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Recipe of the Week: Kubbe

This is a traditional Mediterranean recipe that’s eaten as an appetizer.  It’s crunchy and brown on the outside and filled with ground beef, onions and spices.


3 cups coarse bulgar, rinsed and drained
2 cups all purpose flour
9 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. pepper flakes
2 tbsp. coarse salt
1 cup water, or as needed
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pine nuts (optional)
3 cups oil for frying, or as needed


1. Squeeze out any water left over from the bulgar before placing it in a large bowl.

2.  Stir in flour, 6 tablespoons of oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and cumin.  Gradually mix in cup of water to make a stiff, but not crumbly, dough.  Knead for a few minutes to fully bind the ingredients.  If it is too mushy, let it sit for awhile.  The bulgar will absorb some of the water.

3.  For the filling, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until brown.  Remove from skillet.  Crumble the ground beef onto the skillet, and cook until evenly brown, stirring frequently.  Drain excess grease.

4.  Season the filling with allspice, salt and cinnamon, then stir in cooked onions and pine nuts.  Allow the mixture to cool down for 5 to 10 minutes.

5.  Form the dough into walnut sized balls.  Press your thumb into the ball while it is enclosed in your other hand to form a tube.  The cylinder should be about 2 inches long.  Remember, the thinner the walls are, the better they will cook.  Fill the cavity with as much of the meat mixture as you can, then seal the end to form a torpedo shape. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  At this point, the kubbe may be frozen.  Freeze on baking sheets, then transfer to freezer bags when solid.

6.  Heat oil in a deep fryer or saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 C).  If the oil is not hot enough, the kubbe will fall apart.  Carefully place the kubbe into the hot oil, and fry until nicely browned, about 1 minute.  Remove with tons to paper towels to drain.  Serve with tahini.

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