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 Pub date
2008-01-11

Dolmas Recipes

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Once I had this thing that tasted really good. It was rice and some other meaty(chicken/beef) stuffing wrapped in grape leaf. It is called dolmas. You can probably find dozens of recipes if you search for that. Also known as Byzantine Dolmathes or Dolmadakia Yialantzi. The original recipe I had was in the 1980 National Lamb Promotion Cookbook and was written by Dolores Atiyeh (Mrs. Vic), wife of the then-Governor of Oregon. I have modified it quite a lot but it was what gave me a start. Everybody loves these dolmades. And they are super reheated after freezing!

Dolmas Recipes:
8 ounces grape leaves, in brine (about 40-45 leaves)
1/2 cup olive oil , divided
2 cups cooked long grain rice
4 green onions or scallions, finely chopped
1 small red or white onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
1 tablespoon zest of lemon
Salt to taste
1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped


Juice of 1 lemon


Preparation: The Dolmas Recipe is not difficult but it does take some time. Start by draining the grape leaves and placing them in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour just enough boiling water over the leaves to cover and let them soak for about 20 minutes. Drain again and rinse under cold running water.

In the meantime, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the rice, mint, lemon zest, salt to taste and pine nuts. Mix thoroughly; making sure the rice is well-coated with oil.

Assembling the Dolmas: To fill the grape leaves, spread out one grape leaf in front of you, vein side up and stem end toward you. Place about 2 teaspoons of the rice mixture in the center, fold stem end over the filling, bring the sides of the leaf toward the center and roll tightly, forming a cylinder. Repeat until all the filling in the Dolmas recipe is used.

Cooking Instructions: Place the Dolmas close together and seam side down in a large skillet, in a single layer, if possible. If not, separate the layers with extra grape leaves. Drizzle the lemon juice and the remaining olive oil over the Dolmas and add boiling water to cover. Cover the pan tightly and simmer for 1 hour. Let the parcels cool in the liquid, then transfer them to a serving platter.

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My version uses several Spice House products: grape leaves, freeze-dried shallots, freshly ground black pepper, and ground coriander.
Ingredients

* 1/2-1 jar grape leaves
* 12 plump, fresh chicken wings
* 1-1 1/2 cups cooked rice
* 2-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
* 1 1/2-2 pounds lean ground lamb
* 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
* juice of 1 lemon
* 1 teaspoon freeze-dried shallots

Serves / Yields

Makes 40-50 rolls about the size of a big thumb.
Preparation Instructions

Make rice a day ahead of time. Use 1? cups Botan Extra Fancy Calrose Medium Grain Rice or any other fat, sticky, shorter-grain rice and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes, so it is fully cooked. Chill until you use it.

Wash chicken wings and chop off the large drumette portions. Freeze drumettes for later use. Arrange the remaining two-joint pieces in the bottom of a large dutch oven covering the bottom. I use my heavy Wagner Ware No. 9 Drip-Drop Round Roaster with the trivet.

Open the jar of grape leaves and carefully unfold the leaves and put into a bowl of cold water. Rinse the brine out of the leaves and leave them in fresh cold water to aid in unrolling or unsticking them as you fill each one.

Start heating a large kettle of clear, cold water. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix together (with your hands) the rice, ground lamb, garlic, coriander, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Try to get about equal amounts of meat and rice. Place a scant tablespoon of filling across a drained grape leaf. Fold the end of the leaf like an envelope and roll into a sausage shape. Place in pan, seam side down, on chicken wings. Repeat this process, packing the rolls together tightly, covering all the wings and starting second and third rows as needed. About half-way through, start preheating the oven to 350?. When all the rolls are in the roaster, add hot water to cover and sprinkle 1 tsp salt over top. (If you use the Greek grape leaves, you will use most of a jar. If you use the milder California grape leaves, you will use about half of the jar.)

Bake covered at 350? for 1 hour. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, sprinkle lemon juice and shallots over the top and re-cover. Serves many.
Helpful Hints

REHEATING FROZEN DOLMADES ALMOST BETTER THAN FRESH!

can chicken broth and can fresh cold water 1 clove garlic, minced ? tsp chicken fat ? tsp freeze-dried shallots 2 pinches Mignonette pepper some MSG

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, carefully add dolmades using tongs, return to a boil then immediately reduce heat. Simmer gently 10-20 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and salt.

Save broth. If the dolmades weren made with lemon juice to begin with, add a few drops to the broth. It is also a good broth to pour over cooked broken vermicelli.

Make a soup with the leftover rice and used chicken wings, adding celery, carrots and onions. Freeze leftover dolmades which keep at least 6 months. The broth with the mingled flavors of chicken, lamb, grape leaves and lemon makes a divine cool drink after being strained, refrigerated, and de-fatted.
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Dolmas

INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon dried dill weed
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (8 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
DIRECTIONS
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. Stir in rice and hot water to cover. Cover and simmer until rice is half cooked, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in tomato paste, currants, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint leaves, dill weed, allspice and cumin. Let mixture cool.
Prepare a large pot by placing an inverted plate on the bottom; this protects the dolmas from direct heat when steaming.
Rinse grape leaves in warm water; drain and cut off any stems. Place about 1 teaspoon of the cooled rice mixture in the center of a leaf. Fold in the sides and then roll into a cigar shape. Place in prepared pot. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Pour in just enough warm water to reach the bottom of the first layer of dolmas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until rice is totally cooked. Check the water level often and add more as necessary.

 



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