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Old 06-01-2012, 12:03 PM   #1
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Dolmatas/Dolmas/Stuffed Grape Leaves

I noticed that my wild grape leaves are just about the perfect size to make dolmatas again. I have 2 lb of lamb waiting in the freezer. I know we have new members from that part of the world where people make dolmatas--wonder if anyone would like to share a TNT recipe / family recipe for the same.

I think this will be next weekend's project. This weekend looks like it will be too busy for this project. I can taste them already...don't know if I can wait until next weekend, but I'll try.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:14 PM   #2
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CWS,

Growing Grape Leaves, WOW ! I have two lovely traditional Greek Recipes in English of course, that I could post on Saturday for you. One is a rice, currant and dill stuffing and the other, fresh prawns or shrimp ...

We have been to Greece several times, and one of these recipes is from Greece´s top chef Christof.

Is there a specific stuffing that you have in mind ? Is the lamb the main course ?

Ciao,
Have nice wkend,
Margi.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Margi Cintrano View Post
CWS,

Growing Grape Leaves, WOW ! I have two lovely traditional Greek Recipes in English of course, that I could post on Saturday for you. One is a rice, currant and dill stuffing and the other, fresh prawns or shrimp ...

We have been to Greece several times, and one of these recipes is from Greece´s top chef Christof.

Is there a specific stuffing that you have in mind ? Is the lamb the main course ?

Ciao,
Have nice wkend,
Margi.
Margi--I'd love your recipes. Last year, I made two different batches--one with rice, raisins, etc., and the other without the raisins. I have enough grape leaves (and freezer space) to make LOTS. I think I stuffed over 200 leaves last year. The shrimp one sounds interesting. No rush--I have leaves that are almost ready and others that will be ready in about 10 days. I don't grow grapes--the vines are very invasive here, but we use the grapes for jelly and wild grape-elderberry wine and the leaves for dolmatas, and the vines I sometimes will make wreaths out of at Christmas time, if I'm so inclined and remember to harvest them and soak them on time to do something with them.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #4
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Buonasera CWS,

Pleased to hear the good news and always a pleasure to collaborate with you too.

I shall pull out the Greek Notebooks ... and go through the Dolmades recipes I had collected in Athens, Santorini, Naxos and Crete ... Then, you can innovate & create or select those that you enjoy ...

Next to Italian comfort of course, Greek is one of our favorite cuisines. We were so pleased when, they amplified the El Corte Ingles Gourmet Club Supermarket to include Greek products ...

Have a lovely evening, and I shall work on typing your recipes tomorrow.

It is already 19.30 Hours here, and need to prepare the Zabaglione dessert now for the Vet and the Cassola of fish & shellfish.

Ciao,
Margi.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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When my mom made dolma, it was always a special treat. I fondly remember the family's going for a Sunday drive and Dad's stopping by a country road and handing my sister and me paper shopping bags with instructions to go pick grape leaves from a nearby vine.

I don't make this dish though I have my mom's recipe. I count on my sister to make it and invite me over for dinner.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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CWS, I'm curious... what kind of grapes do you grow? I have about three dozen vines myself.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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Sadly, my grape leaves come in a jar. I make Jeff Smith"s (Frugal Gourmet) recipe from one of his very early cookbooks. He said it was from his Lebanese uncle's collection. They are not sweet at all, are made with lamb and spices and given a bath of garlic lemon and water during the last 20 mins or so of cooking. We love them.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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CWS, I'm curious... what kind of grapes do you grow? I have about three dozen vines myself.
Steve--these are wild purple grapes--the same kind you find everywhere in Northern MN. My dad's grow overhanging the lake, which adds a bit of a complication when harvesting the grapes. My understanding is that you can use any kind of grape leaves, as long as they haven't been sprayed with anything (which mine haven't). Considered an invasive plant in this area. We do pull the vines off of our wild plum trees. This is foraging in the yard.

If you'd care to share your mom's recipe, I'd love to have it. These are not part of my ethnic heritage (I wasn't introduced to them until I went to a Lebanese restaurant years ago). I love them and enjoy making them. There is something very satisfying about collecting the leaves, sorting them, blanching them, and stuffing and rolling them. Although, after about four hours, I question why I had to pick so many leaves...

One of the recipes I made last year was from one of Jeff Smith's cookbooks, but I had to substitute beef for lamb--I couldn't find any lamb to save my soul. This year I planned ahead and got lamb from one of my curling pals.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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I've made them before!! I am trying to remember off the top of my head but i took par boiled basmati rice, mixed with raw ground lamb, puréed raw onion, toasted pine nuts, allspice??? salt. I guess you can season how you like. Make sure you cut out the leaf vein so it's not tough and rinse off the brine if not using fresh leaves. Roll it up by first folding in the sides and then rolling. Place a few leaves on the bottom of a saucepan (so the Dolma dont stick). Tightly layer in sauce pan. Cover with stock of choice. Weigh it down with a plate with something heavy on it. Cover. Simner till done which I think is about 40 mins. Good luck. Now I'm in the mood to make some
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #10
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I've made them before!! I am trying to remember off the top of my head but i took par boiled basmati rice, mixed with raw ground lamb, puréed raw onion, toasted pine nuts, allspice??? salt. I guess you can season how you like. Make sure you cut out the leaf vein so it's not tough and rinse off the brine if not using fresh leaves. Roll it up by first folding in the sides and then rolling. Place a few leaves on the bottom of a saucepan (so the Dolma dont stick). Tightly layer in sauce pan. Cover with stock of choice. Weigh it down with a plate with something heavy on it. Cover. Simner till done which I think is about 40 mins. Good luck. Now I'm in the mood to make some
Thanks--I made about 200 last year. I used a wild rice-white rice blend (since I have so much wild rice on hand). They turned out great, and I did remove the veins. I only use fresh leaves--wouldn't know where to find those already prepped!
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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Thanks--I made about 200 last year. I used a wild rice-white rice blend (since I have so much wild rice on hand). They turned out great, and I did remove the veins. I only use fresh leaves--wouldn't know where to find those already prepped!
I'm so jealous of all the DCers with gardens and fresh produce and rice. Sigh..... Supermarket food stinks....everything is wilty and flavorless....I need to move ;)
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #12
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I'm so jealous of all the DCers with gardens and fresh produce and rice. Sigh..... Supermarket food stinks....everything is wilty and flavorless....I need to move ;)
I don't know where you live, but wild grapes grow EVERYWHERE! On one hand, I hate them, on the other, I love having access to all the wild grape vines so I can harvest the leaves, the grapes in the fall, and the vines for crafts.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #13
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I don't know where you live, but wild grapes grow EVERYWHERE! On one hand, I hate them, on the other, I love having access to all the wild grape vines so I can harvest the leaves, the grapes in the fall, and the vines for crafts.
Lucky. The only thing that grows wild here is coconuts. And usually those are removed before they hit the ground to avoid injury.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:24 AM   #14
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Chef Lefteris Lazarou: Prawns in Grape Leaves

CWS,

Firstly, Chef Lefteris Lazarou, an Athens native, studied under the renowned Ferrán Adriá at El Bulli many years ago before returning to his Athens home to provide a vanguard take on his classic cuisine.

*** Please note: I have provided you with the Classic Recipe for Dolmades in the Ethnic Section ...

Here is his recipe for Prawns in Grape Leaves ...

32 0unces Grape Leaves rinsed, drained and stems trimmed
1 kilo of Tiny Fresh Shrimp or Prawns
Garlic Cloves ( to your taste, and palate )
1/2 cup Evoo
2 large onions
2 cups long grain rice or wild rice
5 tblsps lemon juice
3 tblsps chopped dill, parsley, fennel seed, oregano fresh leaves
5 cups water

1. heat evoo in heavy large saucepan over medium heat
2. add onions and sauté until translucent about 7 mins. and prepare shrimps apart in boiling salted water for a minute and let cool before placing in the rice mixture
3. stir in rice, lemon juice, the herbs well combined and 1 cup hot water
4. reduce heat and simmer
5. cover and simmer until rice is partially cooked and no liquid remains
6. stir occasionally and simmer 12 to 15 mins or so
7. cover bottom of a large wide sauce pan with some grape leaves
8. place 1 large grape leaf on work surface and spoon a scant teaspoon of rice mixture in each of the leaves
9. fold the bottom over, then fold sides in and roll up
10. place seam side down in sauce pan
11. repeat filling and rolling until all the rice mixture is used
12. Pour water or chicken stock over the grape leaves and cover
13. simmer over medium heat for 40 mins approx
14. using slotted spoon, transfer the rolled leaves to a platter
15. serve with Tzaziki yogurt made with cucumbers and Greek Yogurt
( see my Tzaziki recipe in Ethnic - January of February 2012 )

Enjoy CWS,

Have fab weekend.
Ciao.
Margaux Cintrano.
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Old 06-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #15
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Kind of interesting side story. One of my neighbors, "Ron", grew up in Egypt. You wouldn't know it to talk to him, and it's something he never really brought up until last summer when his mother came to visit for a few months. Ron's mother doesn't speak English at all, but she came to all the neighborhood get togethers. She always seemed very pleasant, and would sit quietly and nod and smile if someone tried to talk to her (though she obviously didn't understand most of it). We came to call her "mama" because that's how Ron always referred to her.

One night, we were all sitting around our next door neighbor's patio fire pit, when I saw mama looking over the fence at my grape vines. She became very excited and began chatting with Ron. Afterward, Ron came over to me and said, "mama wants to know if it would be alright for her to pick some of your grape leaves."

I told him that of course it was alright. So she brought a basket over and, being careful not to pick too many from one spot, proceeded to harvest quite a few of the leaves.

Well, the next day she and Ron showed up with a plate full of the most delicious stuffed grape leaves I've ever had. They were so lemony and buttery.

Unfortunately, I never got mama's recipe, but I think it was similar to this one:

Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Ground Beef (Mahshi Wara’ Enab) | mideats.com

I keep meaning to make it. Maybe I'll have to try it this weekend.
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Old 06-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #16
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Steve,

Thank you for posting the fascinating anecdote and the lovely recipe too.

Have a lovely wkend.
Margi.
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Old 06-03-2012, 01:45 AM   #17
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Steve--I hope you do make stuffed grape leaves. Supposedly you are only supposed to pick the top 4 on the vine. Don't know why. I'm picking next Saturday. Too busy this week to do them. By my best guess, I have about 2-3 weeks to get the leaves when they are about the size of my hand.

Margi--thanks for taking the time to dig out those recipes and post them!
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:42 AM   #18
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CWS, Buongiorno,

Thank you for your lovely note. I do hope that you have seen the Classic Dolmades Recipe, I posted apart from your thread in the same Ethnic Section ... The recipe I am referring to, is a Lamb Wild Rice Filling and was given to me by the most famous Chef in Greece.

Wish I could fly over for your Dolmades ! I love them.

Have a lovely Sunday.
Ciao,
Margi.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #19
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Okay--I've scouted the grape vines--I definitely can pick over 300 leaves. I plan on doing several variations--one with ground lamb, one with my homemade chorizo sausage, one using the recipe Margi posted with shrimp, and a vegetarian version with mushrooms I found on the Internet. Should be a busy Sunday. I'm using brown rice and wild rice. Oops--forgot to pick up lemons (on special this week--2 lb for $3), so I have to go back into town since the flyer changes tonight.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:31 AM   #20
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CWS,

300 ... Wonderful ... Surely wish, you were just a little bit closer ... Lots of blue pond in between !

Do please let us know how they turn out and thanks for trying the recipe. I feel honored. Appreciate it ... Let me know how they turn out ...

Ciao, Margi.
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