Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed grape leaves can be intimidating to make, but honestly are really not that hard. They require some time for preparation, rolling, and cooking but the wait is worth it. They can be stuffed with meat or made vegetarian with just rice and herbs, which is what I did here.


For the rice mix:
1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed mint
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp all spice
2 tbsp olive oil

For assembly:
1 (16 oz) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, sliced
1 potato, sliced
1 small onion, cut in rings
2 cups chicken broth + 1 tbsp tomato paste, heated
juice of 1 large lemon, divided

Drain the grape leaves and carefully pull them apart. Put a few leaves at a time in a pot of boiling water. Boil each set for 5 minutes to tenderize the leaf. Remove and set aside.

In the meantime, combine all ingredients for the rice mix (rice through olive oil.)

Next, prepare your cooking pot by first placing 2 or 3 grape leaves on the bottom (preferably the torn ones) so that the ones you roll do not burn. Now layer the sliced potato, onion, then tomato in the pot.

Place a grape leave, rough side up, one at a time on a large plate. Cut in half and remove the stem tip that pokes out (1 whole leaf is too large to stuff). Put approximately 1 tsp of the rice mix in the center of the leaf half. Roll over once. Fold in the edges, continue to roll tightly.

Layer the stuffed grape leaves one at a time above the sliced tomato, seam side down and close together so that they do not come apart during cooking. (Each layer should go in a different direction across the pot.)

Heat the broth. Mix in 1 tbsp tomato paste and half a lemon juiced. Pour this hot liquid mix over the stuffed grape leaves. (Liquid should reach slightly over the top layer. Add more broth or water to reach this level.)

Over a high flame, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and place a flat plate (glass or stoneware- I use a dessert plate) upside down over the top of the leaves. Press plate to stay down and leave in place during cooking. Cover pot with its lid and let simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. 

Uncover and squeeze the remaining lemon half over the leaves, recover, reduce the heat slightly, and let cook for another 20 minutes. Check one leaf to see of the rice is fully cooked. When done, remove lid, remove the small plate, and place a larger plate or platter over the pot opening. Flip the entire contents onto this large platter. (If you see much liquid remaining, try to drain carefully before flipping) Serve warm with tahini sauce.

Source: daliasdelights
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1 comment:

  1. All these original dishes can be the start of a cook book. I would buy one may be two.