Nyleve's stuffed grape leaves
Thanks for the recipe, and the encouragement to try making your stuffed grape leaves. They were delicious, and very well received. I had enough difficulties getting them to look pretty (there's a Greek/Armenian/Lebanese grandmother rolling over in her grave over the appearance of my grapeleaves), that I decided not to photograph them for posterity. However, they were admired (for taste if nothing else!) by all who enjoyed them (with, well, the exception of the 25 and 23 month old children, who turned their noses up at most everything--sigh).
I made one small change, that I thought was good and was commented on favorably by a guest. I ran out of olive oil, and was thinking that the squeeze of lemon juice in there really wouldn't give it enough lemon flavor anyway. So, i added a tsp or so (a dollop? a splash? a sploosh?) of lemon extract. It actually gave them a significantly lemony flavor, which I thought was yummy (albeit, perhaps not typical).
The overall flavor? Really, really good. It took a fair amount of time for all of the water to be absorbed (longer than the estimated 50-60 minutes), but I was glad I kept them steaming. I think the grape leaves would have been too tough without that.
Thanks for the recipe, Nyleve--it was a real winner.
Whew. I knew I was skating on some thin ice there with the grape leaves, considering the labour-intensiveness of the process and all. But I'm glad they turned out well and very relieved.
I'm sure the lemon was a great addition - I'll try it myself next time. And as for the steaming time - you know it's just one of those things. Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it's done quickly. I can never predict with any precision.