Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas ofIt took a trip to the local Italian food store and some hunting there to find the leaves, but the rest of the ingredients were readily found. Leaves were rinsed of their brine, rice soaked and stuffing mixed.
and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. Aleppo
The stuffing was ground beef, short-grain rice, and spices including allspice and cinnamon. These spices used to surprise me when I saw them anywhere outside of an apple or pumpkin pie, but now I've gotten accustomed to tasting them with different meats.
Rolling the leaves around the stuffing was fun and again involved my three sous chefs (aka daughters) who were again keen to try a new food.
Rinsed and dried grape leaf
Stuffing, ready to roll!
Into the pan they went, lined up neatly and with dried apricots wedged between them for more flavour. Water and lemon juice was added and them simmered for 40 minutes. Beef kebabs I'd marinated in red wine went on the grill toward the end, to fill out the meal along with a cucumber/yogurt salad I'd made earlier.
Cooked and ready for tasting.
The result: delicious! The rolled leaves held up well to the cooking time, though I had to be careful when I lifted them from the pan. A nice flavour, accented by some tamarind-chutney sauce I'd found. The girls liked the taste as well. Another new discovery for our kitchen!