Friday, July 24, 2009

Cooking: Bulgar Patties

Bulgar PattiesWe're testing wheat to see if either of us has an inflammatory response to it, so I thought I'd try making some bulgar patties.

Bulgar is made by soaking and cooking whole wheat, drying it and then stripping off part of the bran. The remaining kernel is then broken into small pieces.

Although it loses some fiber in the process, it still retains enough of the bran to qualify as a mostly whole grain. Because it has already been soaked and cooked, bulgar can be very quickly prepared. Traditional tabbouleh recipes often call for the bulgar to be covered with boiling water, then left to re-hydrate without actually cooking it again. While not as nutritious as whole wheat berries, it is nevertheless handy when you're short on time.

Bulgar Patties
serves 4

1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgar
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic (or more), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon wheat-free tamari
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
3/4 cup garbanzo flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then add bulgar, onions and garlic. Simmer, covered, until water is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes. The bulgar I used, from Bob's Red Mill, took about 15 minutes to fully absorb the water.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Pop this mixture in the refrigerator to set up a little (I stuck mine in the freezer for 15 minutes). Heat 1/8 inch of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is just starting to shimmer, drop large spoonfuls of the batter into four mounds, flattening slightly with the back of the spoon.

Fry until set and golden on the bottom (the upper part will start to look dryer, too), then carefully turn them over and cook the other side.

I added about 1 teaspoon of curry powder to my mixture, which was very nice. They were satisfyingly crispy/chewy on the outside and moist on the inside. I served them with a simple sauce made by stirring together 1 tablespoon sugar-free mayonnaise (Trader Joe's makes an organic one), 1/2 teaspoon double-strength tomato paste (from a tube), plenty of freshly ground black pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Very tasty.

The next time I make these, however, I think I will add some chopped parsley or other herbs, as well as some chopped sun-dried tomatoes. They would also be great with grated vegetables mixed in, like carrot or zucchini.

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