Oct 4, 2010

Greek Food!

Last week I made a traditional Greek food, Dolmades.These are grape leaves filled with a meat and rice mix and cooked with lemon juice. My dad's family are Greek, and so when my grandma was alive she would make these things all the time. I am a super picky eater but to everyone surprise I absolutely loved these, even when I was little. I have had them from a restaurant once, but I think this recipe was better, I haven't tried them from anywhere else, no one will ever get Greek food with me! Anyway, Jeremy doesn't like these a ton, but I love them and so does my Dad, I know they sound a bit strange, but they are just so good!! Both my grandma's died when I was young, so I don't have alot of recipes that were handed down from them (cause somehow grandmas are always great cooks) but this is one of the only ones I have, so it is pretty special.
But here is my tutorial on making Greek Dolmades: (Full recipe is at the bottom)

Step One: Make the filling

1 lb. Ground beef.
1/2 c. rice (uncooked)
1 med. chopped onion
1 15 oz. can tomatoes (diced, or chopped, anything sorta chunky)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T Parsley
1 T Mint
1 T Dill

Mix it all of this together in a bowl.

Step 2: Put filling in grape leaves



These are the grape leaves. You just buy them in a jar at the store, usually they are by the olive and pickles. They can be a little tricky to find. They are not sold at Walmart, you can find them at like Smiths or Harmons if you are in Utah, or just your local smaller chained grocery store. But anyway, the picture on the left is how you want to place the leaves when you are wrapping them. You want the 'pretty' side to be on the outside of the dolmada. So when you are wrapping them. First put the leave down on your surface (I just did it all on a large cutting board), place the leaf pretty side down. So the pretty side is the side where the veins don't stick out and where you don't see the little stem. The pretty side is shown in the right hand picture.


Now after you have arranged your leaf you place the filling you made early on the grape leaf. The amount shown is about the amount you need, so it fits comfortably in your leaf's boundaries. Put more or less in to compensate if your leaf is a bit bigger or smaller.  








Step 3: Wrap your leaves


Now You will want to wrap the leaf around the filling. First you pull the bottom parts of the leaf up over the filling.

Now you  wrap each of the sides over to the other side as shown above, so that your meat is covered


Lastly you wrap the top part of the leaf up so that it is secure. I do this by bringing the bottom part up to meet the top of the leaf.

Now that you have done one, do the rest until all of your leaves and/or meat filling is all used up, whichever one comes first. When I did this, I used them all up at the same time, but its not exact since you fill them differently depending on your grape leaf sizes, but it should be pretty close.

Now that you have them done, you want to put them securely in a pot like shown above. you want to fit them in there a bit tighter so they won't move around or anything.
Continue packing in the dolmathes until you have one layer done in the pot.

Now that you have one layer/row done and in the pot pour some lemon juice over it.
Put the lemon that you just squeezed into the pot over the dolmades. Place the rest of the dolmades on top of the other ones so they are stacked and make another row/layer and do the lemon thing again.

Step 5: Cook the Dolmades
Now you will cook the dolmades. So pour in one can of beef broth and 1/2 can chicken broth until liquid covers all but a 1/4" of the highest layer in the dolmades. Cover, and cook on stove top on Medium heat for about two hours until rice and meat are cooked and the leaves are a bit more tender.
Here is what your lovely finished project will look like! They really are super good.



 Full Recipe:



1 lb. Ground beef.
1/2 c. rice (uncooked)
1 med. chopped onion
1 15 oz. can tomatoes (diced, or chopped, anything sorta chunky)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T Parsley
1 T Mint
1 T Dill
1 15 oz can chicken broth
1/2 c. beef broth
1 small jar of grape leaves
2 lemons. .

Mix all ingredients except broth, lemons and leaves.
Put ingredients into grape leaves, near the stem of the roll, roll up. So first tak in the two sides, and then roll.
Also when rollling make sure that you put the meat mix on the side of the leaf that is uglier... The side that has the Stem and the leaf lines more pronounced, so you have the pretty side showing.
Arrange stem down in a bigger sized sauce pan. Make sure they are packed togethr tightly, and squeeze lemon juice over each layer as you go.
Pour broths over and add a bit of water until its about 1/2 " from the top of domades, cover and simmer for about an two hours. remove when rice is tender.

















6 comments:

Jae said...

Oh my, those look so delicious. I'll have to try those sometime. Saw your post at Not just a housewife's blog. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures/Treasured Moments said...

This kinda reminds me of some cabbage rolls I ate and loved once. Great tutorial.

Stacy said...

My new years resolution is to branch out and try some recipes. I am going to bookmark this one!

Christine said...

I am so glad that you posted this! I just bought a jar of grape leaves the other day and needed to find a recipe. Awesome!

Lisa said...

These look fabulous! I don't get to have Greek food nearly enough. YUM!

TSOUL IT IS said...

My husband family is greek and we make these and put a little mint in the beef they are out of this world