Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipes wanted
Many years ago I lived in Bethlehem, Isreal. The filling for grape leaves, cabbage, and baby eggplant was raw rice, beef or lamb hand chopped into very small cubes, cinnamon, salt & pepper. I don't recall my neighbors adding onion or even garlic.
They cooked the rolled grape leaves in a large pot, covered in lebone (not sure of the spelling). The lebone is a key ingredient. They had dried cakes of it. They put water in a large wooden bowl and rubbed the cake of lebone on the sides of the bowl until they had enough reconstituted, saved the rest of the cake for later use. The finished product was very yellow, and delicious.
The liquid was poured on the grape leaves to cover, a large plate was placed on top of the rolls to keep them submerged. Pan was covered. I know they were cooked on a low heat for a few hours...I think they were started on a higher heat to get things going.
My favourite. I make these at least a couple of times a year. When I can, I use fresh wild grape leaves, but they're fine with bottled leaves too. I've found that cooking the brown rice only about halfway gives the best results. The recipe was given to me by a very good friend who got it from a Lebanese neighbour of hers.
Rose’s Stuffed Grape Leaves (Yalanci Dolmas)
16-oz. jar preserved grape leaves (or use fresh, blanched ones - better)
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 cup raw brown rice, cooked
3 tbsp. dried currants
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. allspice
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup tomato sauce (or puree, or something tomato-ish)
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water
Mix together chopped onions, cooked rice, currants, nuts, seasonings, and tomato sauce.
Line the bottom of a large pot with grape stems and parsley stems.
Roll up grape leaves, enclosing about a tablespoon or so of filling inside each one, and tucking the sides in securely. Place, seam side down, on top of stems in pot, close together (side by side).
Pour water over, cover the dolmas with a sheet of waxed paper, and weigh down the whole business with a plate or something to keep them submerged while cooking. Place cover on pot.
Cook over high heat for about 3 minutes, then lower heat and simmer slowly for 50 to 60 minutes - until all the water is absorbed.
Cool and serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and yogurt mixed with garlic and a bit of salt.
Nice recipe, and pretty "Turkish" in its use of mint and dill. I learned to cook when I lived in Turkey, and my variation on your recipes (because I'm too lazy to type out all of my own) is to use medium grain white rice instead of brown rice. I also, as a matter of personal taste, just use a bit of allspice and skip the cinnamon and tomatoes of any kind. I don't bother with the wax paper, but I do place a plate over the rolled dolma (stuffed grape leaves) service side down to keep them submerged, then place a weight on the back of the plate to keep the dolma from swelling too much and bursting while cooking. A cup or such with water in it works fine as a weight if the pan is deep enough, or a soup plate filled with water. This would be served at room temperature and drizzled with olive oil at serving time, along with slices or wedges of lemon.
A variation is to use the same basic recipe but add some finely minced lamb to the dish. The lamb should not be ground, but "minced" by cutting through with two very sharp knives, blades drawn against each other. Saute the lamb, then proceed with the rest of the filling. These dolma are traditionally served heated, again with drizzled olive oil, and a yogurt sauce or the Turkish version of Greek tzatziki.
Fresh grape leaves are absolutely the best! If you don't have vines of your own, search out friends who do! When I'm forced to use grape leaves from a jar, I blanch them in boiling water to help remove the briney flavor.
Many years ago my MIL visited me from greece and taught me to make wonderful Greek food. Here is her recipe for stuffed grape leaves, Greek style. Very delicious.
One large jar of grape leaves (Yergat or Olando Brand)
2 1/2 lbs ground lamb
one cup uncooked rice
3 tsp of finely crushed dried mint leaves
juice of two lemons
generous dash of cinnamon
salt and pepper
1/4 pint greek olive oil
4 Tbsp butter
Remove leaves from jar, rinse in hot water, squeeze and remove the stems.
Grate onions and mix qwith meat, raw rice, herbs, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add oilve oil and work in with hands.
Place a grape leaf on the counter shiny side down. Put one large spoonful of mixture on the leaf. Roll over once, fold in the sides and roll up tightly.
Arrange stuffed leaves in a large dutch oven. Make a second row, etc.
Cover grpe leaves in boiling water, cut in butter and add lemon juice. Place a polate on top to prevent them from bouncing around. Cover and simmer for approx two hours.
Egg lemon sauce
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
hot stock from grape leaves
juice of 2-3 lemons.
Melt butter and flour and make a roux. add stock slowly, stirring constantly. Beat eggs until frothy and add lemon juice to eggs. Add a few spoons of stock to eggs whisking constantly. Slowly combine stock and egg lemon mixture. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until thickens. Add salt and pepper. Serve over grapeleaves.
My grandmother came from Syria so the recipe would be similar to the one posted by southerngal. Raw rice and meat. She used beef but lamb is traditional. 1 cup or rice to 1 lb of meat. Spiced with a Bahrat mixture similar to this one. Cooks rarely give their recipe for their spice mixture as this is the one thing that makes theirs better than their neighbors. I just can't remember the exact list of ingredients but this one is close.
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
Rolled and cooked in a liquid that included ground tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and dried mint.
In Turkish, these are all variations of "dolma." You can use the same basic rice mixture (with or withoutmeat) to stuff cored zuchinni, Japanese eggplant (my favorite), any kind of pepper including bell, tomatoes, and cabbage. I've never had stuffed potatoes, but why not? All variations make a nice meal, or as mezes.
I just made a recipe found on epicurious that was DELICIOUS. It's from a 1992 issue of Bon Appetite. It was easy and actually the tastiest stuffed grape leaves I ever had!
*I left out the currents; not a huge fan of sweet and savory. I also used veggie broth instead of chicken to accommodate a vegetarian friend. And I used Jasmine rice because I think its the tastiest.
Servings: Makes about 30.
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups canned chicken broth
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1 8-ounce jar grape leaves,* drained
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup minced fresh mint
1 garlic clove, minced
For grape leaves:
Heat 1/4 cup oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until very tender, about 10 minutes. Add rice and cumin and stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups broth and currants. Cover and simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Mix in nuts, parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Place grape leaves in bowl. Cover with cold water and let stand
30 minutes. Drain. Cut off stems. Arrange 1 leaf veined side up on work surface. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of rice filling on stem end. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling -- and roll them up.
Place seam side down in 2 heavy 12-inch skillets. Divide remaining 3 tablespoons oil and 2 cups broth between skillets. Cover; simmer over medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Uncover and let rolls cool. Transfer to platter. Cover and chill. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
Combine yogurt, mint and garlic in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place grape leaf rolls on platter and garnish with lemon. Serve with sauce.
I recommend trying to find fresh grape leaves or fresh grape leaves that have been vacuum sealed in a jar at a middle eastern grocery rather than using the ones preserved in brine. the taste of the non-brined ones is just far better. If you can get your hands on them, all you need to do is blanch them briefly in boiling water. Take out about half the jar and freeze the rest.
Here is my recipe. It is for the "hot" version, meaning it contains meat so it is served warm, as opposed to the vegetarian one which is eaten cold. You can dip them in yoghurt while you eat them:
For the stuffing mix together:
1 fresh diced tomato
1 handful of flat leaf parsley chopped finely
pinch of all spice
pinch of red chili flakes
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 finely diced onion
1/2 lb grouned mutton
1 cup short grain Arabic rice washed but not soaked (ask for Lebanese or "Egyptian" rice at the Mid East grocer---you must use this rice for the authentic version, long grain rice is not the right kind. This rice looks similar to sushi rice or risotto rice)
grape leaves: blanch and set aside
the broth: alot of chicken stock, enough to cover your layers of wara' ainab/dolmeh in the pot, about 1-2 tbs lemon juice depending on how much broth you use, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup tomato paste, and lots and lots of olive oil.
Line your pot with any torn grape leaves. Put your rolled stuffed grape leaves in the pot, stuff tighly, put slivers of garlic here and there between the grape leaves, cover with the broth, put a sheet of tin foil on top, a plate, and small but heavy jar of water (to weigh the plate down), allow to boil gently once, cover the pot, lower the flame to the lowest heat, and cook for one hour. The rice should be perfectly cooked, not mushy.