My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Monday, May 24, 2010

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce

I was visiting around my favorite blogs last week and stopped by October Farm. What a beautiful blog she has, and she was making Stuffed Grape Leaves (dolmas). I love these and love making them. She will show you how to put them together, which I never bother to do. Her recipe uses lamb and mine, below, are meatless. How nice to have a choice. The Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce would be great with either one.

Stuffed Grape Leaves with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
30 dolmas
print recipe

40 medium sized fresh grape leaves (bottled may be substituted)
1 cup chopped onion
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup uncooked long-grain rice
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint leaves (optional)
1/4 cup white wine or water
lemon wedges or yogurt for garnish - or Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

If fresh leaves are used, drop them, a few at a time, into a simmering pot of water and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Place at once into a bowl of ice water to prevent further cooking, then remove and drain on paper towels. If preserved leaves are used, rinse carefully in cool water. Stems should be snipped off either the fresh or preserved leaves.

In a saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil. Cook onion until limp, then add rice and cook just until the grains are glossy (about 2 minutes). Add water and cover. Cook over low flame for about 15 minutes. The rice should be tender, but not mushy.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small pan. Brown the pine nuts just until barely golden. Add to rice with currants and mint (if used). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Line the bottom of a heavy 2 to 3-quart casserole with 10 leaves. Arrange the remaining leaves, dull size up, on a flat working surface (a bread board works great). Make sure any stems are snipped off.

Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of each leaf. Fold the stem end of the leaf over the stuffing. Fold the left side of the leaf toward the center. Repeat with the right side. Now, start rolling the leaf into a little sausage-like shape. Do not roll too tightly, as the filling will expand slightly.

Stack, with seams down, snugly in the casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining olive oil and wine. Cover and simmer over a very low flame for 45 minutes. Uncover, cool to room temperature, and carefully remove from the casserole. Arrange in a attractive design on a platter. Garnish with lemon wedges. Yogurt may be drizzle on top or served in a pretty bowl on the size. I normally serve them with the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce as a appetizer. This will make 30 dolmas.

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce
about 2 cups

1 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup peeled diced cucumber
3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

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