Monday, May 2, 2011

Kibbeh, eh?

Yes, Friday was so long ago and I finally come skulking back from enjoying the first weekend of beautiful sunshine. I was also furiously working on another project but I just finished it about two minutes ago and here I am! 

For this Friday, we took a suggestion from the Friday Night Dinner suggestions page and ran with it. I'm still working on the changes to the way suggestions are going to work so until then I hope you find this sentence mysterious.

I am a huge fan of middle-eastern food although I never know what dish is from what country...I love it all though. We bought some rice stuffed grape leaves to snack on while we worked. We decided that we would make those during middle eastern night 2.0.

Middle Eastern Menu
  • Kibbeh with Garlic Mint Yogurt dip
  • Orzo with Rice
  • Za'atar on some delicious bread (we bought this)
  • Hummous (Bought this too. Went a little crazy in the Middle Eastern Grocery store)
  • Rainbow Tabouleh inspired from Healthy Helpings 
  • Corn (We love corn.)

We had a small friend join us. He really liked the Kibbeh.

 Orzo and Rice

I'll have to admit that I thought this was just a thing that my wife's family did since I had never seen it served in middle eastern restaurants. It is basically just as it sounds, except the orzo is sautéed in butter until it is golden brown and then the whole thing is boiled in chicken stock. It gives a subtle flavour to and spices up the simple 'rice' side dish. When I tried to make it for dinner, I realized that she always made it. Luckily, Googling 'orzo and rice'  got us exactly what we needed.  I would recommend using long grain brown rice instead of white, it's healthier and since it's cooked in chicken stock, it makes it less bland.

If you're wondering how my wife's recipe differs, here it is:

- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 cup rice
- 6 cups stock

Put the butter in a sauce pan and brown the orzo. Add rice, then stock, bring to boil. Cover then lower heat to low. Let it simmer until stock is absorbed. Don't let it burn.

I find it has less bite than the version since it uses way more liquid.

Rainbow Tabouleh partially inspired by Healthy Helpings

We had no intention of making a 'traditional' tabouleh since we had a bunch of veggies to throw in. It might be easier for me to list what wasn't in this tabouleh...Alright, it wasn't that much.

- Parsley, curly of flat leaf
- 1 Cucumber
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1/3 cup bulgur wheat
- 3 carrots
- Mushrooms
- 1 onion
- I'm probably forgetting some veggies though there's really no wrong answer at this point.

Dressing (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice

Boil 2/3 cups of water and pour over the bulgur wheat in a bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes. We used the food processor to grate the carrots, then we blitzed everything else in it. Poured it into a bowl. Add the dressing and bulgur before serving.

Taste the rainbow.

I have very little to say about the kibbeh. We followed the recipe and got what we got. They don't specify the size of pan to use, but a 9 x 9 fits quite nicely. We tried a 9 x longer but it was too long.

Our kibbeh cake!

the life of the party