I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Taste of Lebanon

My mother worked as a dispatcher for a trucking company for 34 years and became quite good friends with the family that owned it. I remember when I was younger going with her to her company picnics. The owners were Lebanese and introduced my mother and I to a whole new culture and a new array of foods that would fill our senses and leave us wanting more for years to come. Here is an example of one of the many dishes we grew to love and start preparing in our own kitchens. Kibbee is a grain and meat dish very aromatically spiced, enjoy.

Baked Kibbee (Lebanese)

2 lbs. very lean top round steak, ground twice
1 cup of bulgur (cracked wheat), soak in warm water until soft then drain about1 to 2 hours.
1/2 green pepper
2 med. Onions
1 handful mint (dried or fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. basil

In blender blend green pepper, onions, mint and all spices (Do not completely liquefy, leave some fine pieces). Add this mixture to meat and mix all together with drained wheat. Add ice water as needed to soften the mixture lightly. Grease a dripping pan with oil; lay in the meat mixture evenly. Cut into squares then cover lightly with oil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.



inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

This sounds good! I think I would like it without the mint or cinnamon.

Nik Snacks said...

I remember making kibbe in my meat fabrication class in culinary school. We cut them in diamond shapes, cooked 2/3 and left the other 1/3 raw. They were perfect. Also, our chef (instead of professor) told us that only the women could make them because their hands were small enough to make them correctly. He was Lebanese.

Anonymous said...

what does one serve this with, looks quite interesting.

Julie said...

You can really serve this with just about any vegetable or starch. Kibbe is also wonderfull with a couple fried or poached eggs.

Julie said...

I did not know that, thanks Nikki

Julie said...

You could leave out the mint and cinnamon but it is key to the true traditional flavor.

Hillary said...

Thanks for teaching us all about this Lebanese dish, looks and sounds amazing!

Tom Aarons said...

That recipe looks wonderful with the mild spices and green pepper.

Julie said...

Thank you, Tom

Julie said...

You are very welcome Hillary

muddywaters said...

Thanks for sharing. NPR ran a segment titled "Kibbe at the Crossroads" on one of their programs. It focused on Lebanese immigrants who settled in Clarksdale, MS. The owner of Abe's BBQ in Clarksdale is Lebanese.

I really love the name of your blog.

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Muddywaters