Phyllo Parcels Stuffed with Burghul, Sumac Coated Sea Bass & Fennel

Phyllo Parcels Stuffed with Burghul, Sumac Coated Sea Bass & Fennel

IMG 2538 680x1024 Phyllo Parcels Stuffed with Burghul, Sumac Coated Sea Bass & Fennel

I have a confession to make… I have no exact measurements for this recipe. I always write down my recipe measurements on a notepad as I go about in the kitchen. This system has worked a charm and I’ve never had a problem with loosing the notepad or forgetting it somewhere…Till now!

I left Brighton and the notepad behind. When I arrived in Rome and realized this a few hours later I went bonkers. “NO! I don’t have the measurements for my next three posts!” I cried.  How could I have done this!

But, stuff happens. Especially when there are twenty other plans going on all at the same time.

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So, what does this mean? It means I’m going to give you the measurements to the best of my memory and will update this post when I get home.

In any case, this isn’t a recipe that requires much exactness. In fact, because it’s Valentine’s you should let go of your inhibitions and cook with your heart…your instinct. And don’t be afraid to let the food roll off the plate…

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This dish calls for two ingredients you may not be familiar with; Sumac and burghul.

Sumac is a tangy, deep red or burgundy spice derived from the dried berries of the non-poisonous sumac bush. It is used along with lemon or in place of lemon to add a tart, lemony taste to salads (ex: fatoush), meats, fried eggs, dips as well as added to other spices like in Zaa’tar.

Burghul is wheat that has been cooked (either par-boiled or steamed), the outer layers of bran removed, then ground into various sized grains. It is not to be confused with cracked wheat. In Lebanon it is most commonly used in Tabouleh although no where near the quantities seen in the western adaptations.

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Phyllo Parcels Stuffed with Burghul, Sumac Laced Sea Bass & Fennel

Serves 2
Exact measurements to follow when I regain my sanity

Remove your phyllo pastry package and defrost about 2-3 hours in advance.

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Take about 100g to 150g of fine burghul wheat and soak according to instructions on the packet. I usually like to add maggi cubes for more flavor. 1/4 of a cube should be more than sufficient here.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F/180C/4G.

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Take a fennel bulb and first slice it into rings then slices, lather with a bit of olive oil and salt.

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Take two sea bass fillets or any white fish of choice and lightly salt then coat it with the sumac.

By now the phyllo pastry should have defrosted. Each parcel will require about 4 sheets cut into a square about 10 inches by 10 inches.

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Begin by placing half the burghul wheat in the center of the phyllo square then add the fish fillet, followed by half the fennel slices, a couple of cherry tomatoes and some dill if you’d like.

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Bring all the ends together and tie with a kitchen string. Repeat all the above for the second parcel. Then make an egg wash (mix 1 tsp water with 1 beaten egg) and brush the whole parcel including the tips. This will help it keep together as well as add shine and browning.

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Pop into the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the fish fillet. It usually takes about 8-10 minutes of cooking per inch if fresh and double that if frozen.

Eh, Voila!

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25 Responses to “Phyllo Parcels Stuffed with Burghul, Sumac Coated Sea Bass & Fennel”
  1. Chris Bourne 11 February 2010 at 10:29 am #

    There is a rumour she is blaming her sous chief for the misplaced ingredient lists…um. This meal was really stunning
    and the pink roses were a gift for a full belly.

  2. Trissa 11 February 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Looks like a little gift! I think the whole thing looks fantastic but even just the sumac with the seabass sounds impressive enough for me!

  3. Sarka 11 February 2010 at 11:01 am #

    What an interesting recipe. I don’t mind you didn’t provide exact measurements. Love the presentation. I’ve discovered bulgur couple of months ago and I love it. Together with seabass this looks divine! I’ve never tasted sumac though.

  4. Colleen 11 February 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Ooooh I love the look of this. I have been eating burghul salads lately and I recently aquired my first little bottle of sumac so Im set to go…..will do this with parchment for myself as I am on a weight reducing regime and with the phyllo for hubby. You always inspire me….so much so even that I am organizing the first Cape Town Food Bloggers Conference for next month :o) Thanx Beth xx

  5. Eli 11 February 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    stunning post, even without measurements it’s an easy to do. always so appetising

  6. Sunita 11 February 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Such elegant parcels, I should have no problem recreating this one. Love sea bass :-)

  7. tasteofbeirut 11 February 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Beth
    What a fantastic photo and recipe!

  8. Krista 11 February 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Lovely and elegant. :-) Sometimes the picture is enough to inspire – even without the measurements. :-)

  9. Mariam 11 February 2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I love this! I will be trying it out as soon as I buy some kitchen string. Thank you for your lovely blog!

  10. Kitchen Butterfly 11 February 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Yummmmmmmmyyyyy and you know, its only since I had a blog that I’ve started writing recipes down…..it happens to the best of us to forget!!!!!! I ? Rome

  11. The Curious Baker 11 February 2010 at 10:38 pm #

    OMG! I LOVE sumac. I think me finding your blog was fate, you post about everything I love, but then again I love lebanese food so that’s not exactly hard, won’t be trying this one though, no bulghur for the gluten intolerant. But I will be bringing my sumac out from the back of the cupboard!

  12. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul 12 February 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Wonderful flavours and beautiful presentation. Love the sumac with the sea bass…yum!

  13. Cherine 12 February 2010 at 8:03 am #

    Very interesting recipe. Love the photos!!

  14. Su-yin 12 February 2010 at 8:40 am #

    I love cooking things in packages, but have never thought of using phyllo sheets in place of baking paper. This is such a good idea, as you get to eat the package itself!

    I often forget the exact quantities of ingredients as well when I don’t try to write them down, but this is usually because I have such a bad backlog of posts that by the time I come around to it… well. :P

  15. Sue 13 February 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! The fish looks perfect. I love to add sumac to my chicken, fish and salad.
    I’m also Lebanese and love the dishes you make. You are definitely on my radar and I look forward to more. :)

  16. a tasteful garden 13 February 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    completely gorgeous photos! these pretty little parcels looks so good and you made it so approachable to try. thanks!

  17. Sarah, Maison Cupcake 14 February 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    The best recipes are those that you can pull the items out of the cupboard and throw together without worrying about exact amounts. I have heard of sumac but never used it. I always think of Yma Sumac who was a Peruvian singer who could sing in a ridiculous number of octaves whenever I see it mentioned! Always been meaning to make more stuff with filo pastry, especially since it is low fat. Have a lovely time in Rome!

  18. George@CulinaryTravels 15 February 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Absolutely stunning Beth. Don’t worry about the exact amounts, cooking can be so much more fun when you just go by ‘eye’.

    Enjoy Roma!

  19. The Grubworm 15 February 2010 at 1:25 pm #

    This looks great – i love the shape and look pf the dish and rolling the fish in Sumac is genius. It makes me want to jump up form my desk and run off to the local Turkish supermarket right now.

    And i’m with re amounts – everyone has slightly different tastes and it’s good to adjust your cooking to your tastes.

  20. Manggy 16 February 2010 at 12:38 am #

    Following your heart does leave very beautiful results indeed :) Nice!

  21. Charlies Angel 16 February 2010 at 9:40 am #

    I dont want to eat the parcel, I want to have it as a centerpiece somewhere at home.. such beautiful presentation!!!

    Iraqis have a dish called “Mtabag Simach” sumac and dried lime are the main ingredients and they cook it with rice. Similar to the Lebanese “Sayadieh”

    Thank you for sharing xxx

  22. Mowielicious 16 February 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Darling those look fabulous and I’m loving the pink roses. Your photos are looking great. Can’t wait until you get back from Roma xxx

  23. Global Patriot 17 February 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I’ve always loved fish wrapped in some sort of puffed pastry, and fennel is the perfect touch to add, giving a great flavor but not overpowering the delicate sea bass – delish!

  24. Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf 17 February 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    hello roses !! that bouquet is fabulous, and the photo looking down on them is just magnificent. as is this dish, the first photo should be on the cover of a magazine. totally going to use the method chez moi – it’s inspiration not precise measurements you are instilling in us all, so thank you for that.

    hope your adventures were enjoyable and delicious in dubai and rome, safe travels home !

  25. deeba 18 February 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Oh I’m in love with this Bethanyyyyyyyyyyyy, egg wash and all. Sometimes I feel like sitting in a corner & sulking that we don’t get ready made phyllo here. I have bags of sumac!

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