Part cookbook, part historical record of Lebanon, the Maronite Rite and the Lebanese community in St. Louis, Lebanon and Its Cuisine is offered for sale at the weekly St. Raymond's lunches for $18.
The cookbook includes all the Wednesday favorites, plus many more recipes, along with a glossary of ingredients and several pages of interesting home-cooking hints. Here's how to make St. Raymond's signature kibbi nayeh at home:
3 pounds lean beef or lamb, finely ground
3 small onions
1 1/2 pounds cracked wheat (bulgur No. 1)
1 green pepper, grated (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon allspice or cumin (more if you like it spicier)
1/2 teaspoon mint flakes, crushed
1 cup ice water
Wash bulgur three times in cold water. Drain and let stand for 30 minutes. Chop, grind or pulverize in a blender the onion (and green pepper, if desired). Mix all ingredients together and knead well. Keep dipping hands in cold water while kneading the kibbi until one cup has been used up.
Raw kibbi can be mounded on a platter and served as is, or dice up an onion to put on top and serve with Lebanese bread and olive oil (optional). Makes eight servings.
© St. Raymond's Maronite Church of St. Louis. Reprinted by permission.
Read "Kibbi Kibbitz," the review of St. Raymond's.