Thursday, August 4, 2011

As recipes usually go, I make adaptations the more I make a dish.

I’ve cooked dolmas several times now with either kabak (zucchini) or yeşil biber (green peppers). If you plan ahead, the recipe does come together fairly quickly.

Last week, I stuffed green peppers, a few long, red peppers and two small eggplants with a well-seasoned spicy and herbaceous meat mixture. This is the part that I modified from previous times. I figured I might as well use up the different vegetables I had in the fridge from the pazar before they went bad. Plus, I wanted to season the ground beef more this time, so I added some spices and a lot more fresh herbs.

Since it’s just the two of us, the dolmas lasted three meals, but hubby didn’t complain. The stuffed vegetables reheat well.

So, this is my new and improved dolma recipe compared to my previous one here. My friend, Claudia, at A Seasonal Cook in Turkey recently had a great recipe too.

Afiyet Olsun!
Here you can see the stuffed red and green peppers as well as the eggplant.

Etli Sebze Dolmasi: Meat-Stuffed Vegetables

10 small-medium Turkish green peppers, red peppers, zucchini or eggplant
1         lb.        (500 g.) kontrfile yağsız kıyma (lean ground beef)
1         ea.                     large onion, diced small
6         ea.                   garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼         c.         (50 g.) long-grain rice, uncooked
½ c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ c. fresh dill, finely chopped    
2 T. tomato paste
3 T. olive oil
1 T. nar ekşili sos (pomegranate molasses) (This addition was recommended by my expat friend, Julia, whom has been married to a Turk for 10+ years.)
TT salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 1 ½ tsp. spicy red chili flakes

2 ea. medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
As needed fresh yogurt

1. If using zucchini, cut each one in half and scoop out most of the inside, leaving a ¼-inch shell. For green or red peppers, cut off the tops and scrape out the seeds and inside membrane.
2. In a large bowl, combine the meat, onion, garlic, rice, herbs, tomato paste, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper. Mix well and knead with your hands (as if you were making meatloaf). Let the mixture rest for about 10 minutes so the flavors can mingle.
I also mixed in some chopped green onions with the regular onions
just because I had it on hand.
3. Stuff the vegetables with the meat mixture.

4. Place the stuffed vegetables in a large saucepan, stockpot or Le Creuset pot. Place a piece of tomato on top of each vegetable and drizzle each one with a little olive oil.

5. Add about 1 to 1 ½ cups (240-355 ml.) of water to the pot. (***Alternatively, add a tomato sauce around the vegetables. Make by whisking together 1 T. tomato paste and 1 T. pepper paste (or acı biber salçası) with 1 cup of hot water.) Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat and then let simmer, covered with a lid, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. You want the vegetables to be tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

6. Garnish each serving with fresh yogurt.

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Unknown said...

hi Joy! You are great, you try all these Turkish things without blinking an eyelid! Well done you! I have never included red peppers, for example, and of course there is no reason why you shouldn't.