I never met a recipe I couldn't improve upon. And the first few times I use a recipe I refine it. So this is only a partially refined recipe. For the basic recipe I went to Allrecipes.com and searched through their Greek selections. Look for the one with the currants and pine nuts.
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3/4 C uncooked white rice
- 1 1/2 T tomato paste
- 3 T dried currants
- 1 T pine nuts
- 3 T cinnamon
- 3/4 t dried mint
- 1 1/2 dill
- 1/2 t allspice
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 lb hamburger, browned and drained
- 1/2 jar [8oz.] grape leaves - rinsed and drained
1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Saute onions 'til tender.
Stir in rice and hot water to cover.
Cover and simmer til rice is 1/2 cooked [ about 10 minutes to bring to a simmer and then 10 minutes to simmer].
2. Remove from heat and stir in tomato paste, currants, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint, dill, allspice, cumin, and hamburger.
3. Prepare a large pot by placing an inverted plate on the bottom; this protects the dolmas from direct heat while steaming.
4. Rinse grape leaves in warm water, drain and cut off any stems. Place about 1 1/2 t of the cooled rice mix in the middle of a leaf. Fold in the sides & then roll into a cigar shape. Do this VERY Gently, or the leaf will tear!!! Place in the prepared pot. Repeat w/ remaining ingredients. You may have to stack the dolmas on top of each other. That's OK.
5. Pour in just enough warm water to reach the first layer of dolma. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 -45 minutes. Check water often and add as necessary.
I checked every 10 minutes once it actually started to simmer.
This recipe reflects more cinnamon, more olive oil, more tomatoe paste, LOTS more currants, and less mint. I also added a small amount of the leanest ground sirloin I could buy at the grocery store. Please feel free to fiddle with it as you please.
Tonight I'm making Artichoke Chicken. I'll let you know how it turns out.