Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dolma, not just stuffed grape leaves in our family

In our family, we stuff any and every veggie we've got on hand. We also throw in any meat we've got on hand, too.

I had some chicken legs and a bone-in ribeye (that I cut up) that I wanted to use in the dolma. I braised the chicken and steak in about 2 cups of water, salt & pepper to taste. Braise for about 45 minutes to make a nice rich stock.
The dolma stuffing is just 2 cups of uncooked medium grain or long grain rice (rinsed but not soaked), 2 tablespoons of chopped curly parsley, 1/2 onion (chopped fine), 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped dill, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (bottled is fine here), 1/2 cup of tomato sauce & salt and pepper to taste. You can add cooked ground beef or lamb to the mixture if you'd like. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Sometimes I add a teaspoon of ground hot red pepper. If you like spicy...please try the red pepper!
Swiss Chard is one of our family favorites!
Cut off the hard stems on the end.
Place a small amount of the rice mixture near the end of one side of the leaf.
Carefully start rolling your leaf. When you use grape leaves it's easier to bring the sides in, too but with the swiss chard leaves they tend to crack, so just roll them up and not too tight.
These don't have to be perfect because again, the swiss chard tends to crack if you try to roll them really tight. When you place them in the pan, put the loose leaf part down.
Peppers are great to stuff because they add color and are so tasty! Slice the top of the pepper so it is almost sliced off, but not all they way....

Make sure to keep the lid attached and scrape out the inside of the pepper.
Stuff the pepper about half way to the top. Remember the rice is not cooked yet, so don't over stuff your veggies!
Stuffed onions are my favorite! Cut a piece out of your onion so you can grab the layers and pull them apart.

See the layers each become a separate stuffed onion, so one onion can make several stuffed pieces!

Again, stuff about half way full.
And then push one end of the onion behind the other to kind of seal the onion together.
After you've stuffed all your veggies and placed them in a heavy duty pan, place all the meat around your veggies and start pouring the stock on top of the veggies.

Pour all the stock in the pan so that your veggies will sort of "steam" in the stock. This makes the veggies nice and tender and full of flavor!

Move around any meat or veggies to make sure everything is nice and snug next to each other.

Place a heavy ceramic or glass plate on top of the veggies, cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to low and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour. The heavy plate helps keep the stuffed veggies together while they cook.
See how nice the inside of the onions look. The rice is nice and soft and so flavorful!

The meat is tender and has all those wonderful flavors from the stuffed
veggies in it.
I ate like 3 stuffed swiss chard just plating up this stuff! If you have any stock left in the pan, pour it over the dish!


Helene said...

Oh my everything looks tasty. Lots of work.

avesta said...

Helene, yes it can be time consuming but so worth it! If you want to make it faster stick to using one vegetable and skip the meat, instead pour a vegetable stock on top of the stuffed veggies before cooking!

Karen said...

Ooooh, those veggie look SO good!

avesta said...

Karen, I'm telling you...they are so good..even those who claim to not like veggies love these stuffed veggies!!!

Ibby said...

My Kurdish boyfriend makes these for me. They are soooo good. Everyone in my area is out of swiss chard right now, I don't know why, and I wanted to attempt them myself, since I have watched him do it and now have your recipe to remind me of the steps. Think I can use collard greens instead of the chard? I might try it regardless, but wanted your input. Thanks! :)

Noushin said...

Hey there girl
Im so proud of you for representing our great culture and yummy foods :]
I love kurdish food so much.... well i am a kurd lol
But anyways good job with this :)

Tiur said...

Hi foodie friends,
I just met some new kurdish friends her in Coventry. They informed about the spinach that were planted in the plot that can be made into Yaprak. I ate Dolma but never know that this spinach leaves can be rolled.
I read your blog and saw that my big leaves spinach is waht you called Swiss Chard. I just made the Yaprak faithfully following your recipes minus the meat. And I used wok with the cover. I turned out good and delicious.Thank you very much.

kurdsGyal said...

oooo dolma is sooooooooo yummi everytime i see it my mouth waters!!!!just so scrummi my boyfriend is also kurdish and he always make dolma.luvvin it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Soran Mustafa Kurdi said...

That looks delicious! I know that because it looks like my wife's, she is a mater of Dolma!