Utensil Holder: Mackenzie Childs / Spoon Me Spoon Rest: Marshalls Homegoods
One thing you may not know about us is that Kirk (my husband) is Lebanese! Well, part Lebanese, but all in the same. His grandmother on his mother's side came here to the United States from overseas, and was a proud American the rest of her life. Sundays were always spent at her house when Kirk was growing up, and of course, there was delicious food each time. Kirk was determined to learn all the recipes from scratch-straight from his grandmother- and even has her meat grinder she used to make kibbe neyeh! (recipe for that later)
Now, Kirk makes all the amazing family recipes, and guess who else has to know them? ME.
I love cooking and making Lebanese food takes a lot of patience. There are literally a TON of steps to take to make sure it's done the right way, but it's worth it!! We are a Lebanese food loving family in this household! Kirk feels it is super important for me to know these recipes, so they get passed down to our kids and they grow up eating all the same foods he did.
I'm going to be sharing some of our favorite Lebanese dishes we enjoy on the reg. I'm starting with our beloved yaprak and the yogurt sauce to go along with it. These babies are delish and they make quite a bit, so you can munch on leftovers all week long!
Yaprek from Grandma Flo (Kirk's grandmother)
1 jar whole grapeleaves
1lb lamb or beef...lamb is really good with these
Aluminum pan (one you can buy at the store for like 2 dollars and is a couple inches deep)
1 cup rice (rinse your rice under water in a strainer)
1 Big juicy lemon
You'll need salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, a few sticks of butter, and water for the filling and the broth for baking.
How to make the filling:
Measure up 1.5 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 tsp allspice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup cold water.
1.Mix the spices, rice, and meat in a bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes*
2. While that is firming up in the fridge start rinsing off your grapeleaves and smoothing them out. Cut off the little stem from each of them. It is important to really rinse these well because they can hold that pickling flavor if you don't.
3. After 30 mins take the filling mixture from the fridge and add 1/2 cup of water and mush the mixture up with your hands (prepared to get messy) I like to wash my hands after this and dedicate one hand for touching the mixture and one for grabbing the next clean leaf moving forward.
4. Line the pan with extra grapeleaves from the jar (cooks the rolls better)
5. Take about 2tsp worth of the mixture and place it towards the bottom of a grapeleaf and roll like you would a little burrito. Place with the open seam down so it won't unravel. Continue on until all the mixture is used up! You don't want to over stuff these because the rice is going to cook and expand the leaves...I've done this before and got busted rolls LOL.
5. Mix 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 &3/4 cups boiling water, 1 Tbsp olive oil, and 1/4 cup lemon juice and pour over the rolls in the lined pan.
6. Bake at 400 degrees on lower rack for 1.5 hrs covered.
The Yogurt Sauce (literally super easy): Plain greek yogurt, cucumber, dried mint, salt..Dice the cucumber and add it to the yogurt..salt and mint to taste to your liking! Drizzle over the yaprak and enjoy! Welcome to the Lebanese fam!
Let me know how you like these!