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Old 10-08-2011, 05:29 PM   #1
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"Dolmates" made with Swiss chard

I asked about this many moons ago, and today I had a free day and a beautiful crop of rainbow chard and some ground lamb in the freezer. As of this moment, the rolls are simmering in a combination of chicken broth, vermouth, and lemon.

I stuffed the leaves with ground lamb, a Greek seasoning mix, a pinch of cinnamon, some garlic, some finely chopped red onion, and a couple tablespoons of the taboule I'm making as the side.

Wish me luck!

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Old 10-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
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I couldn't imagine a reason why it wouldn't work! It sounds delish, Claire!
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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My husband and I are salivating, the aroma is to die for. I'll post details if it tastes as good as it smells.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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Ive seen them do similar things on Iron chef. I neer tried it, but Ive been curious to see how it turns out. I usually have an abundance of chard over the summer in the garden, and id love to give it a try.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:22 AM   #5
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I did a bunch of dolmates with grape leaves earlier this year--now I have swiss chard. Thanks for the poke--I hadn't thought about doing that with chard!
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:17 AM   #6
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this is a great idea, claire! thanks.

i have a load of kale that needs a use and i've run out of ideas for it.

how do you keep your leaves from unrolling?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:53 AM   #7
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When I saw them do it on Iron Chef, the quickly blanched the chard leaves to make them more pliable, easier to roll, and kept their shape once rolled. Havnt tried it myself, but seemed to work well as viewed on tv.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom View Post
this is a great idea, claire! thanks.

i have a load of kale that needs a use and i've run out of ideas for it.

how do you keep your leaves from unrolling?
I would think if you remove the stem and blanche the leaves first, and roll them like a cigar, not too tightly, they'd stay rolled (seam side down) and freeze well. I haven't tried using kale since I was trying to figure out what to do with the grape leaves and eat the kale almost daily from mid summar through the end of December (kale grows well in our garden). I put it on sandwiches, make pesto from it, etc.

Here in SE Ontario, we bank/mulch the kale with straw after a killing frost. Depending on the winter, we can harvest kale until the end of December, sometimes until the end of January. People who live in Nova Scotia and do this can eat it all winter--I am guessing your winters would be similar to those in NS. We get straw at the farm coop.

Kale chips will keep a long time and are YUMMY. But, if you can leave the kale in the garden, I would do that--it will go more or less dormant, but you can go out and pick it as you want, and don't have to store it.

I made curried creamed kale last week, topped with a FRESH fried egg, for lunch. It was very tasty now that we've had a killing frost because the kale is sweeter. I find kale in supermarkets is tough and bitter, not so with that which we grow.

IMO, kale is like eggplant in North America--under-appreciated. My friends in Denmark used to put the kale in the freezer for 30 minutes to draw out its sweetness. Might help supermarket kale--I haven't tried it but I do like kale better after the first frost. I basically use kale in place of spinach.

If you want to freeze it, blanche it for about 4 minutes, put in ice water, and then use a salad spinner and spin as much water out of it as possible and then squish it in a dish towel. Pack it in an ice cube tray. It is amazing how much kale you can pack into each "cube." Once frozen, toss the cubes in a zippie.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:40 AM   #9
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If I do say so myself, it turned out great. I was going for a Greek-ish flavor, but you could use any recipe for stuffed cabbage leaves if you wanted more eastern/central European flavor. Here's what I did:

1.45 lb ground lamb (just how it was packaged, don't ask me why not 1.5!)(you could use any other ground meat, I happen to love lamb)
2 very finely chopped tablespoons red onion
2 finely chopped cloves garlic
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup reconstituted Near East brand taboule
1 tsp Cavendar's Greek seasoning

Mix thoroughly and form into oblong ovals, incorporating a few chunks of feta cheese in the middle of each.

Wrap each in a leaf of chard. I experimented every which way, but decided I liked putting the meat towards the tip of the leaf, on the under side so the pretty colors would be outside, then rolling towards the stem. When the stem got too tough to roll, if the meat was covered enough I'd just cut off the rest of the leaf, or just the stem and keep rolling. I considered blanching but the chard is more delicate that grape leaves or cabbage. The ends were not tucked in the way they'd be with the former, I might try that next time, but it really worked fine this way.

Place in about an inch of liquid. I used half dry vermouth, half packaged chicken stock, and the juice of one lemon. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for a couple of hours.

Serve with a salad made from the taboule. I add fresh herbs, a tomato or two, some Greek olives (I pitt them unless I warn hubby and guests so no broken teeth ensue), a tbs or so of good olive oil, juice of half a lemon, and a generous sprinkling of Cavendar's
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:48 AM   #10
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Writing instructions or recipes is never as easy as you think it will be! I put them with the part you just finished rolling down and packed them tightly into the liquid and they didn't unroll. I also did NOT turn them at all once I started cooking (hence the covered pot, one layer, and very low heat, if I was making a larger batch I'd use a baking dish with a lid and put them in a 300 or so oven for the period of time). The leaves' natural shape works in your favor because of the way the leaves grow.
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