ARMENIAN, TURKISH AND MIDDLE EASTERN BULGHOUR PILAF
Bulghour is a cooked, dried, and "cracked" wheat product that is a replacement or alternative for rice or other starches such as potatoes in many Middle Eastern cultures.
Bulghour has one great advantage over other starches, as it does not have to be cooked. It can be reconstituted by soaking in hot or even cold water. It can be used as a stuffing for vegetables, fruits, poultry, and even a breast of lamb. Bulghour is the main ingredient of the Middle Eastern wheat salad, "Tabouleh". Imagine the advantage a food like this would have for the Mongol Hordes of Genghis Khan, who marched across Asia and the Middle East and having a product that would feed his armies without the need for cooking or the worry of spoilage. It is not only healthful, but a tasty food that marries well with the spices of the Middle East. Bulghour comes in four varieties. It can be used as a whole kernel after being cooked, but not yet cracked. Used as a barley, or whole wheat product that is already cooked but just needs reconstituting. For other recipes, it comes "cracked" into a fine, medium or coarse mill. Each has it's own use. Pilaf, as for this recipe, works best with the coarse milled product. Medium will also be acceptable.
RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©
INGREDIENTS: Serves 4
2 cups coarse bulgur
2 tbsp butter**
¼ cup Orzo pasta, vermicelli
1 onion, medium*
2 tomatoes, medium
2 tbsp diced green bell peppers*
1 tbsp red pepper paste (mild)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you can use more if you like)**
Approx. 3 ½ cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Dry or 2 tablespoons Fresh Mint
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes ½ teaspoon or to your preference
1. Chop the onions, tomatoes and the peppers
2. Add the butter to a large sauce pan and brown to a golden color, the Orzo or other pasta you will
3. Brown the onion with olive oil and butter in the same cooking pot, add the peppers and stir until
they are soft.
4. Add the red pepper paste and continue to stir for a minute or two
5. Put the tomatoes, once cooked, add the bulgur and stir for 1-2 minutes
6. Add the salt, pepper and chicken stock, bring to a boiol and then turn the heat down to very low.
7. Cook, (SIMMER WITH THE LID ON, DO NOT REMOVE THE LID) until the water is absorbed, (ABOUT 5 - 6 MINUTES). Do not stir
8. Once its cooked, cover the top of the cooking pot with some paper towels and let it rest for 10-15
9. Add dry or fresh mint* (and some red pepper flakes* for a kick), mix and serve.
RECIPE VARIATIONS FOR BULGHOUR PILAF
* To the above recipe you may add minced onions, minced green or red bell peppers, basil, chopped
tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts or just experiment on your own.
Remember that liquids added by extra ingredients should be deducted from the quantity of chicken
You can use the above ingredients in combination or alone. Whatever pleases your taste.
Bulghour pilaf is not as subtle a side dish as rice pilaf, but makes and excellent complimentary side
dish for meat, poultry and fish dishes. This robust dish is an excellent change of pace and will bring
you rave reviews.
Armenians like butter! Turks like olive oil ..............I like both, what can I say?
NOTE: ALTHOUGH NOT THE EXACT RECIPE SHOWN, THE VIDEO BELOW MIGHT BE OF HELP.
HOW TO MAKE BULGUR PILAFA video by the "Armenian Kitchen".
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