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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Peanut Butter Kufteh (Peanut Butter filled Patties)




My friends and I were discussing Lenten recipes at our recent Women’s Guild luncheon and fashion show, when one of them asked about peanut butter kufteh. I’d heard of it, but had never eaten it. I figured that one of my many cookbooks would offer such a recipe, and I was correct.
Anne Marootian 

The ‘St. Leon Armenian Church Women’s Guild Cookbook’ had a peanut butter kufteh  recipe submitted by family friend Anne Marootian who noted that the recipe was handed down to her from her mother, Aghavni Marookian, a native of Kharpert.

I'm always intrigued by a family recipe’s history, and when I found this one, it conjured up memories of my youth back in NJ during the 1950’s and 60’s.

I had to walk past the Marootian’s house on my way home from elementary and junior high school, and can recall being greeted on occasion by the elder Mrs. Marookian with a warm smile and a gentle wave. 

(On a separate note, I always thought it was so cool that Anne’s maiden name was almost the same as her marriage name! But, I digress.) 

Peanut Butter Kufteh
Here’s the Marookian-Marootian Lenten recipe for…

Peanut Butter Kufteh (Peanut Butter filled Patties)
Yields about 30 kuftehs
Peanut butter-onion filling


Filling Ingredients:
21 oz. chunky peanut butter (3/4 of a 24-oz. jar)
3 cups chopped onion
1 tsp. dried mint
¼ tsp. dried basil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp. seasoned salt (I used Kosher salt)



Dry Ingredients for shell
Outer Shell Ingredients:
2 ½ cups fine bulgur (#1 size)
1½ cups oatmeal
1½ cups farina (Cream of Wheat)
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried mint
¼ tsp. dried basil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cups hot water

Filling Directions:
Mix all of the filling ingredients in the order listed until well-blended. Set aside.

Outer Shell Directions:
1. Mix together the bulgur, oatmeal, farina, flour, salt, mint, basil, cayenne, and black pepper; add the hot water, stirring to create a dough. Knead. If mixture is too dry, add a little more hot water.
2. Take a ball of the dough the size of a golf ball. Make an indentation in the center with your thumb and keep opening and shaping with your index and middle finger. Press down in center and sides, rotating until you get a thin shell.
3. Fill the shell with one tablespoon or more of the filling. Seal the top and smooth with wet hands. (Keep a bowl of water handy to dip your hands to ease this process.) 


NOTE: According to Anne’s son, George, the kufteh is shaped in the style of Kharpertzi kufteh which is flat on the bottom and slightly rounded on the top. If that’s too hard to master, keep the shape round.

ROBYN'S NOTE ON SHAPING:
To make the shell as thin as possible, I lined a small plate with plastic wrap, took a golf ball sized piece of the 'dough', flattened it into a circle with my hand, then gently lifted it off the plastic - while trying not to break it. You really do have to keep a small bowl of water to dip your hands into for this process. The water helps 'glue' the outer shell together. After placing a spoonful of filling in the center, I gently encased the filling with the outer shell. Finally, I smoothed the surface with wet fingers, making sure the kufteh was flat on the bottom and slightly rounded on the top.

4. Place shaped kutfehs on a waxed paper-lined tray or plate, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
5. While the kuftehs chill, boil water in a large pot with some salt.
Kuftehs ready to cook
6. Remove kuftehs from the refrigerator, and boil, in small batches, for about 10 minutes until all are cooked. Serve immediately.

For more meatless kufteh recipes, be sure to check out  Vospov (Lentil) Kufteh and Bulgur and Potato Kufteh.

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