Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipe No. 2: Grape Leaves

here we are again! another recipe off my thanksgiving menu. in case you missed the last recipe for lebanese meat's that link.

the second recipe is for lebanese grape leaves...which to be honest, i'm not a fan of, but EVERYONE else in my family LOVES!

we spent the weekend cooking up a storm, and unfortunately i forgot to take pictures, but i did snap two (not so great) photos of the grape leaves. you can buy the grape leaves at any middle eastern specialty food store, and i'm sure some of the larger chain stores like whole foods will probably carry them as well.

grape leaves are super easy to make, they're just time consuming, since you have roll each and everyone individually. lucky for us, there was a group of us this weekend (my two sisters and my niece!) so we had plenty of hands on deck to roll. little man was there of course too, but he's not quite ready to help ;0)

check out the recipe below!

Lebanese Grape Leaves

2 jars of grape leaves

gently rinse and strain the grape leaves in cold water. these are very fragile, so be extremely gentle.

For the filling:

3 cups uncooked white rice (we prefer uncle ben's original)
4 lbs ground lamb
cinnamon to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste

mix the ground lamb and uncooked rice together and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon. just like with the meat pies, you're going to add a TON of cinnamon. if you can't smell it coming out of the bowl, there isn't enough in it.

if you want to check the taste, you can fry up a little of the meat and taste it. don't let the uncooked rice, weird you will cook when you boil the grape leaves.

Making the grape leaves:

place one grape leave on a flat surface, and cut off the little nub in the middle. scissors are best for this, because if you try and tear it off, you'll end up tearing the whole leaf.

in the middle of the grape leave, place about one fingers length of the filling, and roll similar to a taco, folding the sides in, so none of the filling falls out.

line a large pot with the grape leaves, back and forth till all the grape leaves are done. place an inverted plate on top of the grape leaves. pour lemon juice in the pan until it just covers all the grape leaves. over a medium high stove top, cook for 30 minutes.

serve warm and enjoy!

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