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Baked Kibbe

This dish was featured at the Stardew - a wonderful little Lebanese restaurant in Westwood (part of Los Angeles). This was a family affair run with love by brother Larry Nahas and his sisters, Sadie and Marcia. Sadie did all the cooking, Marcia served and Larry made sure everything ran smoothly. Doris Day was one of their regular customers.

Aside from kibbe, the restaurant featured other Lebanese delicacies such as fatayer, kusa meshee, meshee areesh, and of course shish-kabob.

While the restaurant has been closed since 1978, sister Marcia is keeping the Stardew's memory alive and has been kind enough to share Sadie's recipe with us. Sadly, Sadie passed away on July 22, 1996 and is sorely missed by all those who had the opportunity to know her. In a small way, this web page is a tribute to her for enriching so many of our lives with her grace, wit, beauty and culinary skill.

Sadie, Larry and Marcia in front of the Stardew when it first opened in 1962.


Filling #1

2 lbs round steak (or lamb), trimmed of fat and ground twice
1 cup bulgar wheat, medium grind
1/2 onion, grated
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
dash cinnamon

Soak the bulgar wheat in water for 1/2 hour, drain well and add the meat. Mix very well. .

Filling #2

3/4 cup ground round
1/2 cup grated onions
1/2 cup pignola nuts
dash cinnamon or allspice

In a frying pan, saute the beef with the onions. Salt and pepper to taste; add a dash of either cinnamon or allspice.

In a separate frying pan, saute the pignola nuts is a small amount of oil (corn or canola). When finished, combine the pignola nuts with the beef/onion and mix well.

Now, take a baking pan and make three layers of the above fillings. Make the bottom layer 1/4" to 1/2" thick using Filling #1. Then make a middle layer 1/4"-1/2" thick using Filling #2. Finally make a top layer 1/4" - 1/2" thick using Filling #1.

Cut into 1" x 1" squares while still in the pan. Brush the top of the kibbe with butter (optional). Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. If you choose , you can brown the top at higher heat during the last 10 minutes of baking.

Suggested Serving

Sadie suggests that you serve the kibbe with a cucumber salad and rice. A simple cucumber salad can be made by combining sliced cucumbers, yogurt, a little garlic powder or fresh mashed garlic, a pinch of dried mint leaves, and a touch of salt. Enjoy!

© 1996 Gary Fisher

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