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Dolmathes

shantihhh's picture
Stuffed Grape Leaves aka Dolmathes are a party food-just rolling the stuffed leaves, laughing and talking makes for the beginning of a party. A small glass of Retsina (Greek wine) helps in this labour of rolling dozens of grape leaves. Greeks always have fun cooking! Tip: Carefully remove the brined grape leaves from the jar. (They are packed in rolls resembling fat cigars.) Spread leaves in a single layer in a large shallow pan. Add enough boiling water to cover the leaves generously and set aside to soak and soften until the water is cool. Rinse the leaves with cool water and blot dry with paper towels. Snip the woody stem from the bottom center of each leaf. Lay each leaf flat, vein side up, on work surface, overlapping bottom of the leaf slightly where the stem has been removed. In the Spring I just pick fresh young leaves from our grape vines to make these wonderful morsels of flavour. The fresh leaves are the best-so tender and mild flavured. They are for us a must for Easter. In our family we celebrate both Western Easter and Orthodox Easter as our son-in-law is Eastern Orthodox. We usually spit roast a whole lamb for our Easter Celebation.
Ingredients
  Olive oil 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Onion 1 Medium, finely chopped
  Rice 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)
  Lean ground lamb 1 Pound
  Dill weed 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Pine nuts 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), chopped
  Canned grape leaves 1 Quart
  Golden raisins 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Ground nutmeg 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Ground cinnamon 1 1⁄2 Teaspoon
  Mint leaves 3 Tablespoon, dried
  Lemons 2 Large
  Sea salt To Taste
  Ground white pepper To Taste
Directions

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté until translucent.

Cool slightly and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add all other
ingredients (except grape leaves) and mix thoroughly with fork (or
hands).

Stuff grape leaves with this mixture in the following manner:
Spread out grape leaves, one at a time, with the bottom (dull) side
facing up. Place a small spoonful of the lamb and rice mixture at
the base of the leaf, near where the leaf stem is located (trim off
any remaining excess stem with kitchen shears before stuffing).

Fold the left and right sides of the leaf toward the center, and
then roll snugly from the stem up to the tip, encasing the filling.

Line a large Dutch Oven with un-stuffed grape leaves. Place the
Dolmathes in the Dutch Oven, forming layers, until all Dolmathes
have been made.

Cover with a layer of un-stuffed grape leaves.
Slice one lemon very thinly and cover the top layer of grape leaves
with the lemon slices. Juice the remaining lemon and pour over the
grape leaves.

Pour in enough water to barely cover the grape leaves. Bring to a
boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove and arrange on a serving tray covered with a layer of un-stuffed grape leaves. If serving at room temperature, put dolmathes on a serving platter drizzled with olive oil to keep them from drying out.

Serve with lemon wedges and drizzled with olive oil if you like. We alwaysserve with the Eg Lemon Saucebelow.

Serve warm with Egg/Lemon sauce (may also be refrigerated and served cold). But we much prefer them warm.

Egg/Lemon Sauce

2 Tbs. Butter
2 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour (or Wondra)
2 Eggs
1 Cup hot Chicken Stock
4 Tbs. Lemon Juice (Eureka or Lisbon Lemon)
2 Tbs. cold Water

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour gradually,
whisking constantly to form a roux. Pour in the chicken stock,
continuing to whisk, until all stock has been incorporated. While
continuing to whisk, bring mixture to a gentle boil. As soon as the
sauce has thickened, remove from heat.

Put the eggs and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender), and
mix briefly. With the food processor (blender) running, add the hot
stock mixture in a slow, steady stream. When the entire mixture has
been added, slowly pour in water.

Serve in a sauce boat with Dolmathes.

Notes: Dolmathes can be served alone as an appetizer meze or as part of an appetizer plate with feta cheese, olives and pita bread or use them to decorate a traditional Greek salad."

Recipe Summary

Cuisine: 
Greek
Course: 
Appetizer
Taste: 
Savory
Method: 
Steamed
Ingredient: 
Rice
Interest: 
Party, Healthy
Preparation Time: 
30 Minutes
Cook Time: 
60 Minutes
Ready In: 
90 Minutes
Servings: 
12
Story
I have always loved Dolmathes since I grew up between two Greek brothers and their families who often made dolmathes. Then I traveled to Greece and my love affair with the joys and pleasures of eating Greek food really flourished. Now havng been to Greece several times first with our son when he was 10, then with my husband a few times, and other trips with our daughter as well as attanding the local Greek festivals each year we learned more and more of this cuisine, culture, music, and the Orthodox Church. Steve loves to cook and has tweaked many times over a recipe he got from a Greek fried to where Steve's Dolmathes are always requsted when we go to parties.
Subtitle: 
Stuffed Grape Leaves

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4 Comments

Snigdha's picture
Sounds like a lot of working especially the rolling of leaves but I guess its well worth the effort.
shantihhh's picture
It goes really fast I roll them while Steve makes the sauce. I usually double the recipe as everyone loves them so much. I think it seems complicated as I tried to write out precise instructions but when you make them it goes fast! Shanti/Mary-Anne
shantihhh's picture
We made this again-such fun and tasty and easy. Just two people and they are finished in a few minutes! Shanti/Mary-Anne
Lynne1's picture
We have alot of grapevines, can we use them fresh off the vines or do we have to simmer them in some type of wonderfully flavored liquid, or perhaps pickle them ourselves? Every time I look at those grape vines my mouth waters!