Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Small Bites Week: Mini Kibbeh or Quibinhos

It is not difficult to understand the reason for their popularity at parties and bars in my home country: quibinho's crunchiness is out of this world, and the unusual delicate seasoning and texture brings life to what could be just a average meatball.

After some reading I learn that kibbeh arrived in Brazil with the Lebanese immigrants, by the end of the 19th century. The most traditional recipes call for lamb, preparation on a tray, and filling with pine nuts and other goodies. Nowadays you can find all kinds of versions everywhere - even in fast-food chains there or frozen in big supermarkets.

I  found some inspiration for cooking those delicious bites from my favorite Brazilian blog on Food and Kids, Comer para Crescer . This one I bring to you is very, very simple and baked in the oven. And I can guarantee, very similar to the one that lives in my memory of nice party trays. There they were, in my pictures, besides other salgadinhos, like empadinha de queijo, rissoles, croquetes, oh so many of them.... how delicious. Now, off to buy some more ingredients to prepare it for the next party here!

Mini Kibbeh - Quibinhos

I used Bob's Red Mill Bulgur Wheat, that needs to be soaked just for one hour before preparation. I usually soak few hours before cooking time. The main factor is to get rid of the excess of water from the bowl. Allspice is also indicated, but I ran out of it, prepared without it, and didn't really missed it at the final flavor.

1 pound ground sirloin
3 cups pre-soaked bulgur wheat
1 cup white onions, chopped or grated
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped or cut with scissors, thinly

Mix all ingredients and combine to a uniform dough. It can be done by hand or food processor. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Roll the equivalent of one tablespoon of dough into a football-like shape with your hands greased with olive oil. Spray a shallow cookie sheet with olive oil. Turn oven off and change to broiler. Broil on high for 10-15 minutes, turn the kibbeh-pieces and broil for another 10 minutes to have all of its circumference equally grilled and browned. Serve with some lemon wedges, mint leaves and  hot sauce on the side.


Anonymous said...

Oi Ana, as fotos melhoraram muito, estão bem bacanas mesmo. Mudou a camera, o fotógrafo ou os dois!rsrsrsrs! Bjs em todos, Alex.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, I thought kibbeh was done by frying, which I normally avoid. Thanks for clarifying, and making it instantly a possibility for my menus - party ones and regular ones. Although familiar with the Middle Eastern version of the kibbeh (common in Israel, where I live), I really prefer the Brazilian acclimation version of this dish - irresistible!

Anna said...

Myrna, oh yes, mini kibbehs can also be fried, but a long time ago I decided to go broiling in the oven to avoid the mess and unhealthy deep-frying process. It is indeed a wonderful solution! Alex, thanks for the compliments on the photos. We try to do our best and sometimes the food and the light are so good. Sometimes they are just "fussy" : )


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