Stuffed Grape Leaves
Stuffed Grape Leaves (Greek Dolmades) are often served as part of a meze (appetizer) plate. These can either be a main dish or an appetizer. These small bundles of meat and rice wrapped in grape leaves are a favorite dish in Greece and our home. In the 1990's we started making them for our annual New Year's Eve party at our friends - Mike and Rosemarie - home. We use a recipe from The Frugal Gourmet cookbook. If you have never tried Greek Dolmades, now is the time. They are very easy to make and so delicious!
Ingredients16 oz grape leaves (in a jar with brine)
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsps lemon juice
1 Cup long grain rice, raw
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 Cup fresh, chopped Italian parsley
1 Tbsp dried dill
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 lb ground lamb
1 tsp allspice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt & pepper
Instructions1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling.
2. Pick out the smallest leaves in the jar and set aside. Use these to place a single layer on the bottom of a 2-quart dutch oven and between layers of rolled grape leaves.
3. Cut the stems off the grape leaves.
4. Place a leaf on the counter, stem end toward you.
5. Place 1 - 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold the sides over to secure the filling, then roll from you toward the tip of the leaf.
6. Do not wrap too tightly as the rice will expand as it cooks.
7. Place the rolled leaves on top of the single layer in the bottom of the pot.
8. Cover them with a layer of unrolled leaves, then add another layer of rolled leaves. Continue layering stuffed leaves and then top with the remaining unrolled leaves.
9. Place a medium plate over the top of the leaves as a weight.
10. Mix the chicken stock and lemon juice for the broth and pour over the leaves in the pot.
11. Cover and bring to a light simmer. Cook 1 hour.
12. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool for 1 more hour. Do not remove the lid or the leaves will darken.