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Behemoth

Shishbarak

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So Foodman and zeitoun are making me feel like a slacker. Here is one of my favorite Lebanese dishes, shishbarak. Maybe someone knows more about the source and the name of this dish. To my ears it sounds Turkish. Shishbarak are essentially meat and pine-nut filled dumplings poached in a yogurt sauce with coriander and garlic. The bast way to eat them is at room temperature, with mujaddarah -- a lentil, rice and carmelized onion pilaf.

This is my own recipe, so please excuse any vagueness...

Sishbarak. Yields about 50 dumplings.

1) stuffing. This is the basic lebanese meat filling for fried kibbe and savory pastries.

1 tbsp ghee

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 lb ground beef

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp lebanese mixed spice

dash cinnamon

a few grindings black pepper

Fry the pine nuts in the heated ghee until golden, then add the meat, and fry just until it loses its raw color. Add the rest of the ingredients and lower the heat to medium. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the meat is well browned and the onions softened.

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2) yogurt sauce: also a standard, used also for labban ummo, and stuffed cousa squash.

4 cups yogurt (I like to drain mine a little)

1 egg white, beaten

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp fresh coriander, minced

Mix the yogurt and egg white and heat gently, stirring frequently until the mixture starts to bubble. (The main objective is to heat the yogurt without curdling. The egg white really helps here.) Mash the garlic with the salt. (Two birds in one stone --- this will salt your yogurt and keep your garlic from flying out of the mortar when you try to pound it!) In another pan, heat the ghee, and fry the garlic & coriander until fragrant, then dump the mixture into the yogurt and swirl it in.

Sorry about the white balance on some of these, it was late afternoon so the lights were on but there was still some sunlight coming in through the window...

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3) Wrappers. Okay, my mom cheats and uses ready-made wonton wrappers. I probably will next time, but figured I'd do it right this time. I've seen recipes for the wrappers made with ghee and oil, but I like mine better: simple wonton dough. 1.5 cups flour to about 1/2 cup cold water. Knead, knead, knead until smooth. Here is where I cheat: I use my pasta machine to roll out the dough, but a rolling pin works just fine. (I use a pin first so it will fit in the "1" slot of the machine.) Get it really thin, like a wonton wrapper basically. Use a wide-mouthed glass to cut the dough into circles.

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4) Shaping the dumplings:

Put a little stuffing in the circle, dampen the edges of the circle with water and press into a half-moon shape, sealing tightly. Using a litle more water, bring the sides around and attach, to get a shape homotopic to a pinched torus. (Sorry, math dork joke. Just look at the picture.) Do all of them this way. Here is where a cavalier attitude towards child labor laws comes in handy, if you have the little "resources" available to you. Yeah, it was my job as a kid.

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Oh, these guys can be sticky. Some people flour their pans, some use corn starch. Me, I like wax paper:

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5) Heat the yogurt again (gently!) until it sends up some bubbles and then (gently!) place the dumplings into the sauce. A 12" skillet is good for this sort of thing, you can get them all in at once. Poach the dumplings for oh, about 5 minutes or so, until the dough loses its rawness.

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(The menacing shadow is the microwave above the stove.)

6) The mujaddarah recipe probably already exists on eGullet. If not, ask Foodman or Ms. Wolfert. Both have some kick-ass recipes.

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7) Sahtain/Bon appetit!

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Edited by Behemoth (log)

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Looks terrific!

It seems i'd have to go for it.

Thanks Behemoth.

Boaziko

Now, on a second look, are you sure the pine nuts are bathing in only 1 TS of Ghee? and would that suffice for the meat and the onion?


Edited by boaziko (log)

"Eat every meal as if it's your first and last on earth" (Conrad Rosenblatt 1935)

http://foodha.blogli.co.il/

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Looks terrific!

It seems i'd have to go for it.

Thanks Behemoth.

Boaziko

Now, on a second look, are you sure the pine nuts are bathing in only 1 TS of Ghee? and would that suffice for the meat and the onion?

I was making a double batch, I wanted to save some stuffing for something else. I used about 3 Tbsp for 1 lb meat, which felt like a lot. But 1 might be too little -- maybe amend that to 1.5 tbsp? Heaping tbsp?)

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Behemoth, thanks for the recipe and the pictures. It looks wonderful!! Now you got me started, i'll make shishbarak next week!

I make mine pretty much like you do, except that I bake my shishbaraks in a very hot oven until they begin to crisp outside. Then I throw them in the laban. Maybe you should try it next time! The taste and feel of crunchy dough in the laban is so good :rolleyes: .


"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

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Maybe someone knows more about the source and the name of this dish. To my ears it sounds Turkish. Shishbarak are essentially meat and pine-nut filled dumplings poached in a yogurt sauce with coriander and garlic. The

I think the pronuciation changed but the dish stayed the same. Note the following from Stefan's florilegium:" Salma (coin-shaped pasta) and Shushbarak(ravioli) both have a sauce of yogurt, mint and garlic (15th c. Islamic)."

By the way, the dish looks delicious.

Zeitoun: when you handle the shish\shush-barak that way you are making one of my favorite Turkish dishes called manti. Good thing you are on the other side of the country, I'd be knocking on your door for a plateful. Both dishes are a lot of work but well worth it.


Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Zeitoun: when you handle the shish\shush-barak that way you are making one of my favorite Turkish dishes called manti.

Interesting, I never knew that. See, my father, whom i learned this from, always swore that this was one of his "special tricks". Not only am I learning today that his "special" shishbarak is called manti in Turkey but I also found out years ago (while outgrowing the naiveté of my youth) that it was commonly done in many lebanese homes!! :raz:

And if you do make it in the near future to this side of the country, it would be such an honor to cook for you!!!


"A chicken is just an egg's way of making another egg." Samuel Butler

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Behemoth, thanks for the recipe and the pictures. It looks wonderful!! Now you got me started, i'll make shishbarak next week!

I make mine pretty much like you do, except that I bake my shishbaraks in a very hot oven until they begin to crisp outside.  Then I throw them in the laban. Maybe you should try it next time! The taste and feel of crunchy dough in the laban is so good :rolleyes: .

I've seen recipes for the the baked version but I've never tried it -- would you need to use a dough with some fat (e.g. egg, or ghee) in it? Mind sharing a recipe? I should try that version, as the only sad thing with this dish is I don't think it comes across as "pretty" enough for people who don't know it. (That is, until they actually taste it -- then they typically inhale it.) Baking the dumplings and then plating them with the sauce underneath might be a way of solving that problem. Certainly worth a shot if I try making it for any picky European eaters. I must admit I am very fond of the texture of the poached ones though -- it really is basically a type of ravioli. It's probably whatever you grew up with. Should I admit I keep picking at them for breakfast? I don't think we'll have enough for tonight.

Paula, thanks for the resource. What is the full title? I would like to get my hands on some good middle-eastern culinary historical references.

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Behemoth

UK based Prospect Books published Medieval Arab Cookery: Papers by Maxine Rodinson and Charles Perry with a reprint of A Baghdad Cookery Book with a translation by Max Rodinson. In its 500 plus pages it will tell you more than you might ever want to know. It costs about 50 US>


“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Very nice Behemoth. Middle Eastern Arab cooking and Maghreb Arab cooking can be so different. It's quite a learning experience for me about the other side of the Mediterranean. In France I've mostly just had the Lamb Kebab from the Turkish places.

Side note. A bit of trivia, especially for Behemoth. In Turkish they are called manti. I'm sure you've had the Korean mandu, which are dumplings. My wife tells me that Korean and Turkish are both from the Ural-Altaic language family. Who would have guessed that one?


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Side note. A bit of trivia, especially for Behemoth. In Turkish they are called manti. I'm sure you've had the Korean mandu, which are dumplings. My wife tells me that Korean and Turkish are both from the Ural-Altaic language family. Who would have guessed that one?

I've read that! I had to learn a little Korean for a trip last year. I found it really surprising, but the mandu/manti thing is really interesting. I never thought of that.

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That is beautiful! The baked version sounds delicious as well. Do you know, is there any variant of this dish made with a vegetable filling?


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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It's not really traditional, but when I was vegetarian I would make the stuffing with cracked chickpeas instead of ground meat.

edit: come to think of it, this is REALLY not traditional but I bet crumbled tempeh instead of the ground meat would taste really good. Well browned, it has a great nutty taste.


Edited by Behemoth (log)

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Oh, that sounds good. I will have to try it. (I may try the yogurt sauce in some other setting even before that, though.)


"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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Oh, that sounds good. I will have to try it. (I may try the yogurt sauce in some other setting even before that, though.)

Also not so traditional, but I love dollops of the stuff on fried aubergine slices.

Oh, you could also make the dumplings with swiss chard, maybe? It's hard to go wrong, really...

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Behemoth, this looks fantastic! I may have missed it upthread, but would you please elaborate on the Lebanese spice mix? Thanks.


Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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I have to admit, my mom just mails it to me when I need it so I'm not 100% sure, but I think it is mix of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Does anyone have a precise recipe? You can often find it ready-made in a middle eastern store.

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This really looks amazing Behemoth! Like Zeitoun, I also bake mine first and then poach them in the yogurt. I have seen them both ways, but like the texture of the baked one better.

I love how you shaped them like Tortelloni as well. I usually just make them into half moons.

This is another dish I have not had in a while, and now I want to try soon.

Elie


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I love how you shaped them like Tortelloni as well. I usually just make them into half moons.

The funny thing is I'm never 100% sure it is the traditional thing or whether it was a little touch added by my mom. Though I think I've seen other people do that shape. I personally like the added texture. I also need to try the baking step.

You know come to think of it, it is the exact fold they use on Korean kimchee mandu. Heh.

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I love how you shaped them like Tortelloni as well. I usually just make them into half moons.

You know come to think of it, it is the exact fold they use on Korean kimchee mandu. Heh.

[/quote

Using wonton dough :hmmm: They look like wontons too!

Another recipe to add to my file. :smile:

Made a double batch of musakhan last week with the sumac you sent, behemoth. I sent one batch to Turki( my Arabian student) and his homestay family. He was very happy and proud to say his teacher cooked it for him to share!


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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I love how you shaped them like Tortelloni as well. I usually just make them into half moons.

The funny thing is I'm never 100% sure it is the traditional thing or whether it was a little touch added by my mom. Though I think I've seen other people do that shape. I personally like the added texture. I also need to try the baking step.

You know come to think of it, it is the exact fold they use on Korean kimchee mandu. Heh.

Ha ha! Tortellini or mandu, the same shape! It's whole family event at my wife's family's

home. They sit around the table making them. Hundreds!


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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Behemoth-

By the way you have a fine had with your food. I like it.


I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

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I have to admit, my mom just mails it to me when I need it so I'm not 100% sure, but I think it is mix of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Does anyone have a precise recipe? You can often find it ready-made in a middle eastern store.

Sounds like Baharat ... which has perhaps as many recipes as people making it. Recipes often include black pepper, clover, coriander, cumin, cardamom, paprika, ground dried lemon/lim, rose petals, etc. Any number of cookbooks have recipes. I also found a number of variations here. Version #3, "Syrian Style Baharat," sounds like what you're describing. It's also like Clifford Wright's version.

rien


Edited by Rien (log)

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Sounds like Baharat ... which has perhaps as many recipes as people making it. Recipes often include black pepper, clover, coriander, cumin, cardamom, paprika, ground dried lemon/lim, rose petals, etc. Any number of cookbooks have recipes. I also found a number of variations here. Version #3, "Syrian Style Baharat," sounds like what you're describing. It's also like Clifford Wright's version.

rien

The third one looks good. I think the working theory is that cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg take away a bad smell from meat, it if has it.

Baharat is just the arabic word for "spices", which doesn't give a whole lot of information...

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