Friday, May 9, 2008
Grape Leaves with meat - ورق عنب باللحمة
Makes around 24-25 (I prefer to eyeball or use as much as the filling makes)
This recipe can be served with a green salad and plain yogurt.
Grapes leaves (24 small or medium, half of that if the leaves are big cause you can cut in half)
1 cup of lean minced meat
1 cup of chopped onions or shallots
1/3 cup of small diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of plain white rice
1 teaspoon of allspice
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of flour to be mixed with some water. 2 Cinnamon sticks.
- In a bowl, add the minced meat, onions, tomatoes, wash the rice and drain and add to the bowl too, add the spices and mix the ingredients together.
- If the grape leaves are fresh, soak them in hot water for half an hour, then drain.
- If you are using the ones from the jar, soak in tab water for few minutes, then drain and use. To start filling, take the leaf and spread it on the surface you're using, cut the stem, take a teaspoon or less depending on the size of the leaf and place the filling a bit before the center, fold the sides toward the center and roll tight. In order for them to unravel and fall apart while cooking, I tie them up together. I place three stuffed grape leaves, then two on top, then another one or two like forming a triangle, I tie them up together with a string and place in the pan, add the water and tomato paste, cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil, add the flour mixed with a little bit of cold water then reduce the heat and let them cook slowly for half an hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard when serving the grape leaves.
PS: If you end up with extra filling, keep them in the freezer or stuff a bellpepper, tomato etc... ;)