Roma smells amazing. Every time I’m in there I want to order one of every deli meat, all of the cheeses, and tons of olives. They have a bunch of Middle Eastern groceries, and I picked up 2 lbs of grape leaves for $5.25! Not too bad! This was about 75 or more leaves, some were bigger than others, but overall this was a great price. The supermarkets charge about the same for less grape leaves.
This time I decided I wanted to try making stuffed grape leaves in my crock pot. I put slices of lemon in between the layers, which added a different sort of bitterness to the grape leaves that made them interesting in addition to the tartness of the lemon juice. I shared a bunch of these with some friends (well, those that I managed to wrangle out of Albany John’s clutches – hot damn, that man loves stuffed grape leaves, especially these), and the overall verdict was that they were quite tasty and more would be welcome at any time.
I added a bit of mint to the mix, too, which Roma also sells.
Make these vegetarian by leaving the meat out. I think I will do that the next time.
Crock Pot Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe:
1 C brown rice
3/4 lb ground meat (I used a combo of veal & beef)
2 onions, minced
2 T dried mint leaves
50 Grape leaves
Sautee minced onions in olive oil until firm but translucent. Remove & let cool in a bowl.
Once cooled, add rice, ground meat, and mint leaves.
Rinse the grape leaves well (until water runs clear). Put about 1-2 teaspoons of filling in each leaf and roll up like a little burrito.
Snugly fill a layer in your crock pot. Once full, cover that layer with grape leaves & lemon slices and juice of 1/2 lemon. Repeat until you are out of grape leaves! Pack them tightly – put a plate in the crock pot and weigh it down, then add another weight on top of the crock pot lid, otherwise the rice may expand and break the grape leaf skin. Cook 3-4 hours on low heat.