Recipe by Alan Leonetti
This is a Greek recipe that I developed from 3 different recipes, and it is DELICIOUS! The recipe serves 4-6 people as a main dish, but you can serve more people as an appetizer. It is also great to bring to a potluck buffet.
FOR THE DOLMA
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 3 teaspoons dried dill
- 3 teaspoons dried cilantro
- 2 onions (finely chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup celery (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄2 cup instant rice (uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon mint sauce
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley
- salt and pepper
- 1 (8 ounce) jar grape leaves (Orlando California brand)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 -4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄2 cup dry white wine or 1⁄2 cup cream sherry
- 1⁄2 tablespoon oil (to grease dish or pan)
FOR THE AVGOLEMONO
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 -4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water (divided 3/4 cup & 1/4 cup)
Directions See How It's Made
- DOLMA DIRECTIONS:.
- Saute onions and celery with 1 tablespoon butter until wilted. In a large bowl, add ground lamb, onions, celery, rice, mint sauce, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Remove grape leaves from jar and open up onto a large plate.
- Remove one leaf (the bigger the better) and place onto a flat surface with shiny side down.
- Place a small amount of the filling toward the stem side of the leaf and then roll up (tuck in the left and the right side as you roll) towards the top of the leaf.
- Make sure you do not put too much filling in each one.
- Grease the bottom of a Corningware dish or Saucepot with a little oil or Pam, and then line the bottom with some of the smaller grape leaves that you did not use as rollups.
- Place into the dish/pot the rolled grape leaves close together and arrange in layers.
- Add chicken stock, lemon juice, wine or sherry, and remaining tablespoons of butter.
- In order to prevent the grape leaves from opening up during cooking, place a small flat Corningware plate or lid on top of the grape leaves.
- Then place Corningware glass cover onto the Corningware pot.
- Simmer on low for about 1 hour.
- After the 1 hour, set aside to cool.
- While cooling, make the egg-lemon sauce.
- After the sauce is made and you have drained the stuffed grape leaves by holding the lid in place and pouring the liquid into the sink, place several stuffed grape leaves on a dish and pour some hot egg-lemon sauce on top and serve.
- EGG-LEMON SAUCE DIRECTIONS:.
- Lightly beat 2 egg yolks with 1/4 cup of water.
- In a measuring cup, place 2 or 3 tablespoons lemon juice and add enough water for a total of 3/4 cup of liquid. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a small pot and then add the cornstarch, stirring. Add a little of the lemon juice and water mixture to prevent it from becoming lumpy.
- Next, add a little more of the lemon juice and water mixture until smooth, and then add the rest of the lemon juice and water mixture and continue stirring until smooth.
- Remove from the heat for about 1 minute.
- Gradually add the beaten egg yolk mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth. (Keep in mind that heating will cause the eggs to set, which you do NOT want to do.).
- NOTE: If you have any stuffed grape leaves leftover, you can heat them in a frying pan the next day and serve with the egg-lemon sauce. Or microwave the stuffed grape leaves with some egg-lemon sauce on top, prior to heating.