Stuffed Grape Leaves Sayamee (meatless)
02/22/05 08:50 PM
Basic Meatless Stuffing (can be used in place of normal meat stuffing in many recipes):
1 (19oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. rice (uncle bens is fine)
2 bunches parsley, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. oil
2 Tablespoons dried mint, crushed
2 large tomatoes, chopped (optional)
Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Rince the rice and drain. Chop parsley and scallions, including stems and tops of scallions. Only use the leaves of the parsley. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside to use with grape leaves, cabbage, or Swiss chard, etc.
From my church's cookbook: Middle Eastern adn International Recipes, by the Ladies Society of St. George's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, NJ.
Stuffed Grape Leaves Sayamee
Grape leaves prepared in brine can be purchased at Middle Eastern food stores. Just rinse the leaves thoroughly in cold water, squeeze out moisture, and stuff. Fresh grape leaves can be found on your neighbor's grapevine or in your own back yard.
50 or 60 grape leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Juice of 2 (or more) lemons
4 lamb bones or 6 chicken wings or necks
1 lg onion, peeled and quartered
3 or 4 garlic cloves
1 stalk celery, quartered
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pepper to taste
Soak fresh grape leaves in hot water for 15 min to soften. While leaves are soaking, pepare a broth using the bones, onion, garlic, celery, allspice, salt, pepper, cinnamon. Simmer for about an hour, while you roll the grape leaves.
Remove leaves from water, squeeze out moisture, and stem each. Place leaf on plate or cutting board, smooth side down. Place 1 tablespoon stuffing across each leaf, fold end of leaf like an envelope, and roll away from you. ( This means: form the stuffing into a little log, about the width of your ring finger. Place it almost at the bottom of the leaf, but leave some room at the bottom, and leave room at the sides. Flip the bottom up so it just covers the meat. Fold the sides in. Then roll it away from you. It's hard to explain if you can't watch my grandmother do it! )
When broth is done, pour it into a separate container, leaving the lamb bones or chicken wings on bottom of pot. cover bones with extra leaves or lettuce leaves. (This is to protect rolled grape leaves from sharp bones.) Arrange stuffed leaves in rows in the pot on top of the bones, alternating direction of each row. Press leaves down with inverted dish. Use a (clean) stone to weight it down. Taste broth and adjust seasonings if desired. Add broth and, if necessary, water to reach dish. Cover pot and cook on low fire for 35 min until tender. Add lemon juice and cook for 10 more minutes. ( It is important not to add the lemon juice too early, because it will make the leaves tough .) The broth should have a tart taste from the lemon. Add more lemon juice to taste. If rhubarb is available, try a few stalks on the bottom of pan for a delicious variation.
From Helen Courey's "The Art of Syrian Cookery," I THINK. My mom photocopied this for me a long time ago, but I'm 99% sure that's where she got it from.
You can probably try a vegetable broth instead of the chicken or lamb bones, but I'm not sure it will be as flavorful.
I live in the Big Apple, but I don't eat the skin