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Traditional Greek
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Greek, Macedonian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • Generous ½ to 1 cup long grain rice uncooked
  • 1 or 2 large green cabbages
  • 2 cups ground pork or beef ( I use lean organic beef)
  • 1 large sweet onion grated or small chop
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons FRESH flat leaf or Italian parsley
  • 4 tablespoons FRESH dill or same dried
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil preferably Greek
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons fresh
  • 2 Tablespoons “Better Than Bouillon” Roasted Beef Base-organic reduced sodium
  • Ground pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Soak rice in cold water for 10 minutes drain, rinse, drain again. Put in a large bowl.
  • Prepare the cabbage:
  • Boil a large pot filled with water halfway up.
  • Rinse cabbage and run your knife around the core from the bottom cutting deeply in a square around the core but leave whole.
  • Remove the 3 outer leaves and set aside to line the pot later.
  • Keep peeling leaves off carefully one by one and setting aside.
  • When you get to the small inner leaves carefully remove these too and set aside.
  • Finally when you get nearest the core take these small hearts and set aside in a different bowl.
  • Rinse the larger cabbage leaves and drain.
  • One at a time pop them into the boiling water to blanch 1 minute is best. Fish out gently with a slotted spoon and drain in colander, and set aside on towel.
  • When you get to the cabbage heart leaves do these all at once keeping the leaves together as best you can.
  • Filling:
  • Mix the ground meat, onion, rice one beaten egg, herbs, 3 tablespoons of the oil, one tablespoon of the Beef Base, and a few grinds of pepper together in a bowl with your hands.
  • Prep the pot:
  • Empty the hot blanching water out of the large pot and line bottom with the 3 large outer leaves.
  • Making the rolls:
  • Starting with the largest blanched leaves, lay one out and cut the large hard vein out of the bottom 1/3.
  • Take a tablespoon of filling and squish gently with your fingers to hold together and place it an inch from the cut end of your leaf.
  • Roll the cut end over the meat, roll sides in and finish rolling to make a tight roll.
  • Sometimes you will have to patch using the smaller leaves.
  • Place this roll with the smooth side up directly on the cabbage lining the pot. Pack more rolls in tightly making a second row if need be.
  • When you run out of large leaves use the cabbage heart “cups”- several leaves together and place your filling directly in the middle of the cup squeezing all together and tucking these filling side up into your pot between the rolls.
  • When you have completed the Dolmades top the entire top layer with pats of the butter and the rest of the olive oil.
  • Top this with enough water mixed with the remaining tablespoon of Beef Base; enough to just touching the bottoms of top layer of rolls.
  • Cover the rolls with a heat-proof plate or I use the top of my glass casserole dish to weigh these down.
  • Then place the pot cover on tightly.
  • Cook:
  • Cook on “2” or reduce to lo on your heating element. Check at 30 minutes.
  • Sauce:
  • When your rolls are done take them off the burner immediately and cool a little.
  • I remove them immediately to a glass casserole dish to prevent them turning to mush.
  • Save the cooking broth and cool a bit.
  • Using a whisk in a large saucepan, mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a paste.
  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the lemon juice, and eggs to the cornstarch.
  • Pour the broth (about 2 ½ cups) into the cornstarch mixture whisking continuously over low/medium heat-get it frothy and thick.
  • Serve the Dolmades on a plate with the lemon sauce poured over.
  • You can garnish with a lemon wedge for color and more lemon flavor.
  • I even serve the tiny bits of cabbage that I couldn’t roll or cook; with the hot sauce.