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Food & Wine Ground >> Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)


5/18/09 12:54 PM
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meow mix
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Member Since: 11/19/05
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Are they hard to make?  Recipes?  Suggestions?

5/26/09 5:01 PM
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ashleigh11
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they aren't hard to make once you get the rolling technique down, they're just time consuming. it takes me about 1 1/2 hours to sort the leaves, clip the stems, make the mix and roll the leaves. cook time takes about 1/2 and hour.

leaves-wash them well. they are stored in brine and are too salty if you don't rinse them. clip the stems off. some people just roll them in, but if the stems are too thick it's not very pleasant to eat. jars of leaves usually have about 50 usable leaves. some are torn, save them to line the bottom of the cooking pot.

filling-use a pound of lamb or beef burger, about 2 cups of short grain rice, a handful of chopped parsley, and about a quarter cup of cinammon. use tomato juice to wet the whole mixture down and mix with your hands.

rolling-put about a teaspoon of filling at the base of the leaf, where the stem was. roll once toward the tip, fold the sides in, and continue rolling toward the tip. when you place them in the pan to cook, the other rolls will keep them from unrolling. don't fill the leaves with too much filling-remember rice swells. also, don't roll them too tight for the same reason.

line a dutch oven sized pan with 1/4 inch potato slices. this keeps the leaves from burning and sticking to the pan. place the rolled grape leaves snugly together in the pan as you roll them. fill the pan with tomato juice to cover the rolls, add water if you don't have enough to cover. we also use vegetable or chicken stock. you can also add lemon juice, usually about 1 cup. everyone does theirs different, we don't add lemon juice.

bring pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

we eat ours with leben, which is yogurt with most of the liquid drained out. regular yogurt is too watery. my in-laws, who are arab, wrap the rolls in bread, then smear with leben, humus, or baba ganouch. they garnish everything with pickled turnips, tomatoes, greek olives. hell, usually the table is full of dips, salads, and vegetables--you just dig in. don't forget the potatoes that lined the pot. they go great with leben also, or we save them for the next morning and make fried potatoes for breakfast.

hope this helps.
5/27/09 3:03 PM
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meow mix
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 Damn!  Thanks for the suggestion!  My husband wanted to add meat so he'll be glad to see this.  Again, thanks a lot!  I used the recipe that I had the other day and once I got the rolling down, I did alright.  They turned out pretty well, but this sounds like a good recipe also.
5/27/09 6:18 PM
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ashleigh11
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Edited: 05/28/09 6:30 AM
Member Since: 1/20/03
Posts: 1012
we also do a vegetarian version. we use assorted lentils, chopped up garbanzo beans, rice, onions, tomatoes, and parlsey to equal about 4 cups. we season it with garam marsala(spicy!) and use tomato juice and vegetable broth to simmer them in.

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