Traditional Greek dolmades

My husband loves dolmades, but none are quite so satisfying as those made using his YiaYia’s recipe, which she was kind enough to share! These dolmades are so much tastier then any I’ve had from a restaurant or store, and healthy too.

Traditional Greek dolmades
(photo credit: Tania.Paz via photopin cc)

Ingredients:

  • 500g mince
  • 1 1/2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 spring onions
  • 3 dill leaves
  • 2 parsley leaves
  • Handful of mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grape vine leaves
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Rinse the rice in a sieve to remove excess starch, then place in a bowl with the cup of water to soak.
  2. Wash and finely chop the spring onions, removing the roots.
  3. In a saucepan, bring a tablespoon of oil to medium heat and cook the onions.
  4. Add the mince and stir. While this is cooking, wash and finely chop the dill, parsley and mint.
  5. Once the mince has browned, add the rice and water. Stir.
  6. Add all other ingredients and stir. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Test and make sure the rice is soft, then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir.
  8. Cover the saucepan and allow to sit for 30 minutes (off heat) to allow the liquid to absorb.
  9. The rice should now be very soft, and the mince a good consistency.
  10. Roll the dolmades, using 1-2 tablespoons of mince depending on the size of the vine leaf.
  11. Use a saucepan with a strainer in it for cooking the dolmades. Put a small amount of water in the pan and cover the strainer with lettuce leaves. Lay in circular layers. When you are half way sprinkle a small amount olive oil over them. Do this again once you’ve finished laying all dolmades.
    Traditional Greek dolmades
    (photo credit: The Shifted Librarian via photopin cc)
  12. Place a plate on top of the layers and pour 1 cup of water over plate.
  13. Once water boils put on low with lid on for 30 minutes.
  14. Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then serve.

Note:  For a flavour boost, soak the rice in 1 cup of beef stock instead of water.

Spinach and bacon parcels

Spinach bacon parcels

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 leaves of fresh silverbeet
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 500g bacon, diced small
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup fresh (or 1/2 cup dry) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sheets of frozen puff pastry

Method:

  1. Trim silverbeet off the stalks and wash well; shred and cook until collapsed; drain well.
  2. Remove rind and surplus fat from the bacon and cut up small. Cook in a saucepan until nice and brown.
  3. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook until onion is clear. Allow to cool.
  4. Grate the cheese and put out pastry sheets to defrost. Prepare fresh breadcrumbs if using.
  5. Put breadcrumbs, cheese, and silverbeet into the saucepan with the bacon and stir; then add the eggs and seasonings and stir well. Mixture should be moist but not runny.
  6. Divide mixture into four portions and place each portion onto one side of the pastry square. Spread the mixture to within 2cms of the edge of pastry on two sides to form a triangle. Do not wet edges as puff pastry will seal better if not wet. Fold over and seal.
  7. Bake on greased trays in a hot oven until cooked.

Note:  These pastries are nice hot or cold, and can be made smaller for an entrée or snack.

(photo credit: penguincakes via photopin cc)