quipes (kipes)-Dominican deep fried bulgur fritters

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In the 19th century, the Dominican Republic had an influx of Lebanese, Turkish and Middle Eastern immigrants. With their arrival, came many dishes that now are considered to be part of Dominican cuisine. Among those is the Quipe (Kibbeh in Lebanese).

The main ingredient in this recipe is bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat is a form of cracked wheat, used in many European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.

The simplest way to explain what are Quipes: a wheat fritters stuffed with ground beef. While growing up and until today, Quipes are a must at any family Holiday celebrations at my mom’s house.  She makes dozens of Quipes and they seem to disappear as quickly as she fries them up.

The recipe for making Quipes is not hard, it is just time consuming. Prepare yourself for a several hours’ process. Aside from the prepping of the bulgur, making the dough and making the picadillo, it’s really easy. It takes time to master the art of stuffing a Quipe and to get that beautiful shape that is synonymous with Quipes. Practice makes perfect!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Bulgur Wheat
  • 1 Lbs. of ground beef
  • A bunch of spearmint/mint leaves
  • A few basil leaves (optional)
  • 1 Medium onion
  • 2 Teaspoons of salt
  • Pepper to taste

Use the Picadillo (ground beef) recipe for the filling.

Instructions:

  1. Separate the meat in thirds. Save 1/3 to add to the bulgur wheat and set aside ⅔ of the meat to make the Picadillo.
  2. In a bowl, let wheat soak with enough water to cover for several (3-4) hours.  Stir occasionally.
  3. After the wheat absorbs most of water, drain excess water and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, pulse onion, mint and basil until it becomes a coarse paste.
  5. Add half of your wheat to the paste in the food processor. Process until it is a soft dough.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the wheat and the soft dough mixture. Add ¼ pound of (pre-seasoned) ground beef.
  7. Add a pinch of pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  8. Using a spatula or your hands, mix the meat with the wheat mixture until it’s well incorporated.
  9. Take a golf size ball of quipe.
  10. Using your thumb, hollow out the center of the quipe.
  11. Stuff the quipe with a spoonful of the Picadillo.
  12. Close the opening of the quipe and form into an egg shape. (Watch video for further instructions).
  13. Deep fry for about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe makes between 8 and 12 quipes.

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