Sunday Dinner

So I had an idea for a series of blog posts…since I post a lot of recipe/food related stuff, I was thinking maybe I will try to post one every week? Or almost every week? No promises, let’s just see how we do.

So for my first “Sunday Dinner” post, I decided to share a favorite that is also related to my recent release Night Vision: Dolmades

My main character, Theron, loves to cook. And he is Greek. I thought, surely he would enjoy cooking and eating Dolmades, right? I think so. This is a very simple recipe, and I am confident that anyone can make them. Stuffed grape leaves have a tangy flavor, from the leaves themselves as well as from the lemon juice they are baked with, and they make a lovely appetizer because they can be served cold, so you can prepare them ahead and they will still taste great! Or, just eat them in massive quantities directly out of the fridge while standing in your kitchen at 1am. Either way! So here it is:

Theron’s Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves)

  • 1 jar of grape leaves
  • 1 ½ cup rice (uncooked, preferably long grain)
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, or 2 Tbsp. dry dill
  • 1 onion, grated (or minced)

First, you have to drain the grape leaves and boil them for a few minutes. Some people say 10 minutes, the jar label usually says 1 minute, so I like to split the difference and leave them on the boil for 5 minutes. Then take them off the stove but leave them in the water until you are ready to roll.

All the ingredients laid out on my crappy old cutting board!

Mix all the ingredients, and prepare a casserole pan by oiling it.

Then the fun part: rolling up the grape leaves! Place 1 teaspoon (don’t measure, just use a small spoon) of the rice mixture on the lower portion of a leaf, fold over the sides, and roll it up. Try to keep it fairly tight and neat. But I usually have my kids help and sometimes the leaves are messy – they taste great regardless, so don’t sweat it. If some of the leaves are too small you can overlap two and use them as one to make a bigger leaf. It’s fine, trust me.IMG_2576

It’s like a tiny little burrito! Seriously, don’t sweat the technique, as long as it’s all sealed.

Line up the little parcels in your casserole pan, then add water to almost cover them, wrap the top tightly with foil, and bake at 350®F for about an hour.

See those few that are on top? Yeah, those aren’t going to cook as well. Try to keep it to a single layer.
All cooked!

Serve warm or cold 🙂

I hope you enjoy making (and eating) these! IMG_2584

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