Nothing transports us more quickly to a place or time now past than the flavors that have never been forgotten.

In my house, as a child, we ate "eclectic" and "democratic". Having grandparents of Arab, Italian and Portuguese origin you can imagine the variety and richness of flavors. The approach to food was immediately without prejudice and predisposed to great contamination. In fact, I can't really speak of contamination because there was nothing properly characteristic or typical. My paternal grandmother cooked Portuguese, with unforgettable oven-baked rice and cod dishes, soft egg-based desserts and a pumpkin and coconut compote that made me touch the sky with a finger.

From my maternal grandparents, instead, there was my great-grandmother's Emilian cuisine, with her little tortellini and Sunday lasagna. But above all, there was him: my Arab grandfather, grandfather Ferez, nicknamed "Felix" by everyone.

Curiously I discovered the meaning of the word "felix" in Latin and never as in this case a name was so suitable:
“Felix: lucky, rich, happy, welcome, who brings luck, fruitful; “Sacro dies felix”: day of happiness; "Deus felix" propitious divinity; "Felicia cibaria": tasty foods; "Felicia poma" delicious fruit; "Arbor felix" fruitful tree.

And he was like that. Rich in spirit and generous like a leafy fruitful tree. It was not difficult to love him and love his cooking. Among many delights, I particularly remember these small beef patties, prepared without a special occasion but which made the trips to the river, the outings together with my sisters, my brother and cousins, special. We ate them on the way, we couldn't resist waiting for the short journey that separated us from the arrival at the picnic.

Here I report my kibe recipe, which I will bring to the table this year for Easter.

       

Kibe recipe

 INGREDIENTS FOR 16 MEATBALLS OF ABOUT 40g EACH:

 

  • 500g minced beef pulp
  • 250g of bulgur soaked for about 2 hours and well wrung in a clean cloth
  • 1 onion cut into pieces
  • 1/2 clove of garlic
  • A handful of roasted peanuts
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • Syrian pepper: cinnamon, black pepper and nutmeg in equal quantities
  • 1 liter of seed oil for frying

PREPARATION:
After soaking the bulgur for about 2 hours and squeezing well with a clean cloth, mix it with the minced meat and season with all the spices and flavors described in the list of ingredients, including the two tablespoons of oil. A single trick: the peanuts should be pounded together with the garlic and a pinch of salt and then added to the mixture.

Once all the ingredients are well mixed, form the slightly elongated meatballs. Calculating the weight around 40g we should get 16 meatballs.

I prepare a large pot with plenty of seed oil and refrigerate the meatballs, 4 or 5 at a time, browning them on all sides.

I leave to dry on paper towels and bring to the table in a serving dish with lemon slices. Delicious and simple, excellent if accompanied with lettuce leaves and small diced fresh tomatoes.

 

Kibe

Ingredients for 16 meatballs:

  • 500 gms minced beef
  • 250 gms bulgur, soaked for approx. 2 hours and well wrung out, inside a clean cloth.
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Half garlic clove
  • A handful of toasted peanuts
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped mint
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin oil
  • Salt
  • "Syrian pepper": cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg in equal measures
  • 1 liter of seed oil, for frying

preparation:

After leaving the bulgur to soak for about 2 hours and squeezing it well with a clean cloth, we mix it with the minced meat and season with all the spices and aromas described in the list of ingredients, including the two tablespoons of oil.

One trick: the peanuts should be crushed together with the garlic and a pinch of salt and then added to the mixture.

Once all the ingredients are well blended, I will form some slightly elongated meatballs, calculating the weight around 40 gms, we should obtain 16 meatballs.

Prepare a large pot with plenty of seed oil and fry the meatballs, 4 or 5 at a time, browning them on all sides. I leave to dry on kitchen absorbent paper and bring to the table in a serving dish with lemon slices.

Delicious and simple, excellent when accompanied with lettuce leaves and small diced fresh tomatoes.

 

The recipe in Portuguese!

INGREDIENTS FOR 16 KIBES:

  • 500g of ground beef
  • 250g of wheat for kibe
  • 1 onion cut into pieces
  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • Peanut
  • Finely chopped green parsley
  • Finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt
  • Syrian pepper: black pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg in equal parts
  • Olio for frying

HOW TO MAKE:
I leave the wheat for the kibe to soak for about 2 hours, remove and dry it well with a clean cloth. I mix with the ground meat and all the spices and flavors described in the list of ingredients, including the two tablespoons of olive oil. I form meatballs and fry them in abundant oil for frying, 4 or 5 at a time so as not to lower the oil temperature.
When it is golden, I remove it from the pan and let it dry on the absorbent paper.

I serve on a plate over lettuce leaves and lemon slices. A delight with dices of tomatoes and good quality olive oil.


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