Dolmades: Stuffed Grape Leaves

20 dolmades
  • 20 large grape leaves from a jar, available in some supermarkets and most specialty food shops
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Rinse each of the grape leaves well, snip off the stems and pat dry. Set aside, stacked on a plate and covered with plastic wrap. In a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over moderate and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the cinnamon stick and the rice, stirring to coat and combine. Stir in the currants, pine nuts, mint, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until all of the liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat, remove the cinnamon stick and discard. Allow to cool completely.

  • Place a grape leaf smooth side down with the stem end toward you on the work surface. Place a tablespoon of the cooled rice filling near the stem end and fold in the sides of the leaf over the filling. Beginning with the stem end roll up the leaf, not too tightly because the rice will continue to absorb liquid and expand in the next cooking step. Repeat process for remaining grape leaves. Transfer the dolmades to a skillet just large enough to contain all of the dolmades in a single layer. In a bowl combine the remaining chicken stock and olive oil with the lemon juice. Pour the liquid over the dolmades, adding additional water if necessary to just barely cover with liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook, covered, until tender when pierced with fork, about 30 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, uncover and allow to cool. Serve warm, at room temperature or cool.

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