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Kubbeh, Faux (M, TNT)
Source: Adapted from a recipe for Chicken Pecan Kubbeh by Faye Levy, "Jerusalem Post" weekend magazine "Up Front," Friday, December 28, 2007
Serves: 4

[Archivist's Note: we've also seen this spelled Kibbe, and Kibbeh]

1-1/2 onions
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cups mineral water (I prefer this to tap water)
2/3 cup finest grind bulgur/burgul/burghul wheat
1/3 cup parsley sprigs (leafy part)
350g ground chicken (approximately 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked sweet paprika (or ordinary sweet paprika)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly ground dried chili pepper (optional, but worth including at least a bit)
3 tbsp. cold mineral water (I prefer this to tap water)
50g pine nuts (approximately 1/3 cup)

Chop one onion.

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until it begins to brown. Remove skillet from the stove and allow the onions to cool.

Pour 3 cups of cold mineral water over the bulgur wheat and allow to soak in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. If you are using a coarser grind of bulgur, soak longer. Drain in a strainer and squeeze out excess liquid. Transfer the soaked bulgur wheat to a large bowl.

Cut remaining onion in large dice, put in food processor with parsley sprigs, and chop them fine. Add chicken, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne and process until well blended. Add 3 tbsp. of cold water and process briefly.

Transfer to the bowl of bulgur wheat and mix thoroughly. Add pine nuts and the sautéed onions and mix again. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a large, heavy, non-stick skillet. Use a large serving spoon and a soup spoon to transfer a portion, approximately 1/4 cup, of the mixture to the pan and flatten with the back of the spoon. Repeat until the pan is full but not crowded. Sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through; turn them carefully with two non-stick or wooden spatulas. Cut one to check that the chicken's color is no longer pink.

Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Repeat with the remaining mixture. Add oil if needed.

Serve hot or warm with Cilantro and Parsley Pesto (click here for recipe) as a dipping sauce. Also good with tahini/techina sauce.

Poster's Notes:
Faye Levy suggests substituting the less expensive chopped pecans or walnuts for the pricey pine nuts.

I don't have a fleishig non-stick skillet so I used a heavy stainless steel pan instead. The cutlets tended to stick to the pan a bit, but the end product was fine.

This is not really kubbeh, although it uses all the right ingredients. It is to kubbeh as unstuffed cabbage is to holishkes. Right flavor, wrong texture; a lot less fuss and bother. If you have an Iraqi grandma, don't bother with this recipe.

Posted by Yosef Gilboa

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A