Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beef & Bulgur Kabobs

This recipe is a great change of pace that you will really enjoy. It is relatively easy to make with a moderate prep time but super fast cook time. My husband loves the leftovers as well, and they are really convenient "to go".

2 medium onions, chopped
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups bulgur (finely ground), try this
2 pounds ground beef, try this
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (pine nuts preferred but any will likely do)
3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

2 cups greek yogurt (plain), try making your own!
1/4 cup tahini
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dill

Mix together, refrigerate until needed.

How To:
1. Make Onion Liquid: Using a blender or food processor, puree the chopped onions and then strain them through a fine mesh to extract all the liquids from the onions. Use a spoon or spatula to press the pureed onion through the mesh. You won't need the solids so either discard or find another use for them. Add the lemon juice and water to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid.

2. Combine: In a large bowl, combine the onion juice liquid with the bulgur and soak for 10 minutes. Don't skimp on this step, and ensure all bulgur is covered by the liquid, or it may be a little chewy. In the meantime, combine the garlic and nuts in a food processor to mince (or mince by hand). After bulgur has soaked, add garlic, nuts, beef, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and pepper and mix well.

 Make sure all your bulgur is covered by the liquid and soak the full 10 minutes and check to ensure that the bulgur has softened.

3. Shape: Using about 1/3 cup for each kabob, form the beef into about 17-20ish sausage shaped rolls. **Add a small amount of water if mixture is too crumbly.**  Thread onto metal skewers. Broil (4-6 inches from heat) or grill 8-10 minutes, turning as needed.

Comments: If using wooden skewers, start soaking them in water when you start your kabobs (about 30 minutes total soaking). Even easier - don't use skewers and place directly in broiler or on a pan in the grill. They do not look as nice but taste the same. Serve kabobs with yogurt sauce (recipe above), mustard, hot sauce, etc. My husband and six-year old LOVE these.

Total time is about 30 minutes prep and 10 minutes to cook. This makes about 20 rolls - each person will eat about two or three rolls.

***A note about bulgur.... the super cool thing about bulgur is that it is crushed whole wheat that has been parboiled (soaked, steamed, dried). What does this mean? Well, this means that since your bulgur is already soaked, you won't need to soak it yourself. Check the labels on the bulgur you have purchased and you will find an indication that it is parboiled.

On the other hand, you will want to soak your pine nuts for maximum nutritional benefit. Combine your pine nuts with a scant 1/4 tsp of salt and filtered water and let soak for 7 hours or overnight. Then dry using a dehydrator (or oven at lowest temperature overnight). When I buy nuts I try to soak and dry them right away and then store for future use. Pine nuts should be refrigerated for storage.

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