Thursday, April 3, 2008

DOLMATHES (stuffed grape leaves)

I got ambitious and decided to make stuffed grape leaves. I've made them before, but I guess I forgot how much work they are. It is a lot like making tamales, you have to have either all day or do it in steps over several days. Here is the recipe I used.

1 jar preserved gape leaves, drained
1/2 C cooked long grain rice ( I substituted Quinoa)
1/4C plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/2lb ground lean lamb (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4oz. crumbled Feta cheese
3Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
2Tbsp. finely chopped mint
Carefully separate the grape leaves, place in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 20 min. Drain and rinse, snip off the stems (reserve) lay leaves on a towel to dry.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of of the oil in a skillet, add onions and saute until soft about 3-5 min. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more. Add the lamb and cook until the meat is well browned, breaking apart while cooking. Add oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Feta and remove from heat. Stir in rice, parsley and mint.
On a flat surface place one leaf, vein side up. Place a rounded teaspoon of the rice mixture in the center of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling then the sides toward the center (like a burrito) roll tightly. Squeeze lightly in the palm of your hand to secure the roll. Repeat with the rest of the leaves.

Line the bottom of a 3qt. saucepan with the reserved stems and left over leaves. Arrange the bundles seam side down, packing them close together.
Combine the remaining 1/4C olive oil with 3/4C water, 1tsp sugar, and the lemon juice of one lemon. Pour over the stuffed grape leaves, cover pan and simmer over low heat for about 45min . to 1 hour or until the leaves are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
Serve warm.
This recipe is from M.S. Milliken & S.Feniger.
Unfortunately I left the stuffed grape leaves simmering a little too long.. the leaves on the bottom of the pan got a little (actually a lot ) burnt. The bottom layers of stuffed grape leaves got a little crunchy but they still tasted really good. Now I have to get all those burnt leave off the bottom of my pan!
I also made a yogurt sauce to go with the Dolmathes.

1 comment:

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