Friday, June 30, 2017

Recipes by Danny Thomas: Fatayer; Kibbeh Balls

Danny Thomas' Fatayer

For the dough:

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
Dash of sugar
2 1/2 to 3 cups lukewarm water
About 8 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Olive (or vegetable) oil

Sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1/2 cup of the water; stir until dissolved; set aside 5 minutes. Mix flour, salt in large bowl; make a well in center, add yeast mixture, 3 tablespoons olive (or vegetable) oil and 2 cups of
remaining water. Mix well, add more water if needed (dough should be rather stiff.)

Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place in large oiled bowl, turn over dough, cover with damp towel.

Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).

For the lamb filling:

3 lbs. ground lean (uncooked) lamb
4 medium-sized onions, minced
2/3 cup yogurt
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup pine nuts, sauteed lightly in butter
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Dash of allspice

Mix all ingredients in bowl while dough is rising.

Divide dough into four parts. Roll out one-fourth at a time on lightly floured board, about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place heaping tbsp. lamb filling in center of each round of dough.

Wet edge of dough with water, bring dough over meat filling, pinch edges together forming a triangle, leaving small opening on top. Place on oiled, foil-lined baking sheets. Brush meat pies with oil. Bake in preheated 375 degrees F. oven 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 6 1/2 dozen.

Thoughts: Dough may be rerolled if it's first allowed to rise again. If there is any lamb filling left, shape into balls, and brown in butter (or vegetable oil).

Danny Thomas' Kibbeh Balls

Lamb filling:

3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 lb. coarsely ground (uncooked) lamb
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat Add pine nuts, stir until lightly browned, remove with slotted spoon.

2. In same skillet, brown lamb, stirring constantly to keep mixture loose. Add onion, cook until onion is tender. Remove from heat, stir in lightly browned pine nuts, salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Use to stuff kibbeh balls.

For the kibbeh balls:

1 1/2 cups fine cracked wheat (bulgur)
2 lbs. lean (uncooked) lamb, ground twice
1 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
Olive (or vegetable) oil

1 Place cracked wheat (bulgur) in fine sieve; rinse with cold water; drain well. Mix wheat with ground lamb, onion and seasonings.

2. Knead mixture thouroughly, adding ice water gradually. Add enough ice water to make mixture pliable to work with.

3. Use about 3 tbsps. lamb filling mixture for each kibbeh ball. Shape meat by inserting finger in center of meat and rotating in circular motion until smooth. Kibbeh balls should resemble a hollow football. Fill hollow with lamb filling and close opening. Use ice water to smooth meat.

4. Brush kibbeh balls lightly with oil; place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated 350 degrees F. oven 20-25 minutes (or until browned).

Thoughts: Marlo, who leaves the preparation of Lebanese dishes up to her mother, commented, "So many of Mother's recipes are so complicated. She practically has to make her own flour!"

She was referring particularly to Kibbeh Kishk, her father's favorite meat soup made with kishk (dried yogurt and bulgur ground into a powder in Lebanon using a mortar and pestle). Kishk, imported from Lebanon, is sold in limited amounts only in Middle Eastern food shops or mail order houses. The same Kibbeh balls, reciped above as an appetizer, are cooked in the garlic-flavored lamb soup.

Cracked wheat (or bulgur) is available in most supermarkets across the country or health shops.

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