Friday, September 9, 2011

It's (still) Greek to me.

I've been wanting to try my hand at stuffed grape leaves for a while. It turned out to be pretty epic. 
Reason 1-The grape leaves had to come from Seattle. One cannot find them anywhere in Juneau. I looked/called everyone and was about to buy already stuffed grape leaves, unroll them and restuff them, but my parents were going down to Seattle and spared me this headache. 
Reason 2- I was pretty hungover when this happened, so grape leaves will always taste like sour tequila burps. I'm also not a huge fan of the oily/briny taste. 
Reason 3- I'm sure they would have cooked more evenly if my family wasn't opening various pot lids and letting heat escape throughout the ENTIRE process. The hangover didn't help this rage either. 

Grape Leaves with Bulgar and Mint (a Michael Symon (Iron Chef!) recipe)

1 1/2 c whole grain bulgar ( Like Bob's Red Mill)
2 1/2 c green onions, chopped
2 c plum tomatoes, chopped
3/4 c fresh dill, chopped
3/4 c fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
40 brined grape leaves, drained (2 7-8 oz jars)
1/4 c olive oil

- Mix the bulgar, green onions, tomatoes, dill, mint, 1/2 c olive oil, lemon juice and cumin in a bowl. Let soak for at least 30 mins,
- Line the bottom of a large pot with 2 layers of grape leaves, covering the bottom completely.
- Open a grape leaf, lay flat with the veined side down (if it's broken or too small you can patch with another one), place 1 Tbsp of the filling in the middle of the leaf.
- Fold stem end over the filling, fold in the sides and roll the leaf up tightly. Place on a flat surface.
- Repeat until the filling is gone.

Step 1

Step 2- Burrito it. 
Step 3- Nom. 

- place the filled grape leaves on the bottom of the grape leaf lined pot, snuggle and layer them together. Pour enough water (about 6 cups) to cover them, also add 1/4 c lemon juice and 1/4 c olive oil.
- place a tart pan (I jerry-rigged a aluminum one to fit) over the leaves and weigh down, using a heavier pie pan, pie weights, marbles etc..
- Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and reduce heat to very low. Cook until the bulgar is soft, about 45 mins.
- Remove from heat and let cool in liquid until room temp. Carefully remove, place invitingly on a platter, like so. 

Greek Salad
Red onion
Kalamata olives

Dressing- olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, pepper.

Currently rocking:
Owen Pallet's Heartland.
It shouldn't be a surprise, but I will do terrible terrible things for a man with a violin and a loop pedal.

In other music land news, guess who has 2 thumbs, speaks limited French and is going to see the Tuneyards in concert next week?

                                                                   THIS MOI


  1. Yum!! These look delicious. I love dolmadas and will have to attempt the recipe someday.

  2. They are certainly a process. But totally worth it.