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Stuffed Grapeleaves with Olive Oil March 13, 2011

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Healthy Eats, Middle Eastern, Turkish Dishes.
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3 comments
After a long and lazy break, I decided that it was time to get back on track with my blog. And what better way to do it than posting the recipe for stuffed grapeleaves: a healthy dish that keeps well in the fridge, and can be enjoyed without the hassle of reheating or plating!
 
Since this dish takes quite a while to make, I typically make a huge batch and eat them all week long. Not to scare you away or anything, just make sure you have a couple hours to spare while attempting this dish.
 
I hope you enjoy this recipe, it has been field tested many times, and has received great results =)
 
 
You will need:
  
1 Jar of grapeleaves (make sure the leaves are light green, if they are dark, they are NO GOOD)
1 Lemon
2 white onions (medium size)
2 yellow onions (medium size)
2 cups of short grain rice
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves
1.5 teaspoons of ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
4  teaspoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of blackcurrants (kus uzumu in Turkish, mainly found in specialty middle eastern stores)
1 cup of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of salt
 
 
Ingredients for stuffed grapeleaves

1.. Open the jar of grapeleaves, drain the brine, and boil the  in water for about 20 minutes. Do not boil them over high heat, make sure it is a gentle boil. Drain, then set aside to cool.

 

Boil the jar of grapeleaves in water for 20 minutes

 
2.. Chop 1 cup of parsley and set aside.
 

Chop 1 cup of parsley and set aside

3.. Take 2 cups of short grain rice, and wash them over a strainer and cold water. Set aside.

Wash 2 cups of rice and set aside

4.. Take a small tupperware container and add 4 teaspoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons of blackcurrants, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1.5 teaspoons of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves. Also set aside 1/4 cup of pine nuts, 1 cup of chopped parsley, and 2 yellow and 2 white onions chopped.

Prep all the ingredients and set aside

 5.. Heat 1/2 cup of Olive Oil in a medium pot, and add 1/4 cup of pine nuts. Cook for about 3 minutes, before the pine nuts start to brown.

Cook the pine nuts in olive oil

6.. Add the 2 medium white onions and 2 medium yellow onions into the pot, and cook until the onions turn translucent in color.

Add onions and cook until the onions turn translucent

7.. Add 2 cups of the short grain rice which you washed earlier, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add rice into the pot

8.. Add the dry ingredients which we set aside earlier.  4 teaspoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons of blackcurrants, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1.5 teaspoons of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of dried mint leaves. Also add the juice of 1/2 lemon and the 1 cup of chopped parsley.

Add dry ingredients into the pot

9.. Add the 1 cup of chopped parsley and 1/2 cup of boiling water into the pot. Simmer with the top covered until the water is absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat, and set aside with the top covered for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

Add 1/2 cup of boiling water and simmer over low heat until water is absorbed

10.. Once your stuffing and grapeleaves have cooled down, place 1 tablespoon of stuffing into the middle of the grapeleaf. Make sure the veins are facing up.

Place 1 tablespoon of stuffing into the middle of a grapeleaf

11. Fold the left hand side as shown.

Fold the left hand side

12.. Fold the right hand side as shown.

Fold the right hand side as shown

13.. Roll tightly from the bottom up.

Roll tightly from the bottom up

14.. Keep rolling, making sure the stuffing is not popping from sides.

Keep rolling, making sure the stuffing is nice and snug, and not popping from sides

15.. Viola! Repeat until finished with all the stuffing. (Yes this is the long part)

There you go! Repeat until finished!!

16.. Use the ripped or disfigured grapeleaves to line the bottom of a big pot. Drizzle some olive oil at the bottom and place your finished grapeleaves on top.

Place a row of ripped grapeleaves at the bottom of a big pot. Stack the finished grapeleaves over

17.. If you have grapeleaves left over, place them over the very top layer. Drizzle 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Place a plate over the top layer, or just place the pot lid loosely so the water vapor can escape. Add 2 cups of boiling water and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once finished, place a plate over the grapeleaves. If you do not have one that fits, place the lid of the pot loosely so water vapor can escape.

18.. Typically this dish is served cold. So When finished cooking, place the grapeleaves on a plate and set aside in the fridge until they have cooled down. Garnish with extra lemon slices.

Enjoy served chilled.

19.. Close up! Enjoy!

Yummy!!! What a healthy vegetarian treat!

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Quick & Tasty Turkish Mantı August 17, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Middle Eastern, Quick Eats, Turkish Dishes, Uncategorized.
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Mantı is one of the most admired dishes in Turkish cuisine, equivalent to the “ravioli” of Italy. The main difference is the use of garlic yogurt as a sauce, and dough as the casing for the meat instead of semolina wheat (used to make ravioli pasta). It is quite laborious to make the authentic version, so my parents often used to default to this tasty alternative recipe. I have posted a picture of the original dish below:

So.... Beautiful...

I hope you enjoy this tasty alternative I have posted below, I often cook it when I am in the mood for something quick, filling and delicious. Enjoy!

You will need:

Elbow Pasta (you can use any type of pasta you like!)
1 Pound of ground turkey or beef
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 small cups of plain yogurt (preferably not non-fat)
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of Sumac (a spice found in middle eastern specialty shops)
2 teaspoons of Dried mint
2 teaspoons of Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of butter
Ground Pepper / Salt

The Ingredients ! ( Most of them anyway)

1. First, chop the onions and set aside. Then, use a garlic press and mix the mashed garlic with the yogurt. Add some water to the yogurt if it is too thick.

Add garlic to yogurt. Add water if necessary

2. Salt the water, add some olive oil to prevent sticking, and start boiling the pasta.

Pretty easy stuff!

3.Cook the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent in color

Cook the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil

4. Add the 1 pound of ground turkey or beef  into the onion. Cook on medium heat, until the beef is all brown.

Add the ground turkey or beef into the onion

5.On the side, in a small pot (or Cezve), cook 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes in the 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat for about 2 minutes. Make sure the red pepper flakes do not burn.

Cook 1 teaspoon of red pepper in the butter

6. Once the beef is cooked, turn off the heat. Add 2 teaspoons of Sumac, oregano and mint to the beef. Add salt and pepper as necessary.

Add the sumac, oregano, mint, pepper and salt to the beef

7. Add the yogurt mixture to the pasta, then top with some of the red pepper/butter liquid.

Add the yogurt mixture to the pasta

8. Top the yogurt with the beef, and add more spices as you wish. Enjoy!

Add the beef, and top with additional spices as desired!