These dolmades are so unbelievably good that you won’t be able to stop eating! The vine leaves are stuffed with minced meat, rice and herbs, and the egg-lemon sauce complements them and brings them to another level. Perhaps the wrapping up of the stuffing inside the leaves is a bit time consuming, but the end result will totally compensate you.
If you happen to have a vine in your backyard, you can collect the tender leaves (medium sized) to wrap the dolmades. Very large leaves are usually tough. If not, you can buy them in jars. In this case the vine leaves are tightly folded and rolled. Take them out of the jar and unfold them carefully, wash them in fresh water and let them drain in a colander.
Ingredients About 50 vine leaves 250 gr. pork minced meat (or beef minced meat) ½ cup rice 2 tablespoonfuls parsley finely chopped 1 tablespoonful dill finely chopped 1 large onion grated 1egg separated plus 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon corn flour 1 lemon, juice 3 tablespoonfuls butter or margarine 3 tablespoonfuls olive oil Salt, pepper
If you use fresh vine leaves, you will have to wash them and then blanch them in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain them and let them cool so that you can handle them. In the meantime, prepare the stuffing.
In a bowl put the minced meat, rice, parsley, dill, onion, and the white of the one egg. Mix everything well with your hands.
Lay a few vine leaves on your work surface, rough side facing you. When you roll the dolmades the shiny side will be on the outside. If there is a stem, cut it off with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife. Place a teaspoonful on the leaf, (the exact amount depends on the size of the leaf) leaving some space on top which must be folded over the stuffing. Fold inwards the two sides of the leaf and then roll the dolmas until you have a tight little packet. Place the dolmades in a large bottomed pot, tightly the one next to the other, resting on the open side. If you have more dolmades, you just place them carefully on top of the first layer. After you have finished rolling all the dolmades, add 2 cups of water and set the pot on the fire. Place a plate upside down on the dolmades, so that they don’t move around while they are cooking. Simmer for about one hour. Check now and then to see that there is enough water in the pot, so that the dolmades don’t burn as the rice absorbs quite a lot of water, and if needed add about ½ to 1 cup water. If you want, you can place some vine leaves on the bottom on the pot, so that the dolmades don’t come into direct contact with the pot itself. At the end of the cooking time there should be about 1 ½ cups liquid, so that you can make the egg-lemon sauce. Remove the pot from the fire.
Put the two egg yolks in a bowl. You can keep the extra white of the egg in the fridge. Beat the egg yolks lightly. Dissolve the corn flour in two tablespoonfuls of water and add the lemon juice. Pour the lemon juice into the bowl with the egg yolks beating constantly. Then, add some liquid from the pot to the eggs with a ladle, beating gently the whole time. Finally, pour the contents of the bowl into the pot. Shake the pot gently so that the egg-lemon sauce is distributed evenly. Return the pot to the fire, and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Serve immediately. You can accompany the dolmades with a nice salad, some feta cheese and fresh, crusty bread.