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Greek

Dolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed grape leaves)

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Ingredients: 
Grape Leaves:
1 1/2lb ground beef or lamb
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 c. raw converted rice (I use minute rice)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. of dill or 1/4 c. fresh dill
1/4 c. water
1- lb jar grape leaves (these can usually be found in the vegetable isle where the pickled items are in your local grocery store)
3 1/2 cups hot chicken stock
Avgolemono Sauce:
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
6 tbls. lemon juice
1 cup boiling chicken stock
Directions: 

Combine meat, onions, rice, salt, pepper and dill. Add water and mix well. Using your hands works very well. Drain the brine from the jar of grape leaves. Use a 9" by 13" baking pan and line the bottom of the pan with about 4 to 6 of the grape leaves. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of meat and rice mixture in center of the leaf. Starting at the stem roll once then tuck the sides in and finish rolling the grape leaf, then set in pan. Lay a couple grape leaves in bottom of the pan and when you filled the pan with the stuffed leaves start one more layer on top. When all the meat is used up and final leaves are placed on top Poor the hot chicken stock gently over the top. The rice will soak up most of the liquid while cooking. Cover with tin foil and place in the oven at 350 for 2 1/2 hours.

The sauce is a key ingredient to this yummy recipe. Avgolemono (meaning egg-lemon) is the favorite sauce of Greek cookery. It is used in soups and stews and over meats and vegetables.

Avgolemono Sauce:

In a sauce pan beat eggs until frothy. Gradually add lemon juice and hot chicken stock, stirring constantly. Simmer over low heat stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened. Do not allow to come to a boil. I've found that if you take a 1/4 cup of the hot liquid and add a tsp. of corn starch, mix until all the lumps are gone and pour slowly back into the cooking egg mixture it thickens much better and quicker.

Blender or Food Processor method: (this way is quite a bit faster)

Add eggs to food processor and blend on high for about 2 minutes until frothy. Add salt and lemon juice and blend 1 minute longer. With motor running slowly add the hot chicken stock. When all liquid is blended return to pot a simmer on med heat until thickened.

~When you start to smell this amazing dish you will understand why I think it's food for the Gods!

~This is a easy recipe. Enjoy!

~This is a great recipe to have with Cheese Pie

Here's a couple nice food processors.

Cheese Pie

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Ingredients: 
1/4 lb. feta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
1 tbsp. fresh parsley (1/2 tsp. dried)
pepper to taste
filo pastry sheets
1/4 cup butter
Directions: 

~I find a Quisinart works best for this.

Put the cheeses, pepper, parsley and egg in the food processor and mix until blended. About 10-15 seconds. Not long.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

When using filo dough the sheets you aren't working with at the moment need to be kept covered, so they don't dry out. (plastic wrap works well for this) Put 2 filo sheets on a cutting board and brush butter over the surface of the top one. Slice the sheets in half lengthwise. Drop 1 tbsp. of cheese mixture in one corner of the dough strip. Fold corner of dough over the filling. Turn triangle over and over to the end of the strip. Put on cookie sheet and brush top with butter. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes or until crisp and brown.

~I love feta so always add a bit extra.

~This is wonderful with Dolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed grape leaves)

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