Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kibbe in Minted Yogurt Sauce

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Kibbe in Yogurt Sauce

I can't go on any further without including a Kibbe dish, afterall, this is a Lebanese food blog.  It's a welcome interruption from the sugar/butter/flour party I've been having in the kitchen.  Kibbe is in fact the quintessential Levantine dish, essentially a paste of burgul, lamb and spices stuffed with nuts and more meat and shaped into torpedos or layered in a pan.  In Lebanon, it's cooked in so many ways: baked, fried, smoked, or raw. And you'll find many varieties including several vegetarian ones.
A while back, I watched a "No Reservations" episode where Anthony Bourdain was once again in Beirut.  Had a great time enjoying it and watching him tour around the country, which brings me back to Kibbe.  The poor guy was offered Kibbe Nayyi (raw) at every single place he ate, slightly varied of course.  I never really developed a taste for it, but I am one of very few in Lebanon.

Naked Kibbe

Kibbe in yogurt sauce (or Kibbe Labaniyye) is, however, one of my favorite kibbe dishes.  You start by making the paste and shaping it into the classic torpedo style, then bake until done.  At that point, you can just serve it with a sprinkle of sumac.  In fact, it's a very popular item on Lebanese buffets.  For the paste, I included walnuts.  Just make sure you process enough to turn them into paste.  As you can see from the large whitish specs in the picture, I lacked the patience needed this time.  I just wasn't going to have another handful of cookies for lunch (did I mention my digestive system is on sugar overload!).

Before I go, I want to sincerely thank you for the time you spend here, reading this blog.  I wish you an absolutely beautiful holiday season and a phenomenal New Year!  For now, I must get back to the kitchen and cook something, otherwise it will be dessert only Brunches this weekend, yes you read correctly, I'm hosting two brunches back to back and loving it!  See you in 2011.

Kibbe in Minted Yogurt Sauce

Kibbe in Minted Yogurt Sauce
1 lb lamb, ground
1 1/2 cups burgul, fine grind (#1), washed and drained
1 cup walnuts, raw
1 onion, peeled and quartered 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp flour
3 tsp marjoram, dried
2 tsp kibbe spices (found at Mediterranean markets)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a food processor, mix together onion, walnuts and olive oil to a paste, add the lamb and all the other ingredients and mix until well blended and smooth.  Remove into a bowl and cover.  Chill for 30 minutes ( it helps in the shaping process).  To shape, scoop out about a tablespoon (or more depending on the size of torpedos you want), roll into a ball between your palms. With your index finger, make a well in the center and fill with one teaspoon of the filling.  Seal top over the filling and shape.  Bake at 375˚F for about 10 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.  Remove and set aside. 

Mushroom & Pine Nut Filling
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup shiitaki, finely diced 
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (more if needed)
1 tsp mint, dried
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of mace or nutmeg

On medium heat, sauté onions and mushrooms until soft, add spices and pine nuts, mix well and sauté for another minute.  Remove from heat and let cool briefly. 

Minted Yogurt Sauce
1 32oz container yogurt, plain
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp mint flakes, dried
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of mace or nutmeg 

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter, then add flour to make a roux. When the paste forms, stir around for about a minute to cook the flour a little.  Add yogurt and water and whisk all together to blend well.  Add mace, salt and pepper.  Let simmer gently.  Adjust seasoning.  Add kibbe torpedos and let simmer gently for 15 minutes.  Add mint flakes in the last 5 minutes. Serve hot.


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful kibbeh you have made here! I hope your froze some to save on your hours of labor next time! Like the personal stuffing too with mushrooms and your different method of cooking the yogurt like a béchamel; will have to try it and report back!
    Happy Holidays to you and your lovely family and the Best for the new year!

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