Stuffed Grapeleaves - Dolmas
I have a passion for cooking, especially greek food. It is part of my heritage and I developed a love for the food at a young age during the many gatherings with my mom's greek friends and their families. It was my hope that my own children would develop a taste for those wonderful dishes too!
My son likes a great variety of food from all countries and has been learning to cook a few greek dishes. After a conversation we had recently I decided to add this recipe to my blog for him and hopefully a few friends will find this useful too. Pictures are included to show all the steps.
1 to 1 1/2 lean ground meat ( beef, lamb, veal, chicken, or turkey )
1 cup uncooked rice ( my mom and I both prefer Uncle Ben's converted rice.)
1 large onion
fresh mint, parsley and dill ( dried will work in a pinch but remember, fresh always tastes better!)
1 or 2 eggs to bind
olive oil (you need to add some fat back into the meat, I like olive oil because it's healthy)
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 5 lemons - depending on the size - I love the lemon taste!
1 jar grapeleaves in brine - drained and rinsed
If you have fresh ones - steam until tender enough to use.
In a large bowl, add the ground meat, diced onion, chopped fresh herbs, rice, olive oil, eggs, and salt and pepper
Using your hands mix all the ingredients together until they are incorporated together.
This is the tricky part: Find a flat plate to lay the grapeleaves and it might take a little practice to wrap them around the meat. Just remember if they are too loose, they will fall apart in the pot.
The grape-leaf should be flat stem side up. Remove the stem.
Next - get a tablespoon of the meat mixture, roll into a ball and place in the middle to lower third of the leaf.
Start by bringing up the bottom of the leaf and draping it over the meat. Like so.
Then fold over the sides firmly - it should look like this.
Roll up into a neat package.
Put them in a large pot, try to line them up, so the dolma will not fall apart while cooking.
Pour in the chicken broth until they are covered, the rice will absorb the liquid I would say almost an inch above the dolmas.
Put on the stove and heat over medium heat - it will boil, turn the heat down and let cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Mostly to make sure the meat and rice are cooked. Add the fresh lemon juice while it begins to cook.
This is how you make delicious homestyle Dolmas!