Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grape leaves

These are the stuffed grape leaves my mom used to make...not the oily rice stuffed ones often seen pre-made at markets or delis... but rather meat rolls, hearty enough for dinner.

1 1/2 lbs. ground lamb or beef (or a combination of both)
1/2 cup raw rice
1 egg
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1  8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup chopped parsley

1 small jar grape leaves in brine(8 oz. drained weight)
1  14 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 lemon thinly sliced

Thoroughly combine the first 10 ingredients in a mixing bowl and chill for about an hour.
In a colander, drain and rinse the grapes leaves thoroughly.
Spread out a grape leaf with the veiny side up and place about 2 Tbl. of the meat mixture, shaped into a 2 to 3 inch log( as shown in the picture) at the base of the leaf.  Roll the bottom portion of the leaf over the meat, tuck in the sides, and continue rolling. Place the leaves in a 9x13 baking dish.
When all leaves are rolled ( I had about 30), pour the can of diced tomatoes with the juice over the top. Placed the sliced lemon over this (as in the "ready to bake" photo)
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

We had more than enough for dinner, leftovers the next day, and enough to freeze for another meal ( just thaw and microwave to heat).

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