VDP: Mushroom Ragout with Burghul and Yogurt Sauce

Saturday, January 12, 2008

If you do not know what burghul is, click here where I explained it once before. It really is a delicious and quick-cooking grain that can be cooked in many interesting methods or not at all. It can even be soaked for an hour, drained, flavored and eaten as is. This time I did cook it to go with the simple mushroom ragout.

Ragout is really just my fancy name for it. This is a typical dish you’d find at most Lebanese mezze (tapas, appetizers) spreads. It ranges from tongue-numbingly spicy, to mild. I make it mild since my wife does not like spicy foods. I add more chili flakes later on my portion. To make this, I cooked a whole bunch of bell peppers with onions, one chili pepper and garlic in olive oil. Then I added some cut up mushrooms and sautéed for a few minutes. Lastly I added some canned peeled and crushed tomatoes and let it stew gently for 30 minutes. It needs to be a little acidic, so at the end I adjusted the seasoning and added some lemon juice. This can be served hot, cold, or room temperature.

For the burghul, I use a 1X1 ratio of liquid to grain. For a simple burghul dish like this one, as opposed to using it as stuffing or in Kibbe, I use the medium or coarse grind. I just sautéed some green chopped onions in olive oil and toasted a cup of burghul in there for a minute or so. Then added a cup of water and reduced the heat to low. Covered and let it cook for 20 minutes or so. The grains should be cooked tender but still have a bit of bite to them. They should be fluffy and not mushy.

The yogurt sauce is just whole milk yogurt, olive oil, chopped fresh mint, chopped green onions (the green tops), salt and pepper.

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