bulgur, fine and dark brown color
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • salt, seven spices, olive oil

Preparation:

  • Wash the chopped parsley with mint and put in a strainer
  • Add the chopped tomatoes to the parsley
  • Mix the chopped onion with a dash of salt and a little seven spices and add it to the mixture of parsley, tomatoes and onion
  • Wash the bulgur and drain it, then add one tablespoon of lemon juice to it
  • Now the Tabboule is ready, season it to your taste with salt, allspice, lemon juice and olive oil
  • Mix it well and put it on a serving plate garnish with lettuce or cabbage

ET VOILA..C’EST TOUT:)

Bulgur with Tomatoes

For centuries, and especially during WW2, bulgur (or burghul in Arabic) has been a main ingredient in Lebanese cuisine. It is made out of whole wheat and has a lot of vitamins it is very nutritious.

In Lebanon you can find many kinds of bulgur (e.g., fine grain, rough, white and dark). The recipe I made today is also suitable for people fasting during Lent. It is a very old recipe popular in the villages mainly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 red tomatoes peeled and cut into small dices
  • one cup of rough white bulgur
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • salt, pepper, and a dash of black spicy pepper
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

Preparation:

  • In a pot heat the olive oil, fry the onion
  • When the onion start to take color, add the tomatoes and let it cook slowly on a low fire
  • Add the bulgur over the onion and mix all the ingredients well
  • Put the tomatoe paste, the salt and the spices
  • Cover with 2 cups of water, let it boil, then cover the pot and let it simmer on low fire untill all the grains absorb the water
  • Serve it with salad and vegetables.

ET VOILA.. C’EST TOUT.