As any chef, I face many challenges and inspirations. Coming from the Middle East, kibbeh is always a favorite dish. Kibbeh consists of fine bulgur mixed with ground beef, lamb or chicken made into dough, stuffed and then baked, fried or grilled.When I opened my restaurant I wanted my vegan and gluten sensitive customers to be able to experience kibbeh. So, I faced the challenge, and that is how this dish came to be. All I have to say is that this dish quickly became a favorite in my restaurant, for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike.
Corn and Sour Cherry Kibbehserves 41 1/2 cups coarse yellow corn meal6 cups water1 cup sticky cooked white rice4 cloves garlic, mashed1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger1/4 teaspoon turmeric1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper1/4 cup olive oil2 medium onion, chopped1 1/2 cups pitted and dried sour cherry2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses1/2 teaspoon ground coriander1 clove garlic, mashedsalt and pepper to taste1/2 cup slivered almonds-Place the cooked rice in a food processor and puree into paste. Spoon the pureed rice into large mixing bowl.-To make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil, except of 1 tablespoon, in frying pan and cook the onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the dried cherry, the coriander, the garlic and salt. Stir and cook for couple minutes. Remove from heat and add the pomegranate molasses, the salt and the pepper. Stir and set aside.-To make the corn dough: Heat the water in heavy sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add the corn slowly and stirring continuously until you have smooth sauce and the mixture thicken. Remove from the heat and spoon into the pureed rice. Add the mashed garlic, the grated ginger, the turmeric, the cayenne pepper and salt. Mix into smooth dough.-To assemble: Spoon half of the dough into greased 8 X 14 baking dish or any other shape you would like. Spread the stuffing evenly over the dough. Grease your palms and start to take handful of the rest of the dough, flatten it into 1/2-inch thick patties and place on top of the stuffing. Repeat until you covered the stuffing. Moist your palms with water and smooth the top layer into smooth surface. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds and gently push into the top dough.-Bake in 395 F. degree for 35 minutes and the almonds are golden.