Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Daring Cooks October Challenge: Stuffed Grapes Leaves

For the October Daring Cooks challenge we were asked to stuff grape leaves with our choice of filling. I remembered having something like this before called "dolmades" and did a little research online. After reviewing several recipes, I eventually decided to create my own hybrid recipe.

Mandatory for the Challenge: Make a filling and roll it in grape leaves.The filling is totally up to you. You can do any meat filled filling or meatless, but it must include rice.

Recipe after the jump!


3 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 jar grape leaves (I found these in Whole Foods)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 Lemon, juiced

1. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat.
2. Add shallots saute until soft, stirring often, about 7 minutes.
3. Add the pine nuts and rice, saute for 2 minutes, stir often. 

4. Pour in 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and lower the heat. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 10 minutes. 

5. Scrape the rice mixture into a bowl and add oregano, sage, and raw beef; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool. 

6. Blanch grape leaves. To do this, boil grape leaves for approximately 5 minutes then transfer to a bowl of ice water.
7. Lay grape leaves on a flat surface. Place a handful of rice mixture in the middle of the grape leaf, and roll leaf like a wrap.

8. Heat chicken broth, lemon juice, and olive oil in a pan over low heat. Place stuffed grape leaves in liquid mixture. To keep the stuffed grape leaves in place, place a heavy pot on top. Cook for 1 1/2 hours.

9. Serve when the stuffing is cooked through.

I have to be honest, TWSF isn't crazy about grape leaves. In fact, Chuck practically spit out the dolmades (Chuck's note: grape leaves are gross). I'm impartial to the dish, and ate a few mostly because I had spent some time making them. My homemade stuffed grape leaves are now sitting in my freezer, and likely won't be taken out very often.  We must keep in mind that Daring Kitchen is not about making foods that you love, but introducing you to challenging recipes and new skills to broaden your kitchen knowledge. So if anyone (Mina) wants some homemade stuffed grape leaves, just let us know.

1 comment:

  1. I love your attitude you can't like everything new that you cook in DC but you do get experience in making lots of different recipe and sometimes you do get a recipe that is delicious for you and your family. Great step by step photos. Yours Audax in Sydney Australia.