And she hopes to be trying this recipe out for Mabon this year!
Dionysian Stuffed Grape Leaves-- Food of the Gods (Recipe shamelessly lifted from The Wicca Cookbook. Recipes, Ritual and Lore by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt, a birthday present for VBFitU):
You will need
1 Jar Grape Leaves (recommended Reese California)
1½ pounds (680 grams) premium ground beef (preferably free range, or substitute protein of choice)
1 med onion, chopped
1 C (228 grams) uncooked instant rice or 2 C (454 grams) half cooked steamed rice
½ t ground cayenne pepper (optional)
Handful currants (optional)
1 large egg
¼ C (55 grams) chopped fresh parsley
¼ C (55 grams) chopped fresh mint
Handful of pine nuts (optional)
Salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce [425-gram]) can whole tomatoes
2¼ C (540 milliliters) beef broth (or vegetable)
Splash of Chianti or other good red wine
½ C (120 milliliters) water
Since they are pickled you must remove from jar and soak the grape leaves in cool water to cleanse of excess brine. While these are soaking, mix ground beef, onion, rice, cayenne pepper, currants, egg, mint, parsley, and pine nuts in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the amount of rice to your individual preference. Mixture should stick together well w/o being to wet.
On a large cutting board line up leaves a few at a time, shiny side down. Pinch or cut off stem. Place approximately 1 tablespoonful filling in the center of each leaf. Shape into an oval horizontally across the leaf. Turn side flaps in and roll tightly upward toward the pointy end. The stickiness of the filling should hold it together and all of the filling should be covered by leaf.
In a large, heavy stew pot, carefully arrange each rolled leaf side by side in layers neatly packed until you have about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of head room. As you are stacking crush some of the tomatoes and disperse between layers of leaves. When the pot is full, add remaining juice from tomatoes, broth, wine and water. Liquid should reach top layer of leaves but not cover them completely. Place a heavy plate on top to hold them in place while cooking.
Bring to a boil, cover, quickly decrease heat, and simmer. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes. Try to remember to not life the cover which will relieve the pressure. When done, the rice will be fully cooked and there will be no pinkness in the meat. Leaves should be tender. These are intended to be eaten w/ fingers, so they should be cooled before serving.
They can be served as a side dish or main course. Traditionally, they are served w/ chilled yogurt on the side.
Enjoy, and Happy Mabon!