Dolmades

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One of the things that bring me the greatest joy in life, is cooking, and in particular, trying new recipes.  I especially like to try recipes with ingredients that I’ve never heard of before so that I can learn new tastes and flavor combinations.  What makes me even happier than cooking, is to see people REALLY enjoying what I’ve cooked.

My sweet Father in law is Greek, and I love to try cooking Greek dishes for my Darling – since his Mom used to do that for him.  Today was my first attempt at making Dolmades. If you haven’t had them before, they are a meat mixture (most often lamb or a combination of lamb and beef), wrapped in a grape leaf, steamed and served with an avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce .

Here’s what I cooked up today, give it a try…

Combine:

1 1/2 lbs ground lamb

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2/3 cup long grain rice

2/3 cup chopped pine nuts

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp chopped mint

1 (8oz) jar grape leaves

1 1/2 cup water

Mix all the ingredients together and place a tablespoon full in the center of each grape leaf.

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fold the bottom over the meat, fold in the sides, and roll into a tight cylinder.

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Place all your cute little grape leaf cylinders nice and snug together in a skillet – seam side down, and then pour the 1 1/2 cups of water over the top.

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Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 50-55 minutes.  Check occasionally and add more water if needed.

When they are cooked, serve them with some Avgolemono sauce over the top:

2 eggs separated

1 Tbls water

juice from 3 lemons

broth left from the Dolmades

Beat the egg whites till foamy, add in the yolks, lemon juice, water and then also the broth. Whisk it all up over a little heat, making sure the egg doesn’t get funky on you.

It made me SO happy to see Danny and Hannah’s reaction when they ate it.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

P.S. A couple things I might do differently…I’m going to add a little more mint next time, and less meat on to each grape leaf.  I placed more than a Tbls worth on each leaf, but all that did was not allow you to taste all the flavors in the correct quantities to balance out the amazingness in your mouth.

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