Daily Archives: January 7, 2010

Tabbouleh

I didn’t include a recipe for tabbouleh in the Thursday Night Menus, because I was trying to make it a quicker meal.  This is a traditional Tabbouleh recipe:

Tabbouleh

  • 3/4 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups snipped parsley
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped (with greens)
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

glass bowl

Cover wheat with boiling water and let sit for 1 hour.  While it’s soaking, prepare vegetables.  Drain wheat completely, pressing out as much water as possible.  And then do it again :-) .  Add wheat and vegetables together.  Mix oil, juice, salt and pepper together and pour over wheat and vegetables and toss well.  Let stand for 1 hour in refrigerator to let flavors meld together.

That’s the traditional version.  I often eat in a Middle Eastern restaurant in Los Angeles that serves a strictly wheat free version.  It’s wonderful.  Light, fresh and the lemon really pops without the wheat.  And that’s the one I make at home.

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Burnt the Garlic

While I’ve said before, with the exception of baking, you can get away with a lot when you’re cooking – an extra pinch here, a dash there, skip an ingredient - it’s all good, there are somethings you cannot recover from and need to start over.  From scratch.  After washing all the pans.  Burning garlic is one of them.  Burning milk is another.  And then there is burning butter.  Anyone of the these happen and you have no choice, you must begin again.

I burnt the garlic.  I was going to sauté it with some onions, became side-tracked and the olive oil had gotten too hot.  I knew the instant the minced garlic hit the pan.  No recovery, no pulling it back.  The onions and garlic had to go.  And it’s 4 degrees here, so I can’t open a window and air out the house.  I’ll be living with that smell for a while tonight.

I took the burnt garlic as a sign and made blueberry pancakes instead for dinner.

Oh and a handy tip for butter – if you mix butter half and half with olive oil you can bring it to a higher temperature without it burning.  Great for things like hash browns, where you want a butter flavor, but need a higher temperature to get them brown and crisp.  Yum.

Thursday Night Menu: Lamb Kabobs

I have the cooking doldrums. I always get them this time of year. I’ve finished with all the holiday dinners and goodies and am wishing for summer vegetables and grilling. This leaves me in the long night of winter wondering what to cook. I begin to find myself drawn to flavors of warm climates: Caribbean; Cuban; Southwestern; Greek;  Middle Eastern; or Polynesian.  For our Thursday Night Menu I decided a touch of fresh lemon and honey might perk things up.   As always, I’ve kept it simple, so if you’re hesitant in the kitchen, you can still find success here.  On the board tonight:

  1. Lamb Kabobs -Marinate Overnight
  2. Tabbouleh
  3. Honeyed Carrots
  4. Sautéed Pears

Lamb Kabobs

  • 1 lb lamb, boneless shoulder cut, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp oregano, crushed
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 8-12 pieces
  • 4 large (11-12 inches) metal skewers

broiler pan

Mix lemon juice, oil, salt, oregano, pepper in bowl or plastic bag and add lamb cubes. Let marinate overnight. Remove lamb and reserve marinade. Alternate on skewers, tomatoes, lamb, onion & eggplant. Broil for 5 minutes, turn and brush with marinade, broil additional 5 minutes, turn, marinate, broil another 5 minutes.

Honeyed Carrots

  • 16 oz carrots, sliced (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

saucepan

Add carrots & salt to saucepan with enough water to cover, bring to boil, cover pan and cook until carrots are tender. Drain & remove carrots. Add honey, oil & juice to saucepan, heat until bubbly, add carrots. Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally until carrots are glazed, 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sautéed Pears

  • 4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and halved
  • 2 cups real Ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

saucepan

Heat pears in ginger ale for about 15 minutes, they should be tender, but firm, add walnuts.

Shopping List:

  • 1 box of Tabbouleh
  • 1 lb lamb, boneless shoulder cut
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1lb cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 lb carrots (fresh or frozen)
  • 4 Bosc pears
  • 16 oz real Ginger ale (or Ginger Beer)
  • 4 oz chopped walnuts

Also: lemon juice (2-3 fresh lemons should do it), olive oil, salt, oregano, pepper, honey

UPDATE:  By request a Tabbouleh recipe, add an additional 2 hours to cooking time if you are going to use it.

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