Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern Dish that I fell in love with. I love cooking different cuisines and eating at ethnic restaurants. You can learn so much about a culture and the region by studying, cooking and eating their food. There is so much history in food. The preparation of a dish can tell you so much about the culture. For example Salt Cod which is a staple in the nordic areas, this was their means of preserving food and a way of cooking it as well. Food and recipes take us back to where they first began, something that we take for granted every day. Yes, I know the nerd in me is getting deep, but thats what I love about food, it has the ability to tell stories, teach us history and create memories. I mean what memory do you have that does not usually involve food. Especially if you are a hunter, you will remember that hunt every time you prepare that meat for nourishment. Thats some pretty powerful stuff if you ask me! So in my never ending quest for knowledge through food, I cook many dishes from different cuisines in my house constantly. I love the fact that if I can't travel to a certain place I can cook some of their cuisine right here at home!
Kibbeh is traditionally made with beef, but I have to say, I think its even better with Buffalo! It would even be great with lamb too!
1.5 cups Fine Bulgur wheat
1.5 # ground Buffalo
1.5 cups Onion, chopped
3 tsp Cumin, ground
2.25 tsp Salt
1.5 tsp. Black Pepper
Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and cover with water, let it sit for at least 20 minutes, then drain. Press hard to get all the water out. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the shells. Mix well by hand. Then in the bowl of a food processor, and a batch of the shell mixture (you will probably need to do this in two batches). Process the mixture till it is smooth and dough like in texture. Repeat with the second batch. Then combine the two batches together in the large bowl.
1/2 # Buffalo, ground
3/4 C Onion, chopped
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
1/3 C Pine nuts, toasted
In cast iron skillet cook the meat and onions till browned. Then add the salt, allspice, pepper and cinnamon. Stir to mix the spices evenly throughout. Then take the skillet off the heat and add the pine nuts. Let this mixture cool till it is cool enough to touch with your hands.
To make the Kibbeh, wet your hands and take an egg size portion of the shell mixture into your hands. Make a hole in the egg shape and add 1 TBS of the filling. Press the hole together so that the fulling is completely enclosed in the shell mixture. Repeat this process with the remaining shell and filling.
In a deep fryer, bring the oil to 360 F. In batches fry the Kibbeh in the hot oil until the meat is cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Once cooked take the Kibbeh out and drain on a paper towel, then serve.
Vegetable oil for frying
Labneh for dipping
*Labneh is a thick Yogurt, it can be found in international food markets or you can make your own.
To make Labneh, take Greek Yogurt and place the yogurt in cheesecloth and place the cheesecloth in a strainer. Place the strainer over a bowl and place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. You want to drain the excess water out of the greek yogurt. After about 10 hours you will now have Labneh! You can add herbs or spices to your Labneh as well to jazz it up!