Category Archives: Gluten Free

Armenian Style Dolma

Hello my friends!

Today I want to post a recipe for a main dish, which we call Dolma. It’s hard to say what country is an origin of it, because almost every country in Mediterranean region has similar something. They differ a little, one from another, but idea is the same. It’s basically vine leaves stuffed with filling.

That’s why I call my recipe an Armenian style 🙂

Let’s begin… First of all, our ingredients :

1. Vine leaves – 1 jar (they sell them in International isle almost in every grocery store)

2. Ground beef – 2 pounds ( I prefer veal, but actually you can make with beef and even with turkey)

3.Onion (2 medium or 1 big)

4.Rice – 1 cup

5. Egg – 1

6. Tomato paste – 3 tbsp

7. Coriander, parsley – finely chopped

8. Dried basil – 1 tbsp

9. Butter – melted

10. Salt, black and red pepper.

Ok, list of ingredients long, but when you have them ready, then is not difficult to make a dish itself.

Remove vine leaves from jar and wash them properly in warm water, maybe twice. Sometimes there can be a torn leaf, which you cannot use. Just discard them. Don’t worry, you will still have enough to make your dinner :).

Mix together beef, onion (chopped in food processor), egg, rice, tomato paste, greens and basil. Add salt and pepper ( just a 1 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of each pepper). Then start adding a cold water, somewhere 3/4 of a cup. The mixture should be soft, but not runny.

Now is the time consuming part 🙂 All you have to do, is keep a leaf on a palm of your hand and put beef mixture in the middle of it. Then try to fold it, first from both sides, then roll over, until the end. Try to make a tight roll. It is not that difficult, but you need a practise.Put rolled leaves in your pot, nicely covering from the walls to the middle. Layer over the layer… You don’t have to put them too tight, because usually rice need more space when it’ cooked.

When you finished, pour over the melted butter, and cover your Dolma with a plate. You need this to keep them on a spot, when the boiling will begin.

Boil the teapot and pour over the dolma, until they all covered and even give 1 inch more.

Put on medium-high heat and cook about 50 minutes- 1 hour. To check if it’s done, take carefully 1 piece, wait until it’s not that hot and try. If rice is cooked , your dolma is ready !!!

Make sure that your dolma always has a water in the pot, if it’s not enough just add a little bit.

Now you need a dressing for dolma.

You will need a plain yogurt (greek will be the best), and couple of cloves of garlic. Just squish garlic and mix with yogurt and it’s done.

The result will be so rewarding, you can’t imagine!!!

Bon Appetite!

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Eggplant Salad with Mayo and Yogurt Dressing

Hi everybody!

Sometimes you just want to make something new, different. Here in North America, eggplants are not that popular, but back home, in Armenia they are essential part of the diet and we have lots of good recipes for making eggplants.  For those who had not read my previous post, here is the link The Eggplant Story. That was the prelude story for the recipe which I will share with you in this post.

First off all, here is a list what you need:

  1. 3-4 eggplants (Chinese or baby eggplants (5-6, in this case) are better than big ones).
  2. Any of your favorite vegetable oil for frying, I am using Sunflower oil.
  3. 2 gloves of garlic
  4. Mayonnaise and plain yogurt – about 1 cup total, 50/50 each (you also can use just mayo)
  5. Dill (2-3 strings)
  6. Walnuts (the more, the yummier)
  7. Salt, black pepper to taste

Wash your vegetables, and partially peel them as shown on the picture. Some people don’t like the taste of skin, but I think that leaving some of it on adds some texture to the dish. So it is totally up to you, leave it or no.

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When your eggplants are ready, put them in a bowl and add salt. Cover and leave for 10-15 minutes. This way a little bitterness of eggplants will wash out. Put your pan on medium-high your, add oil and wait little bit for the oil get hot (but not so hot). Start adding eggplant pieces, squeezing them first, to let juices go. At this stage, you have to be very careful, because the oil is very hot and you can easily burn yourself. Keep for 3-4 minutes each side until golden-brown.

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Next step is preparing your dressing. Chop your dill very fine, walnuts you can chop medium size, so that you can still feel their crunchiness in the salad. Garlic you can put in a squeezer or chop also by hand. Mix together yogurt and mayonnaise in a separate bowl, add a pinch of black pepper and rest (dill, walnuts and garlic).

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As you noticed I didn’t add any salt in this point, because mayo is salty and we put salt in the beginning. After everything is done you can try and see, if salad needs additional salt.

Cover your fried eggplants with the dressing and give it a good stir, trying not to break the pieces. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes, to absorb all the flavors.

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How easy was that? And when you serve this salad with the dinner, your friends will think you spent whole day, making this sophisticating and yummy antipasto.

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If you like this recipe and interested in more eggplants recipes, let me know. I will be happy to share with you.

Bon appetite!

Nune

Gluten and Guilt Free

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I do love to bake, really, I do. But sometimes my family complains about putting on pounds.

And last weekend I decided to make something sweet but in the meantime not so heavy. So, this is gluten-free dessert for you, without any flour.

All you need is 4 egg whites and 1 cup of sugar. Some recipes call for 1,5 cups sugar for that amount of egg whites, but I used only a cup and it turned out just fine. And who needs extra sugar anyway?

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Preheat the oven to 200 F (or 95 C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

First you have to carefully divide eggs, because even a smallest amount of yolk can ruin your merengue. It is better to divide egg whites when eggs are cold.

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Bring egg whites to room temperature before starting.

To clean the bowl of any fat or oil you can wipe it with some vinegar or lemon juice.

Place your egg whites in the bowl and start mixing them on the medium speed for 3-5 minutes. After that put on a maximum speed and beat until eggs become foamy but not dry.

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Start adding sugar with a spoon, keep the mixer on.

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When the mixture looks stiff and shiny, stop mixing. Transfer the meringue to the baking sheet with a spoon or a piping bag. This is totally your choice.

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Baking time actually varies from 1,5 to 2 hours, until meringues are dry. After turning off the oven, leave the meringue inside and keep the oven door open. When they are completely cool, remove from the oven and the baking sheet.

You can serve merengue like that or you can put your favorite icing between two merengue and it will become fancy pastry.

I decided to put orange zest in the icing and covered the meringue with my favorite drizzle – chocolate ganache. Three components – meringues itself, flavor of orange and chocolate made the magic! Light, fancy and sophisticated dessert.

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What is your favorite gluten-free dessert?

Enjoy!

P.S. For those, who had the patience to read my really long post, I want to also invite you to my Facebook page, where you can find much more variety of yummy pastries.

 

ilivingwell

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