415 - Welcome to Nikonos
Dolmathes with Avgolemono Sauce
When planning a fabulous trip to Greece in your own home, you will want to include a traditional Greek dish. I called upon my friend, Andrew Poulos, master of Greek cuisine, to come by and share a family recipe with me. We decided to make Dolmathes, which are stuffed grape leaves, with a lemon sauce. Here is his recipe for this wonderful sample of the Mediterranean:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup rice, uncooked
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp dried mint (or ½ cup fresh mint)
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp cumin
- ¼ cup water
- vine leaves
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- 3 egg whites
- 3 egg yolks
- juice of 1 ½ lemons
Remove vine leaves from jar in which they are packaged, soak them in cold water for about half an hour, changing the water a few times.
Into a mixing bowl, add beef, rice, onion, egg, mint, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and water. Mix together and put bowl aside.
Place the vine leaves shiny side down. Add about a tablespoon of the mixture to the centre of each vine leaf. Fold leaf inwards and then roll into a small cylindrical shape. (*Don't roll too tightly because the rice will expand as it cooks. Don't make them too loose because you don't want them to unravel.)
Place vine leaves into a large pot, making sure the side with the fold is facedown. (*Pack them tightly together so that they support each other in the pot).
In a separate pot, boil 2 cups of water, olive oil, and pinch of salt. Add to pot with dolmathes. Bring the dolmathes to a boil again, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
When cooked, strain off the water into a bowl, setting it aside.
To make the lemon sauce, whip egg whites in a mixing bowl, add egg yolks and lemon juice.
Add sauce, which you strained from the dolmathes, little by little. Because it's hot, drizzle it on because you don't want to curdle the egg.
Finally, present the dolmathes on a platter. Drizzle the sauce on top, and then you are all set to serve. This great recipe should yield about 50 dolmathes, which are delicious not only when they are fresh out of the oven, but also when they are refrigerated.
Special Thanks: Andrew Poulos; Toronto, ON