Sunday, January 8, 2017

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. 

Searching for kibbeh recipes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many varieties and options. Lamb is typical, but beef is a close second. Sometimes the bulgur wheat is mixed throughout the meat, as in my recipe below, and sometimes it’s mixed just with part of the meat. In that case, the bulgur mixture is used as a filling with seasoned meat on the outside of the kibbeh. Most are deep-fried. The baked kibbeh is often made in one big piece, then cut apart into slices like pie. The deep-fried ones are made into elongated balls (like mine) or into patties.

As with many recipes that are claimed by various cultures and countries, everyone thinks theirs is the most authentic, the most traditional, the most like mom used to make, in a word, the best. Since I come from none of those cultures or countries, I can do what I want without fear of elderly relatives scolding me. So I make individual kibbeh and bake them.

The soaked bulgur wheat adds moisture to the kibbeh so you can use lean ground beef, making them an even healthier option.

Baked Kibbeh with Yogurt Sauce

If you have a large iron skillet or another heavy baking pan, baked kibbeh gives you all the flavor and crunch of traditional kibbeh, without the oiliness of deep-frying. These can be served with sandwich fixings or simply with the yogurt sauce for dipping.

For the kibbeh:
1/2 cup or 105g medium coarse bulgur
Leaves from a small bunch fresh mint, picked off and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 lbs or 575g lean ground beef
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup or 245g Greek plain yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional to serve:
Yogurt sauce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced cucumbers
Flat bread

Pour the bulgur wheat in a big coffee mug. Pour enough boiling water to cover the bulgur by about one inch or 2cm. Cover the mug with a saucer and set aside until the water is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork into a large mixing bowl.

To make the yogurt sauce, add the lemon juice, garlic, mint and salt to the yogurt. Mix well and refrigerate. This is best done early in the process to allow time for the flavors to meld and develop.

Use a food processor to mince the mint leaves with the chopped onion.

Preheat your oven to 410°F or 210°C with a large iron skillet or heavy baking pan inside.

Add the mint and onion to the bulgur, along with the cumin, allspice, salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Tip in the lean ground beef. Use your clean hands to mix and knead the seasoned bulgur into the beef.

Wet your hands and form the mixture into 20 balls, slightly fatter in the center and kind of pointy on the ends, like an American football. Keep wetting your hands to keep the meat from sticking to them.

Once the oven is preheated, remove the iron skillet and pour in half of the olive oil. Put the kibbeh in the skillet and put it back in the oven.

Set your timer for 18 minutes. When it rings, take the skillet out and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the kibbeh. Put it back in the oven and turn the dial from bake to broil (or grill, for my British readers). To clarify, turn your oven's upper element on so the top of the kibbeh will brown.

Keep an eye on it and remove the kibbeh from the oven when it’s golden, about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with the yogurt sauce to dip. You can also set out flatbread, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumber for those who would like to build a small sandwich. This makes a great appetizer or starter at a cocktail party.


Today is National Sunday Supper Day – the second Sunday of January! We should be eating cake to celebrate but since we love you all so much, we decided that we wouldn’t sabotage your (and our own!) efforts to eat more nutritious meals in the New Year. Instead, we are bringing you lots of lean beef recipes! Many thanks to our host today, Sarah of The Chef Next Door and our event manager Cricket of Cricket’s Confections for their behind the scenes work.

Check out all the lovely lean beef recipes we are sharing!

Appetizers, Soups, and Salads

Ground Beef Recipes


Sandwiches and Wraps


Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday!
We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include

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Baked Kibbeh: Lean beef seasoned with mint, onion, cumin and allspice is mixed with bulgur wheat then baked in small balls till golden. Perfect for dipping in garlicky yogurt sauce. #SundaySupper

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn #FoodieExtravaganza

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn is made with fresh popcorn kernels popped in the oil of fried pepperoni, plus ground sundried tomatoes, Parmesan and oregano. Perfect for your combo pizza/movie night.

You know what’s hard to eat and type at the same time? Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn. And yet, as I sit here eating and typing, shining up my MacBook keyboard with every muted clack, clack, clack, I can’t stop dipping my hands into that big bowl. I find myself typing with only my right hand, so the left hand can still reach into that bowl. It’s not easy – the A and E are so far to the left! - but here we are. And it’s worth the trouble, I assure you.

This month’s Foodie Extravaganza theme is popcorn in honor of National Popcorn Day on January 19th. Now you will be prepared to celebrate with plenty of fun recipes!

I gotta tell you about this pepperoni pizza popcorn. A lot of the pepperoni falls off and ends up at the bottom of the bowl. Which is not always a bad thing. You can eat it by licking a finger and coating it with pepperoni. Over and over. And over. Every once in a while, I’d use a spoon and scoop to the bottom of the bowl and sprinkle the pepperoni back over the remaining popcorn. That helps too. But the bottom line is that this stuff tastes so good, you won’t care.

Ingredients – for a huge, I mean huge, bowl of popcorn.
5 sun-dried tomatoes or about 10g, ground in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder reserved for spices
1/3 cup or 40g grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon (or more) dried oregano
6 oz or 170g sliced pepperoni
5-6 tablespoon canola
3/4 cup or 160g popcorn kernels

Put your sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan and oregano together in a bowl. Stir well to combine and set aside.

Chop your pepperoni in a food processor until it is in tiny bits.

Fry it in your very large popcorn pot along with 3 tablespoons canola oil. (Your popcorn pot should be wide enough to hold the popcorn kernels in one layer at the bottom and commensurately tall, with a good fitting lid.)

When the pepperoni is crispy, tip the pot to one side and leave it that way for a few minutes, so you can remove the pepperoni to a plate lined with paper towels and leave the oil behind.

Pour the popcorn kernels into the pot. Give the pot a shake so they lay in a single layer. Add the extra 2-3 tablespoons canola oil so that all the kernels are coated in oil.

Use an old dishcloth to cover the inside of your pot lid, tying the ends around the handle on top. This towel will absorb the steam and keep your popcorn from getting soggy.

Pop the corn, lid on, over a medium high heat until the kernels stop popping. Shake the pot occasionally to send the unpopped kernels back down to the bottom.

Remove from the heat and tip the popcorn into a large bowl. Sprinkle the popcorn with the sun-dried tomato powder, Parmesan, oregano and crispy pepperoni.


Many thanks to our host this month, Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check out all the great popcorn recipes we have for you!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas – Coconut Rice with Lentils

Arroz con Coco y Lentejas or Coconut Rice with Lentils is a traditional Colombian side dish seasoned with colorful bell peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and cilantro. It makes an excellent vegetarian Sunday Supper main dish.

I love to cook but one of the most challenging parts of  making dinner every day is deciding what to make. I am always on the lookout for inspiration. Many a time I’ve been in my local grocery store, perusing the fresh vegetables or meat counter and a helpful employee asks if he or she could help me. “I’m just waiting for something to jump out and say ‘Dinner!’ ” I reply.

Both of our daughters are home for the holidays, one with a boyfriend who loves to cook in tow, so I’ve had a lot of help both in the kitchen and in the “what to cook for dinner/blog” department. As I mention in my post today over on the Sunday Supper Movement website, we were brainstorming recipes for this Easy Supper Recipes event. They had a lot of great suggestions for which I was most grateful. We finally narrowed it down to the Chicken Scarpariello and the Arroz con Coco y Lentejas, both relatively simple but full of flavor.

Let me say this about the rice, despite two cans of coconut milk, it is just a hint coconutty. I can tell you for certain that both dishes will be making repeat appearances on our Sunday Supper table.

The Arroz con Coco y Lentejas was adapted from this recipe on

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped, 240g or a scant 2 cups
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small knob fresh ginger, minced
1-2 small hot red chilies, minced - optional
1 medium bunch fresh cilantro, stems chopped finely, leaves chopped roughly
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups or 395g lentils
3 – 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups or 375g long grain rice (I use an extra long grain Indian Basmati.)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 cans (13.5 oz or 400ml each) coconut milk (This is 3 1/3 cups.)

Drizzle the oil in a large deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Sauté the onions in the oil over a medium high heat, stirring frequently, until they turn translucent and start to color.

Add in the peppers and finely chopped cilantro stems and sauté for about five minutes, stirring often until they start to soften.

Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, tomato paste and minced chilies, if using. Stir well to combine and cook for a minute or two.

Pretend you see cumin here. I did put it in, but after the photo.

Add the lentils and three cups of the vegetable stock. Stir well.

Put the lid on the pot and turn the heat down to a medium simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are just about cooked.

Add the rice, the teaspoon of salt and the two cans of coconut milk. Stir well and put the tight-fitting lid back on. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and set a timer for 20 minutes. Do not open the pot until it rings.

When the 20 minutes are up, remove the lid and give the mixture a stir. Taste some of the rice grains. If they are still slightly undercooked, add in more of the stock, replace the cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Turn the stove off and leave the pan covered for up to another 30 minutes.

When you are ready to serve, mix in most of the chopped cilantro leaves, then use a few for garnish.

Serve hot or warm.


Many thanks to our host this week, Heather of Hezzi D's Books and Cooks and our event manager Cricket of Cricket's Confections for all of their behind the scenes work.

Check out all the lovely easy supper recipes we are sharing today.

Chicken Suppers

Pasta Suppers

Pork Suppers

Sheet Pan Suppers

Soup and Sandwich Suppers

Stove Top Suppers

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Arroz con Coco y Lentejas or Coconut Rice with Lentils is a traditional Colombian side dish seasoned with colorful bell peppers, onion, garlic, ginger, cumin and cilantro. It makes an excellent vegetarian #SundaySupper main dish.