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Kibbeh Footballs

Ingredients:

2 pounds good-quality, lean ground-beef or lamb

2 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil (divided)

2 cups bulgur wheat (trigo para quibe), dry

2 large eggs beaten

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, minced (divided)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Preparation:

Pour the bulgur wheat into a large mixing bowl. Pour 2 cups of room-temperature water over it. Let stand for approximately 45 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil (divided) in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the 1.5 pound of ground meat, half of the chopped garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, breaking apart the meat, until the meat loses all traces of pinkness and the mixture moisture has evaporated. Remove from heat, and stir in half of the parsley. Reserve.

In the mixing bowl, add the remaining half pound of ground meat to the bulgur wheat and beaten eggs. Stir in the remaining parsley and chopped garlic, the mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with hands until you have a mass. The mixture should be very homogeneous, so be sure to mix very well.

Remove approximately 3 tablespoons of the meat-bulgur mix from the mixing bowl and roll into a ball shape in your hands. Cup the ball in the palm of one hand, and with the other, form a pocket in it. Fill the pocket with the cooked ground meat, then close the pocket over this mixture. Reform into a football shape in your hand. Place the completed kibbeh on a cookie sheet, then continue this process until you have used all of the mixture. Reserve. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 20 minutes.

Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or deep frying pan until it is hot but not smoking. Fry the kibbehs a few at a time (don’t overcrowd the fryer) until they are dark brown and crisp on the outside. Remove to a cookie sheet lined with paper towel, to drain excess oil. Continue until all the kibbehs have been fried.

Using a plastic bag, add about 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Cut a very small corner off the bag, approximately one-eight of an inch. Gently squeeze bag and pipe mayonnaise onto kibbehs to make “football laces.”

Serve immediately, with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce or hot sauce!