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DC Challenge: Stuffed Grape Leaves

October 14, 2010
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IMG_7097Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

Grape leaves are a traditional dish in my darling F’.’s family. Each of his aunts have their own preference for cooking them (and of course each of their methods is by far the best). This recipe is a twist on the recipe given to me by my mother-in-law.

To make Stuff Grape Leaves, one must first have said leaves. Grape leaves are rather difficult to obtain fresh and to my knowledge are always preserved in a jar. (I’m not even sure how you would go about using fresh.) So, the most imperative step is to rinse and then soak overnight the pickled grape leaves in fresh water to thoroughly rid them of the overwhelming brine.

The following step is to make the filling. Mix together:

  • 1 lb ground beef (73%)
  • 2 cups Mahatma rice
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tb ground cumin
  • 1/2 tb garlic powder
  • 1/2 tb saltIMG_7077

Then, you want to place a thumb sized portion in the middle of each grape leaf and then roll it up like a burrito (fold in the South side, fold in the West and East sides at an angle and then roll up to the North!). For a whole jar of grape leaves, this rolling process takes about 2 hours. Layer the grape leaves tightly in a large pot. (F.’s mom likes to separate layers of the grape leaves with whole cloves of garlic, but I preferred to add garlic to the filling itself).

Once all the grape leaves are rolled, you can either freeze or cook them. To proceed in cooking them, combine 1 1/2 cups of water with one cube of chicken bouillon and cook until the bouillon dissolves in the microwave. Pour the bouillon over the arranged grape leaves and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer at least 30 minutes.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 17, 2010 8:36 am

    Your vine leaves look wonderful and great to hear that you have so many aunts to compare recipes. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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