Sunday, February 20, 2011

Taste of Greece

Last November I took a 2-1/2 week vacation – a cruise in the eastern Mediterranean. We started in Venice and ended in Athens – with stops in Ravenna (Italy), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Isle of Patmos (Greece), Port Said and Alexandria (Egypt), Haifa/Galilee (Israel), Asdod/Jerusalem (Israel), and Kusadasi/Ephesus (Turkey). We spent a couple extra days in Athens – shopping, eating, and seeing the sights.

One day we had lunch at the foot of the Acropolis at the edge of the Plaka, near the Agora. I ate the most fabulous stuffed cabbage rolls. These cabbage rolls aren’t like the ones from eastern Europe – usually cooked in a tomato sauce. But rather, these are topped with traditional Greek lemon sauce: avgolemono.

I knew that I would have to find a recipe so I could eat them again. Well, turns out this dish is a very well known Greek recipe, called “Lahanodolmathes” and I made the recipe yesterday. It’s not hard, but a little time consuming. There are lots of variations of the recipe online and many food bloggers have detailed instructions for making them.

So I assembled the ingredients – most importantly hamburger with rice (seasoned with salt, pepper, onion, dill) and cabbage (you remove the core and then put the whole head in a large pot of boiling water, removing the cabbage leaves one by one).

Then you roll up the meat mixture in the cabbage leaves and layer in a dutch oven.

Add chicken stock to cover and simmer for about an hour – enough time to fully cook the beef, rice and cabbage.

Make avgolemono sauce to top the stuffed cabbage rolls. The recipe I used made the sauce a bit too acidic – so next time I will probably just make hollandaise and add some extra lemon juice to it.

Here is the finished product. I took this dish of lahanodolmathes to my parents since the recipe makes about 8 to 10 servings --  and as good as they are, I didn't want to eat them all week. (Several are frozen for a quick meal in the future.)

Now -- time to enjoy this Sunday afternoon before having to think about a new work week! (I don't get President's Day off -- which is kind of a drag.)


Loraine said...

Those cabbage rolls look fabulous! I will definitely like to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing. What a wonderful trip you must have had!

JOLENE said...

Wow! I can only dream of taking a vacation like that. Thanks for sharing some sunshine on a snowy day. I love cabbage, so I will add those ingredients to my shopping list and give them a try. Thanks for sharing your vacation memories and a fabulous recipe. Enjoy your day. Smiles...

Margaret said...

Looks so yummy! What a great trip too! I love your Electric Quilt color challenge quilt btw!


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