Thursday, December 04, 2008

MMMM... Food!

Once again, here is what was made for group last night:


1 cup bulgur wheat (cracked wheat)
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup (about 1 pound) chopped "vine-ripe" tomatoes
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse the bulgur in a sieve under cool running water until the water runs clear, then transfer bulgur to a bowl. Add enough hot water to cover the bulgur by 1 inch. Set aside, covered for 5 minutes, then drain in a sieve and set aside while preparing the remaining ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the scallions, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, mint, salt, pepper, cumin and cinnamon. Remove any excess water from the bulgur by squeezing it dry. Add the bulgur to the bowl and gently toss. Add the olive oil and the lemon juice and lightly toss, adding more seasoning if necessary. Set the tabbouleh aside for at least 30 minutes (I made it the night before) before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Greek Sushi Rolls (based on Stuffed Grape Leaves - but I couldn't find grape leaves)

¾ c white sushi rice, cooked
few sheets of nori, cut into quarters -- original recipe: 4 oz vine leaves (these can be purchased in a jar at an ethnic food store)
1½ T olive oil
¼ c onion, minced
4 cloves garlic
2 T mint leaves, chopped
¼ c dill, chopped
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c pine nuts
1½ T Kalamata olives
¼ t salt
black pepper
¾ c vegetable stock
2 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat ½ T oil, sauté onion, and 1 minced garlic clove, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Combine rice, onion mixture, mint, dill, raisins, pine nuts, olives, salt, and pepper in large bowl.

Take quartered nori, add a heaping spoonful of filling in the center. Fold the sides of leaf over filling, then roll from stem-end to tip, to make a neatroll. Set seam-side-down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining leaves and filling, placing grape leaves cozily together and making two layers if necessary. Cut 3 garlic cloves into large pieces and poke between the grape leaves here and there. Pour stock over grape leaves, then remaining olive oil and 1 t lemon juice.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Drizzle with remaining lemon juice and serve.

The Greek Sushi Rolls were what I was most afraid of... since I had taken a recipe and changed it with the nori, I was scared they wouldn't taste good however everyone seemed to love them and at the end of the night there were none left!

Love it!

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