Oh man oh man oh man, I could not be more excited about food than I am right now.
You see, I told you about my recent bulk order of produce, and one of the things I hinted at was that I got grape leaves (60 of them, to be exact). I hinted that I’d be using these in a future post.
The future is now, my friend.
I intended to roll the dolmades up tonight and freeze them to cook them another day, so after doing a bit of research on freezing grape leaves, I came to the conclusion that I should blanch them first to ensure they froze well. This was pretty easy: I set some salt water (roughly 4:1 water to salt, but I didn’t measure) to boil on the stove while I washed the grape leaves and removed the stems. I set up an ice water bath and began putting the grape leaves into the boiling water in batches of 6-8 leaves, blanching them for 2 minutes, and then transferring them to the ice water bath to cool. Once cooled, they took a quick ride in the salad spinner and got laid out on paper towels until I was ready to use them. We were a little surprised at how quickly they turned from the gorgeous bright green color to the more familiar olive green color in the boiling water.
For the dolmades, I used the sărmăluţe recipe from Ars Technica’s own dracusoara. I didn’t change much about it, but I did make it with 1.4 lb of ground beef only (because that’s what I had on hand). Everything else was the same.
Draccy did a much better job explaining everything, so I will leave you with an action shot:
And an image of one of the (un)finished products:
We had a little of the filling left, so I threw it in the cast iron with some chicken broth until the rice was cooked. HOLY CRAP it was good! I can’t wait to cook these and eat them!