Bitar's Stuffed Grape Leaves
(Mihshi Waraq cAynab)
2 dozen grape leaves, washed
1 cup rice
1/2 onion, finely diced
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 and 1/4 cup lemon juice
1 generous pinch of salt
6 cups water
Rinse rice in water and drain, but do not cook it first. Mix wet rice, onion, parsley, 1/4 cup lemon juice and salt together, and allow to stand for half an hour. It is easiest to use preserved grape leaves which you can buy in jars from Middle Eastern or Greek food stores if you cannot find them at your supermarket. Take the leaves out of the jar and rinse them well. Lay each leaf flat and remove any stem. Put a tablespoon of the rice filling on the leaf and roll it up, folding the sides in so that the filling does not fall out.
When you have finished rolling the leaves, place them in a circular pattern on the bottom of a large (6-8 quart) pot. Leave enough room between them for them to expand a bit as the rice cooks. Layer them until they are all in the pot, then add 1 cup of lemon juice and 6 cups of water. Water should be even with the top of the leaves. Place a flat plate over the leaves to weigh them down and keep them in place. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes until they are tender and rice is cooked. Serve them hot or cold, with yogurt if you like.
Many people like to use additional ingredients in the filling, such as pine nuts, raisins, or ground beef or lamb. Try making several types and see which one you like best!
Also another trick I use is this: Broil and 6 cups water or more depending on size, a whole chicken until done. Use the chicken as extra ingredients for the stuffing and save the juice to add to the Mihshi. I makes it taste better or as the Egyptian say more delicious! lol
Bil-Hana wa Shifa! Bon Appetit!
Nice vid on how to roll stuffed grape leaves (Arabic:Mihshi)http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Roll-Up-Stuffed-Grape-Leaves-140313152