Posts Tagged ‘bulgur’

Pork Kebabs with Orange and Thyme with Toasted Bulgur with Almonds

April 13, 2010

Ever since I met Martha Stewart a few months ago, I have had a special affection for her recipes. I saw the test kitchen, showcasing the time and energy they put into each recipes to make every flavor just perfect. And, I saw Martha’s talent and knowledge about EVERYTHING related to food. Not to mention I have only tried one of her recipes to date, and it was quickly deemed “blog-worthy.”

So, last weekend when the weather was nice and we wanted to grill out, I turned to Martha for inspiration. We had just done chicken and I feel like we always do steak, so I was looking for an alternative. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I had never grilled pork kebabs before. Chicken – sure. Steak – of course. A pork tenderloin – sometimes. But, for some reason pork kebabs never crossed my mind…

There is something in the marinade of this dish that gives the pork an amazing flavor. The ingredients , mixed with the bulgur, have a middle-eastern/Mediterranean, fresh and summery feel. I would make these for a group in a heartbeat – they are fast (can marinate before company comes) and require only 10-12 minutes on the grill.

Thanks, Martha, for giving me another keeper for my blog and my recipe box. I am sure you will give me many more!

PORK KEBABS WITH THYME
Serves 4

1/4 cup fresh orange juice, plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated zest, and orange wedges for garnish
5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds boneless pork loin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

Whisk together orange juice and zest, garlic, thyme, mustard, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisking constantly, pour in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until emulsified. Add pork; toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let pork marinate 20 minutes at room temperature. While your pork is marinating, make sure to soak your wooden skewers in water so they don’t burn on your grill.

Heat a grill or grill pan until medium-hot. Thread 5 or 6 cubes of pork onto each of 4 skewers; season with salt and pepper. Discard marinade. Grill pork, turning occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 12 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, and serve with orange wedges.

TOASTED BULGUR WITH ALMONDS
Serves 4

1 cup bulgur
3/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
Coarse salt
1/2 cup salted roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bulgur, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir together toasted bulgur, stock, 3/4 cup water, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick (or, if desired, leave in as a garnish). Stir in almonds and oil; season with salt and pepper.

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Kibbeh

January 19, 2010

When I told my friends the other day I made Kibbeh for dinner, they looked at me like I had 3 heads.

“It is the national dish of Lebanon,” I declared proudly.

“Um, do you have Lebanese heritage?” They asked. Well, I am afraid the answer was no – I am a little Irish, a little German and very Italian by marriage. But, I read the recipe in my Gourmet cookbook and it sounded like a unique dish – why not?

I will admit to all of you that making this took a bit of courage and a VERY high probability we would be ordering take out. Apparently, Kibbeh (sometimes called Kibbe) was the dish by which a woman’s skill in the kitchen was measured in ancient Lebanon and Syria. Talk about pressure!

But, miraculously, my nerves were unwarranted as the dish turned out to be fantastic! The best thing I can equate it to is a Middle Eastern meatloaf. It is made with lamb, bulgur, pinenuts and lots of warm, cozy spices. Great for a cold winter night…

You can make it in a pie plate or cast iron skillet – not surprisingly I recommend using a cast iron skillet if you have one (and if you don’t you really should invest in one!). My skillet has yet to let me down, and it helps form the “pie” with its higher sides.

Good luck!

KIBBEH
6 Servings

For filling:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb ground lamb (not lean)
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts plus 2 tablespoons for garnish, all toasted

For bulgur mixture:
1 cup fine bulgur (6 1/2 oz)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb ground lamb (not lean)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Accompaniment: plain yogurt

Make filling:
Cook onion in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add lamb, allspice, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up lumps, until lamb is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup pine nuts.

Make bulgur mixture:
Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cover bulgur by 1 inch with cold water in a bowl. When dust and chaff rise to surface, pour off water, then repeat rinsing 2 more times. Cover rinsed bulgur with cold water by 1 inch and let stand 10 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard on bulgur to remove excess liquid, and transfer to a large bowl.

Pulse onion in a food processor until finely chopped. Add lamb, allspice, salt, cinnamon, and pepper and pulse until onion is finely minced (meat will look smooth). Add to bulgur and mix with your hands to combine well.

Assemble and bake kibbeh:
Lightly grease pie plate with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Press half of bulgur mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of plate (up 1 inch if using skillet). Spoon filling evenly over bulgur mixture. Spoon remaining bulgur mixture over filling and spread to cover, smoothing top. Brush top with remaining olive oil and score in a crosshatch pattern with a paring knife.

Bake kibbeh in middle of oven until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes.

Preheat broiler. Broil kibbeh 5 to 7 inches from heat until top is golden brown and crusty, 3 to 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


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