Monday, November 15, 2010

The falling leaves....fall past my window....the falling leaves of red and gold...

I will admit that in my limited cooking education, seeing how I have had no real formal classes and work, very little has been instructed to me on what to do when you have something with an open cavity and something that can be cooked inside.  Much like the stuffing inside of a turkey, many great things can have a great stuffing and therefore make for some delicious food.  I decided to take a risk and in doing so, tried to make some Lebanese food, probably the most tricky Lebanese dished to make, for those not familiar with the style, technique or the cuisine.  What dish could this be?  It involves leaves and a filling.

I know it looks like we just pulled some leaves off of any old deciduous tree but these are in fact pickled grape leaves.  You take these leaves and stuff them with a mixture of ground beef, rice and cinnamon. 
Make sure the rice is uncooked.  Now, you take out a single leaf, place some stuffing in it and roll in up.  Then carefully place them in the bottom of a pot.
How weird is that?  It looks like a pot of leaves.  While the grape leaves do have a leafy flavor, overall, they take on the flavor of the filling, as well as the garlic and lemon juice that you place in the pot, with the water to cook them.  They are delicious and as weird as the leaves are, it was definitely worth trying to cook with them.

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