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Arabic- Wara Einab (Cold Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Ingredients:

                 As needed               Grape leaves, preserved or fresh

1 ¼ cup                   Rice, long grain

1 ea                         Onion, minced

2ea                          Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped fine

3T                           Parsley, minced

4T                           Pine nuts, chopped fine

1T                           mint, minced

1/4t                         Saffron, pulverized in the mortar

¼ t                          Cinnamon, ground

¼ t                          Allspice, ground

3 cloves                  Garlic, sliced

1t                            Sugar

3T                           Lemon juice, to taste

tt                             Salt

tt                             Pepper

 

Procedure:

  1. Pour boiling water over preserved grape leaves and allow to soak for twenty minutes
  2. Pour off  water and cover leaves with fresh cold water, drain and repeat
  3. If using fresh leaves, blanche until limp and shock, drain
  4. Pour boiling water over rice, mix well and drain
  5. Mix rice with onions, tomatoes, parsley, mint, pine nuts, saffron, cinnamon and allspice, season
  6. Trim the stems of the leaves and place vein side up on a cutting board or sanitized surface
  7. Place a teaspoon of rice mixture in the center of the grape leaf on the stem end
  8. Fold the stem end over the filling
  9. Fold both sides towards the middle like a small spring roll
  10. Roll into a package and squeeze lightly
  11. Pack rolls tightly in an appropriate cooking vessels
  12. Tuck garlic slices randomly between rolls
  13. Mix the olive oil with 2/3 cup of water
  14. Add sugar and lemon juice
  15. Pour mixture over grape leaves
  16. Place a plate on top of the roll to press
  17. Cook on low heat for about an hour
  18. Add water a ½ cup at a time as necessary
  19. Allow rolls to cool in pan to room temperature or in the reach-in until slightly chilled
  20. Bring back to room temp before serving
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