Here’s a classic Greek recipe that my friends Marty and Lauren prepared for this month’s Chef Spotlight Dinner, highlighting Chef Cat Cora and her Greek background. Grape leaves are definitely something I associate with Greek cuisine and dolmades are a popular dish at any Greek restaurant. These cute mini bundles of ground beef, ground lamb and rice are wonderful as an appetizer or can be made large enough to serve as a main entree. The highlight of the dish is the Avgolemono sauce that gives a light, lemony freshness.
recipe slightly adapted from Recipezaar
1 lb ground round
1 lb ground lamb
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 cup of raw rice
1 onion, fine chopped any size you want, I prefer mild sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 (16 ounce) cans chicken broth or water
juice from 4 large lemons
In a large bowl mix ground round, Lamb, salt, pepper, minced parsley, onion chopped, crushed or pressed garlic and Tabuli (or rice); mix well.
Lay out one grape leaf stem up, place about 1 rounded tablespoon meat mixture near stem. Fold stem up over meat mixture fold one side leaf over mixture, fold top over then roll the rest but not tight (similar to rolling up burritos.). You can use toothpicks to keep the stuffed leaves together. Place in a large stock pot and continue until all leaves are filled and snug in pot.
Cover all stuffed leaves with chicken broth adding water if you don’t have enough broth, more broth if you have it on hand (you can use just water if you want). Bring the broth to a boil then turn heat to low, simmer and cook covered until tender (pierced with a fork) about 30 minutes. Remove about 1 quart of broth from pot and set aside to cool slightly.
In another bowl beat 4 eggs until frothy adding slowly juice from lemon. Take the warmed broth and add to the egg mixture slowly a 1/2 ladle at a time still beating the egg mixture. After all broth is mixed with egg & lemon slowly add to pot on stove. Cover the pot and turn flame off.
Let sit for about 10 minutes then serve.