My friend Hunter Hughes and I have been talking about making his family recipe for dolmas since, well, pretty much since I started this blog. So we finally got around to it last weekend. Hunter told me the story of how his mom’s family is from Beirut and the grape leaves used to make these dolmas are from a root they brought over from Beirut. Pretty cool story.
Dolmas are basically stuffed grape leaves. The grape leaves are stuffed with meat or vegetables, rice and spices. The ones Hunter’s family makes are stuffed with ground lamb meat and rice. He assures me, the ones we ate are traditional Lebanese ones, not to be confused with Greek ones which are often vegetarian.
Grape leaves (can get them in a jar, somewhere near olives in the grocery store)
Ground leg of lamb
These ones we made were handmade by Hunter’s grandma and frozen. So, lucky me, got to try the really authentic ones.
If you were making these, you would take the uncooked rice and ground lamb meat and wrap it tightly in the grape leaves. Making little bite size pieces.
Next, place the dolmas in a large pot and cover with water. Make sure that the dolmas can lay flat and that you can fit a salad plate over the dolmas.
See how the plate fits inside the large pot. This holds the dolmas together while cooking so the leaves don’t unravel.
Then squeeze some lemons over and place them around the edges. Simmer these for about 35minutes.
The dolmas will come out looking all steamy and fresh!
I served these dolmas with Sweet Potato Hummus , whole wheat cous cous and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella.
For prosciutto wrapped mozzarella, slice fresh mozzarella and wrap with prosciutto. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with kosher salt. Easy and delicious!
And just in case you ladies were wondering this half-Lebanese man resides in Austin, TX but loves that Alabama Roll Tide. You can find him on the mean streets of West 6th or combing the Capitol working his slick skills.
Thanks for the dolmas Hunter!
yeah huntaaaaa!! woohoo! YUM