There was so much I was going to write about this week ............ and here we are, another Sunday which means another week gone forever .......... and I haven't written about anything!
I began the week with a little wander around the garden and was pleasantly surprised to discover some mini sized olives on the two olive trees. Okay, so they are small and not very many, but I'm hoping that this year we may actually get some olives to eat!
Then there was the kiyma dolma (stuffed vine leaves) that I made during the week. I finally decided to pick some vine leaves and make dolma - the only problem was that the newer leaves were too small and the larger leaves too old! Still, I made the best of it and only ended up with a few that were too chewy!!
They look so beautiful before being blanched! And become such an ugly green afterwards!
The meat mixture - is actually very easy to make and as you can see, I should have used a larger saucepan which would have prevented the overhang! Anyway, here's the recipe:
1lb Minced lamb
1 - 2 Onions
2 tbs Olive oil
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 - 2 tsps dried mint
1 tsp cinnamon
Salt and Pepper
1/3 cup filled with rice (I use basmati)
1/3 cup/80ml of water
Handful of chopped Parsley
Chop the onions and fry gently in the olive oil (just to soften). Add the minced lamb and brown. Once the meat has browned add the mint, cinnamon, salt, pepper and rice and mix thoroughly. Add the chopped tomatoes and water (add more water if you feel it is needed, the mixture should not dry out). Add the chopped parsley and cook on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes. Turn off heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes or so - just long enough to blanche the vine leaves. You will need approximately 30 - 36 leaves.
Place 2 - 3 large leaves in the bottom of the pan.
Fill the leaves by placing a small amount of the meat mixture on the middle of each leaf, fold the sides in and roll up into a tight parcel. Place the parcels tightly against each other in the pan and cover with a few leaves.
Place a flat plate turned upside down on top of them, then fill a small turkish coffee pot with water and stand on top of the plate to weight it down. Mix two tablespoons of tomato puree with water from the kettle and pour into the pan so that it comes up to the edge of the plate. Cook on medium to lowish heat for about 45 minutes.
I had quite a lot of meat left over and used it to fill some largish tomatoes and cooked them in a separate pan for 45 minutes also.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take some photographs before we had dinner! So here are photographs of the leftovers - I love leftovers!
I cooked some bulgur pilau to have with the dolma.
I'm not sure if the dolma count as a seasonal recipe - in one sense they probably do because the fresh vine leaves are only available during the summer months, but on the other hand, it is possible to buy vine leaves in brine throughout the year. Personally, I don't like the leaves in brine and only cook these when the leaves are available in our garden. So, I think I will check the Simple and in Season/Fabulicious Food! blog for this recipe's seasonality.