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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stuffed Grape Leaves

I made these for a greek themed party and
they were a very big hit with everyone.
Serve these with a greek dipping sauce.

1 pound ground beef, lean
1 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 jar (16 oz) grape leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Soak grape leaves in cold
water for 2-3 hours.
Jarred grape leaves are very
salty from the brine solution.
Rinse and drain in a colander.
Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine
remaining ingredients.
Mix well with hands.
Rolling the leaves with the mixture.
It's easy once you get the hang of it.
Be careful to not wrap too tight.
You have to leave a little room
for the rice to expand.
As you roll them, you are going
to place in a circular arrangement
in your dutch oven or large saucepan.
Place a grape leaf side down.
Place about 1 to 2 tablespoons
of mixture in the middle.
Fold in the sides and roll upward.
Think of rolling a burrito, only smaller.
When you have rolled the last leaf,
place a heavy plate on top of the
stuffed grape leaves in your pan.
I use a ceramic plate.
This helps keep the grape leaves
in place during cooking so they
don't shift around. Fill pan with
water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer
for about 30-45 minutes until
rice and meat are done.

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