Monday, November 9, 2009
Spaghetti and Wheat Balls
I actually started with a recipe I found online for bulgur patties, but this is far removed from that. I realized during the cooking that it was a really poorly written recipe. It called for two cups of cooked bulgur wheat. Is that two cups, cooked? Or two cooked cups? I started with two dry cups, which expanded greatly in cooking. I also changed the spices and omitted the egg.
Here's what I did: First, cook the bulgur. Use two parts cold water for one part bulgur, bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed or evaporated. If it's too wet when it's done (tender), drain the excess water.
Season. Use some salt for sure and whatever else you like. For these Italian meat-style balls, I used basil, oregano, pepper, and garlic. The original recipe called for sage and poultry seasoning. Stir in whole wheat flour until the mix is less wet and sticky and can be formed into balls. I used more than 1/2 cup flour for my two cups of dry bulgur.
Roll the mixture into balls and roll in wheat flour. I made about 20 balls and realized I had way too much bulgur mix, so I saved most of it for later. The balls really held their shape, which was impressive. I fried them in a shallow skillet of canola oil. Since everything in them was cooked, I didn't worry about how long they fried and instead tried to just get a good color on them. Unlike other things I've fried, these didn't absorb much oil -- that made me feel pretty good about this being a moderately healthy recipe.
Now, these what balls don't taste like meatballs; the bulgur is nutty and slightly sweet. I might try them again and experiment with the recipe. I'll probably consult some meatball recipes and decide what to try next. I served them with a green salad, some grilled eggplant, and chunky tomato sauce so the meal wasn't entirely grain-based.