Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Recipe #2: Savory Bulgar

Bulgur is a form of wheat that is delicious, versatile, and easy to cook.  As it is highly nutritious it makes a good substitute for rice or couscous and is commonly used in Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine.  I tried my hand at it when I made the moussaka and was so thrilled with its rich nutty flavor it may be a while before I go back to rice.

I had first tasted it at an excellent Turkish restaurant in Paris and was determined to replicate the flavor but had a lot of trouble finding a recipe I thought would go well with the rich flavors of the moussaka.  So I decided to approach it a bit like a risotto.  The flavor was great.  The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be made ahead and then just reheated with some chicken broth or white wine to re-hydrate.

Savory Bulgar Wheat 
(Printable Version)
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups bulgar
  • 3-4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • chopped parsley to garnish
In a large frying pan melt the butter and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and sauté until onions are translucent and tender.
Once the onions are nice and tender, add the bulgar.  At this point you're wanting to give it some time while stirring occasionally.  This allows the bulgar to get a little toasted and develop a nice golden color.  This also infuses each little piece of wheat with a nice buttery flavor.  Don't allow the bulgar to burn, give the pan a good shake to toss the wheat and allow it to cook evenly.  You may find that you need to add a little more olive oil to keep the bulgar from sticking.
When it's all nice and toasty, about 10-15 minutes, begin adding the chicken stock.  Measuring out about 1/2 cup at a time stir the broth through the bulgar, allowing it to absorb the liquid.  If the bulgar is very moist and there is excess liquid, just allow to simmer until it's absorbed.  Meanwhile, stir the tomato paste into the wine so that you're not left with tomato paste lumps when you add it to the bulgar.  Pour the wine and tomato paste to the bulgar and allow to simmer until liquid is absorbed.  The tomato paste adds a nice light flavor and a pretty reddish hue.
Serve as a side dish topped with chopped parsley.  
Sorry about another picture of the moussaka - I need to get better at taking pictures once the food is all cooked.  I will get another picture of the bulgar wheat to replace this one soon.
© 2009 Rebecca Manor


beingthebrowns said...

you forgot to mention how much bulgar to add?

Rebecca Manor said...

Yes I did! Thanks for pointing that out. It is fixed now! :-)

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