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Home » Food » Appetizers & Side Dishes » Stuffed Hop Leaves
Stuffed Hop Leaves
By Peter Sheppard, The New Fermenting Gourmet

Similar to vine leaves, or grape leaves, using fresh young hop leaves work wonderfully as a stuffing wrapper. Now that we are getting close to the hop harvest, picking a few younger leaves, stuffing them, and poaching them in beer, makes for a great appetizer.

Ingredients
Yield: 20-30 hop leaves
1/2 cup Pearl Barley
2 cups Cold Water
30-40Fresh Young Hop Leaves (2-1/2" wide)
1medium Roma (Plum) Tomato, chopped
4Scallions, chopped
4 ozchopped Green Chiles
2/3 cupchopped Flat-leaf (Italian) Parsley
2 clovesGarlic, smashed and minced
1Lemon, juiced and zested
Salt and Pepper, to taste
12 ozCzech Pilsner (e.g. Czechvar, Starbrno, Pilsner Urquell)
2 tspBrown Sugar
1/2 cupLettuce, chopped (for poaching bed)
Red Bell Peppers, stemmed, cut in half and seeded (optional)

Method

About four hours before cooking, soak the barley in 2 cups of water. Stir a few times to break up the clumps. Drain almost all of the water after soaking.

Rinse the hop leaves with cold water in a colander and drain in sink. Brink 3 quarts hot water to a low simmer then shut off. Working with 10 leaves at a time drop the hop leaves into the hot water to blanche slightly. This will soften them up to make the rolling process easier. Scoop the blanched leaves out and drop them into another bowl filled with ice water. This will stop the blanching process and avoid overcooking.

In the bowl that has the soaked barley stir in the tomatoes, scallions, chiles, parsley, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt & pepper.

Before you start rolling the leaves place a large, heavy-bottomed covered saucepan onto the stove.

Arrange half of the chopped lettuce into the bottom of the pot.

Remove two of the hop leaves from the ice water bath and lay them one atop the other, vein-side up and the bottom of the leaves facing you.

Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling into the center of the leaves.

Fold the "ears" or bottom left and right sides of the leave into the center and fold the bottom up and over the filling, tucking it under the top part of the filling. Gently roll the leaf up towards the tops and smooth the fold over.

Place the stuffed hop leaves, seam side down over the lettuce. Repeat the same steps until all of the leaves are used up.

If there is some stuffing left over stuff the red bell pepper and place into pot with hop leaves.

Sprinkle the remaining shredded lettuce over the top of the hop leaves. This will cut down on them getting too dark in the poaching process.

In a 4-cup measuring cup combine the beer and brown sugar. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes, or until warmed slightly.

Whisk the sugar into the beer until dissolved.

Pour beer into pot, cover loosely and bring to a simmer - DO NOT BOIL! Continue to poach for 45 to 50 minutes, checking the water level after about 30 minutes. Add a little more beer, if necessary.

Chef's Notes: Stuffed Hop Leaves can be served warm with chunks of feta cheese and pita chips. Or, chill them overnight and serve cold with mixed cured olives and marinated peppers. Makes about 20 to 30 stuffed hop leaves.


Want to make your own beer at home? Get started on the right foot. Check out the Falcon's sponsoring shop, The Home Beer, Wine, Cheesemaking Shop. John Daume, proprietor, has been serving the home brewing and winemaking needs of Angelenos since 1972, over 30 years! (Falcon Members receive a 10% discount on supplies)
Looking for older Falcons' information?, The Westval Maltose Falcons Webpage (Locally cached) (The Original Falcon's Roost, prior to 1999)
Looking for a home wine making club in the Los Angeles area? Check out our sister club, The Cellarmasters, over 30 and still stomping grapes.