I catered a 50th birthday party of a friend yesterday- it was a fifies theme- some great outfits. Poofy skirts and Elvis wigs abounded all over. For the food I avioded the fiftiesness. I went with stuffed strawberries, stuffed tomatoes (using those darling little mozzarella balls from Trader Joes), Endives, and a greek platter. Everything went down very well, especially the dolmades. I have posted the recipe below- the main secret is to use lots of lemon juice which kind of caramalizes down the bottom. Make sure you cook them thouroughly also, or you end up with crunchy rice!
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup Plus 3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3 spring onions (finely chopped)
1 tbsp Minced fresh parsley
2 tbsp Minced fresh mint
½ cup Pine nuts
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
½ tsp Ground allspice
1 Jar grape leaves
Several stems of fresh parsley
¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup vegetable stock
1, Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a wok. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the rice, ½ cup of the remaining olive oil, the spring onions, parsley, pine nuts, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
2, Rinse the grape leaves under running cold water to remove as much brine as possible, pat dry, and stack on a plate. Place 1 leaf at a time, shiny side down, on a flat work surface. Cut off and discard the tough stem end. Spoon about 1 Tbsp of the rice mixture in the center near the base of the leaf. Fold the stem end over to cover the filling, fold both side inward lengthwise and then tightly roll leaf toward pointed tip end to form a compact packet. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.
3, Pour about 2 Tbsp. of the remaining olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and strew with a layer of parsley stems. Arrange the stuffed leaves, seam side down and almost touching, on top of the parsley, making as many layers as
necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and 1/2 cup stock over the leaves. Top with a heat-resistant plate and weight with a heavy can to keep leaves from unwinding
4, Cover the pot, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until rice is tender, about 1 hour. During cooking, add a little heated liquid as needed to keep dolmades moist. Remove from the heat and cool in the pot. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.