A while back, when renewing Consumer Reports, a burst of healthiness prompted me to order one of their publications, Consumer Reports Books' Bean, Pea and Lentil Cookbook. I frankly haven't used it too much; some of the recipes aren't particularly challenging, and a few, well, don't look very good.

But I noticed one the other day that seemed just right for a cold winter night, and it turned out just as good as it looked. This one is easy and relatively quick. It appears to have Middle Eastern roots (Iranian? Iraqi? Who knows!) but the book is silent on its heritage, another reason that I'm not wild about it.

Enough carping. Here's the recipe, with my slight modifications built in. It was good, and went well with a low-cost but flavorful Spanish Cabernet Sauvignon:

Bring four cups chicken broth to a boil in a heavy saucepan, and reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in about 1 pound of lean lamb meat (I used shoulder) cut into small cubes. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

Add one can of garbanzos (chick-peas), drained and well rinsed, 1 1/2 cups of bulghur wheat, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and 1/2 tablespoon butter. Cover and simmer over very low heat for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bulghur doesn't stick.

Serve with dollops of yogurt and additional hot sauce to taste.

With the combination of meat, beans and starch, this one's mighty near a meal in itself, although a salad or green vegetable adds balance.