Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dolmas - Stuffed Grape Leaves - Daring Cooks Challenge


Photo Courtesy of Budget Bytes - Creative Commons Attribution

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Isn't that a gorgeous picture? I must tell you up front that it's not my photo and I'm Dolma green with envy.

I found it while doing research for the current Daring Cook's Challenge and I must explain my envy. Lori, of Lori's Lipsmaking Goodness, hosted this month's challenge and she selected Dolmas, or stuffed grape leaves, as the dish she wanted us to make. Though she gave us two wonderful recipes, which can be found here, she also gave the nod for us to do our own thing if we wished. Her only real requirement was that we roll a leaf around a filling, and that was fine by me. As a matter of fact, that's my kind of challenge. I made the meat-filled version of the rolls for my entry and thought the sauce was spectacular. I'm a big fan of tamarind and it really appealed to me. I love Dolmas, but mine are a visual disaster, more appalling than appealing, and decidedly unappetizing. As luck would have it, the batch I made for the challenge looked especially bad and my photo, as you can see, would do nothing to improve my reputation as a photographer, much less entice guests to my table.

While searching for ways to visually save and plate my Dolmas I came across this feature at Budget Bytes. Beth's recipe was great, but her photos are what really caught my eye. They were stunning and her Dolmas really looked appealing. It was too late to salvage the ones I'd made, but I finally found a way to make the next batch look pretty. I suspect our guests will be seeing Dolmas in their futures. I really learned something from this challenge. Thank you, Lori. Thank you, Beth.




You might also enjoy these recipes:
Moussaka - Surfing the World Cuisine
Avgolemono - The Mommy Porch
Greek Style Chicken - Living the Gourmet
Fasolada (Greek Navy Bean Soup) - Elly Says Opa
Cheese Saganaki - Five Star Foodie
Pastitsio - Teenie Cakes

46 comments:

Lori said...

Mary- THe first photo is stunning. I wish we could trouble shoot and pinpoint why some peoples stuffed grape leave blew out or fell apart. If that had happened to me after I told Lisa what I was doing for the challenge I think I would have sobbed.

I am glad you remain intersted in trying again. I look forward to that adventure.

Anna A. said...

Your dolmas look amazing! I've always been way too intimated (esp by the rolling) to make dolmas. I need to face my fear. You inspire me!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love these little Greek dolmas. They are so delicious! A lot of my friends hate them; but they're so full of flavour and unique I can't understand what's to hate? Well done.

Red Nomad OZ said...

I admire anyone who even attempts to make anything like this! When I try, they're all sized 'individually' - a euphemism for unevenly!! Happily, the nearby market hasn't got that problem ...

Happy travels!

My Little Space said...

I have always wonder what is the exact taste of the cooked leaves! I saw some of them making these last year. Thank you again for sharing such interesting meal. Hope you're enjoying your day.
Cheers, Kristy

Satya said...

dolmas look awesome

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Ginny said...

Well, the green color in yours is prettier, but where is the sauce?

Monet said...

You are impressive! I love Dolmas, but I've never tried making them at home. I now feel inspired...especially after thinking about that yummy meat filling and sauce. Thank you for sharing...I'm sure mine will look far less appetizing than even yours did! (but they sure will taste good)

Kerstin said...

I'm so impressed - they look perfect!

Sushma Mallya said...

It looks very beautiful...

MaryMoh said...

Your dolmas look perfect, Mary! I remember my Egyptian friend once made these for me and they are very delicious. I would love to try . Need to look for the leaves first. Have a great day.

Peanutts said...

wow looks lovely, just one question it might sound strange, what can i use if i dont have grape leaves?

Sanjeeta kk said...

Delicious Dolmas! Must try soon.

Priya said...

Dolmas looks fantastic and awesome..

Jolita said...

That's my type of food! I absolutely love them and it's really the most delicious Turkish dish for me. Here they call them sarmas ( as sarmak means roll in Turkish, dolmas they call stuffed peppers, eggplants or zucchinis as dolmak means stuff).

Jenni said...

Great job on the challenge! I think your grape leaves look great!

Rita said...

We have a great restaurant the serves fantastic Dolmas. I've never made them and keep it for a special treat when we go there.
Rita

Big Dude said...

On the rare occasion we get to a greek restaurant, I always order these and love them. On occasion I've said I'd like to make them, but never had the nerve - you may have inspired me as I think yours look pretty darned good.

Kim said...

These looks pretty good!

lostpastremembered said...

That was a great idea to add the cucumber... dolmas are ugly ducklings on their own, aren't they? I always have so much trouble making brown lumps (or green lumps) look appetizing. Usually I opt for a dish to make it less blah... as I told Sarah at All our fingers, I made these once with my own grape leaves and they were awful... how did these taste??? That yogurt would make them so nummy, I think.

Design Wine and Dine said...

I LOVE Dolmas!!!! I only tried to make them once and well, lets just say it didn't work out!

Thank you so much for the recipe here! I'll need to muster up the courage to try them again! Thanks Mary!

bellini valli said...

I eat dolmades straight from the can like candy. Rarely do I take the time to make them myself although they are well worth the effort!!

NikiTheo said...

I love dolmades. My yiayia (grandmother in Greek) made the best, and we ate them nice a piping hot w/ an avgolemono sauce on top. Basically the soup w/out the rice and chicken chunks in it. It was one of my favs that she made, along with pasticio (Greek lasagna). When she babysat us, those were always really awesome treats!

Beverly@Beverly's Back Porch said...

The taste is more important than the looks. I love dolmas. Thanks for the reminder. Too much filling will cause them to blow-out. I roll mine just like an eggroll.

Jenn said...

A very interesting challenge. I have had Dolmas before and they were so good. I don't think I could get my picky eater to eat it though...bummer!

From the Kitchen said...

According to my Lebanese brother-in-law (who is an outstanding cook and doctor (when he's not cooking), one needs a dolmas "wrapper". Does he mean a contraption or an assistant? I must remember to ask. And, I'd sit down to your dish any day.

Best,
Bonnie

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

The first picture is beautiful but I think yours are not too shabby. The important thing is the taste. I love dolmas but can't find the grape leaves at the stores.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I've always been envious of people who prepare such beautiful stuffed grape leaves. It also looks like you've been having a delicious week! The apple cake is phenomenal!

Faith said...

I'm so excited you posted on this, Mary! I love dolmas but haven't made them at home...this is just the inspiration I need!

Bossy Chef said...

I think they look yummy myself and these are one of my favorite things in the world! I just had them for lunch yesterday.

StephenC said...

I love dolmades. I tried making them once with jarred grape leaves. Don't know if I didn't cook them long enough or what, but they were too darn chewy. Guess I'll just eat them when I go Greek.

pigpigscorner said...

What's wrong with yours? They look sgreat to me!

The Blonde Duck said...

I seriously want to eat these.

Kim said...

They look wonderful!! I just came from kateiscooking and sshe did the stuffed cabbage. Never tried dolmas at all, but they look well worth it!

Rachana said...

They look so good :-) Loved the first click.

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

wow... was just outside admiring my mum's back-yard vine and we both laughed about how we could make tonnes of wrapped vine leaves but we needed a good recipe and ta da! Thanks so much for this!

Jhonny walker said...

stuuning post with a stunning recipe and images that only do justice to the whole thing. You are a brave girl. Way to go :) But now...I am craving dolams :(

Jay said...

Looks delicious n perfect dear...

Tasty Appetite

Joanne said...

Awww your poor dolmas! I think they are cute. Maybe kind of like ugly ducklings with the taste turning them into swans!

Ana Powell said...

Great post
I love these little Greek dolmas ♥

scrambledhenfruit said...

I love these but I've never had the nerve to make them- they're delicious!

Velva said...

In my young adult years, I had the most amazing opportunity to enjoy dinner often with an Iranian family. Dolmas were a major highlight and they were amazing. I have such a fond food memories of this experience-seeing your post brought me back.

Beth M said...

Awww, thanks for the kudos!! I wish all of my photos would have turned out as good as that one :P That was pure luck! :)

Cherine said...

I'm a big fan of dolmades. yours look wonderful!

marthaandme said...

I made my first batch of stuffed grape leaves when I was in high school, as an extra credit project for Latin class!

Valérie said...

Nicely done! And you're being hard on yourself, they don't look bad, and I'm sure they tasted fabulous. Bravo for your realization of this challenge!

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