Since you are all very familiar with my carpet rides by now, I'd like to travel to a part of the Middle East known by the Lebanese and Syrians. Now, do hold on tight and remember what happens when you think swinging by the tassels will get there faster, eh? While we ride along, let me get your mouths salivating for the tasty morsels I'm going to teach you how to prepare for yourself. We are about to indulge ourselves in some little nuggets called Kibbeh. Some of you were lucky enough to sample these at an Archery practice this fall at Lady Jessimond's home. With Gulf Wars approaching, I am making extra kibbeh and many of my other recipes to have on hand as staples to help you survive. These Kibbeh nuggets are ok to cook on site but better yet, make them at home in advance and then freeze in ziploc bags to be transported in your cooler.
Both Lebanon and Syria share this dish in common and actually consider it their national dish. There are many variations of this healthy and very distinctive blend of ground lamb, bulger, onions, and spices, which are served with the ever famous pita bread. They can be made into a variety of shapes and sizes; some are filled or layered and then fried and baked or even eaten raw (similar to steak tartare). In preparing these tasty nuggets, try and get your ground lamb to be ground extra fine, or you may use your food processor or even a meat grinder. They are both easy to make and just as easy to devour, so with all this in mind, let us dance into the kitchen and begin.
Cover the bulger with cool water and soak until tender to the bite, about 20-30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any excess water. Fluff to separate the grains. Combine the lamb, onion and seasonings in a large bowl. Gradually add the bulger and knead thoroughly. You can test for seasonings by making a small ball and cooking it in the microwave; then adjust seasonings if necessary. Divide the kibbeh into 36 portions and shape into smooth balls. Refrigerate in a covered bowl until firm, about 30 minutes to an hour. Pour the oil in a deep pan (cast iron is great) about 1/2 in. deep and heat till hot. Cook in batches, adding the meatballs in a single layer, and cook over med-high heat, turning them often until they are evenly browned and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with pita bread wedges and a bowl of tzatziki sauce. Yield: about 3 dozen meatballs. Freeze well; thaw and warm in a 325-degree F oven for 10-15 minutes.
Forever shimmying ~
Lady Xenia Hurrem