Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.
This was my first Daring Cooks Challenge, and when I saw that the challenge was Stuffed Grape Leaves, I about peed my pants. Not because I love stuffed grape leaves, but because I had never had them, and I live in the middle of nowhere and had NO idea where I was going to find grape leaves. However, after searching for a couple weeks, I finally found them at a store down in the city (I'm originally from DFW, so the fact that now I live in the middle of rural America still weirds me out sometimes). However, with the jar in hand, and all other ingredients bought, I finally was ready to start this challenge.
I started out by mixing together all my ingredients. I decided to use turkey instead of beef, although other than that I followed the recipe exactly. Mixing up the filling was really quite simple and didn't take very long. What I actually spent quite a bit longer doing was getting the grape leaves out of the jar...and getting them washed off! As I read what other people were doing, I was finding that sometimes the leaves were too briney, so to avoid that, I washed them a few extra times.
Stuffing my first leaf:First one rolled!
I actually LOVED rolling these and putting them together. It was very soothing to just keep going, and the more I did it, the more fun I had!
Once I got them all done and in the pot, I was ready to cook! Here they are ready to go!
After they were all done I was ready to try this creation...unsure how I was going to feel - i wasn't completely sold by the smell of them. In then end, I did like them...but I didn't love them. When my husband got home, he didn't really like them. They had a decent flavor, but the textures were weirding us out. While they aren't something I would make again, I have to say, my experience making them was a lot of fun! I shared them the next day with my in-laws who came over to watch football!
To get the recipe or read other people's experiences head over to The Daring Kitchen!