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Holiday Time: Santorini Dolmades

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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Joined: 03 February 2012
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    Posted: 29 September 2012 at 07:45
Photo & Recipe Courtesy: Selene Restaurant - Santorini, Greece.
If you had only one word to describe Santorini, it would have to be phenomenal. As we were sitting on the edge of the dormant volcano ( it last erupted in 1.500 B.C. ) as we were taking in the spectacular views of the crater and the Mediterranean deep brilliant turquoise and royal blue sea beyond, we pondered the Santorini archaelogical  excavations and the coastline with icy glasses of Ouzo.
There are few places on earth, that are as beautiful as Santorini.
Here is a specialty which hails from the kitchen of a lovely restaurant, called Selene, owned by Mr. Georges Hatziyiannakis and the late Mrs. Evelyn Volika.
SANTORINI DOLMADES ( 5 dozen ) ...  
1/2 pound of grape leaves or 1 Jar in brine 16 ounces or 460 grams
120 ml. or 1/2 cup plus 2 tblsps. Evoo
6 onions of choice minced finely ( one can employ leek or shallots or a combinations )
 3 scallions or spring onions minced finely
200 grams of long grain rice
Fennel, dill, orégano, mint and parsley 1 1/2 cups of finely chopped herbs ( or sub dry version )
2 Lemons Juiced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* garlic optional to taste ( recipe requests 2 or 3 )
Tzatzkiki or Greek Yogurt, Feta Cheese, Fresh Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Roasted Red Bell Pepper, Evoo drizzle and red or white wine vinegar and warm oven Pita to pair; in addition to a sparkling white or rosé wine, Ouzo,  or chilled beer.
* optional fresh sliced finely shrimp or ground beef or ground lamb
A pinch of Pinenuts in each rice spoon to be wrapped 
1) wash the grape leaves thoroughly
2) blanch the grape leaves in salted boiling water for 3 to 5 mins and remove with slotted spoon and place in ice water and drain well
3)  sweat onions & scallions over low flame in Evoo until very tender and lightly golden brown
4) add the garlic minced and let sauté for a few mins.
5) add the Rice and stir for 3 mins., and then season with salt and freshly ground pepper
6) add 2 cups of water ( 500 ml. ) and cover and simmer until rice is softened however, not cooked all the way and the liquid has been absorbed.
7) remove from skillet, and sprinkle with the fresh chopped herbs or dry spices of same and 2 more tblsps. of Evoo.
8) arrange the grape leaves after draining and patting dry on paper towels and snip the stems and round out the rough edges
9) place the leaves vein side up, in rows to work on a butcher block and take 1 tsp. at a time filling the leaves with the rice mixture & a pinch of pinenuts and place the mixture in the centre bottom of each leaf.
10) firstly, fold up the bottom portion of the leaf and tuck in the sides, and roll upward to close
11) they are to be placed 1 dolma at a time in a large wide dutch oven type vessel, drizzling a bit of lemon juice as you continue layering and put on the bottom and they should fit very close together, in one or two layers
12) continue until you have finished the layering.
13) cut a piece of parchment to fit the circumference of the pot and place tightly fitting over the dolmades and then, place a plate over the parchment to keep the rolled leaves in place.
14) cover the pot, and bring to simmer slow to medium flame and simmer 35 - 40 mins.
until the leaves are tender and the rice is perfectly tender ( not mushy. )
15) serve warm or cold.
Yield: 5 dozen.  
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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