Jenel's Journey: Lebanese Food

By WKTV News

UTICA, NY(WKTV) - Jenel's Journey is a new segment on NEWSChannel 2 at Daybreak and Sunrise. The idea is to get Jenel used to life in Central New York.

This journey focuses on key signature food. She traveled to Zeina's Cafe in Utica to get her first taste of Lebanese food.

To make Tabouli and Grape Leaves at home follow this simple recipe:


3 bunches finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2-3 tablespoons fine bulgur
1 chopped firm tomato
1/2 onion or 2 scallions chopped
1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the chopped parsley and mint and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix bulgur, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions/scallions with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Add to them the parsley and mint and olive oil and mix, adjusting seasoning by adding more oil and lemon if desired.
Serve cold garnished with romaine lettuce.


1 pound ground leg of lamb
3/4 cups uncooked white rice
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper >
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 jar grape leaves
1 lamb chop or steak (fatty)
2 lemons

Mix the ground lamb, rice, mint, cumin, allspice ,cayenne, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
Unroll the grape leaves cutting off any stem, and pat dry.
Add 1&1/2 tablespoons of filling and roll up, tucking in the sides.
Be careful not to overstuff.
Fill a saucepan with water only covering the rolled grape leaves.
Place a plate over the top of the grape leaves to prevent them from unfolding.
Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 2 hours.
Serve and enjoy

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