(As I sat down to do this, I realized that it might be damn near impossible to get the REAL recipe to you! I KNOW for a fact, to start off, that I don't use a quarter teaspoon of any spice, so PLEASE, realize folks, these instructions that follow only represent a starting place.)
Stuffed Grape Leaves
1 cup long grain rice
¼ t ground cinnamon
¼ t cardamom
1 ½ T olive oil
1 medium onion
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup golden raisins (go to a Mediterranean market for these - they have these huge delicious raisins - I had soaked mine in water for about half an hour before using them to plump them up a tad)
2 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
½ t salt
fresh ground pepper
juice of lemon
@ 7 dozen fresh grape leaves – choose large young leaves – older leaves will be too chewy – you can also buy a jar of leaves from a Mediterranean market
Blanch your leaves until they change color. Just a moment. Drain and cool.
Cook rice however you like to cook rice - use salt, olive oil, whatever makes you happy.
In another pan, sauté onions in olive oil. After they are translucent, add pine nuts and toast them a bit, then add raisins and spices and herbs. Sauté till it smells good, remove from heat.
Combine with the rice to make the filling.
Place a layer of smaller leaves in the bottom of a large heavy bottomed kettle or sauce pot, with a cover.
Lay each large grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up. Trim away stem. [v cut into bottom of leaf}
Put about a tablespoon of rice mixture into grapeleaf, sprinkle on parsley. Roll the leaf into a cylindrical shape apx, 1/2 x 2 or three inches. Depends upon grape leaf.
Fold up the bottom, [stem side] up. Fold in both side. Roll top over for tight fit.
Place in pot. Place tightly next to each other so they won't unwrap. Place plate over layers. Add enough water just to cover the bottom and add lemon juice. Steam dolmas until heated through. Serve with yogurt and/or lemon juice.
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