Thursday, May 23, 2019


I've been meaning to post this for over a week now, but life keeps tripping me. 

I'm really getting tired of the skinned knees, I tell you.

I've told you about my friend Harriet who passed away last month.  I wrote a little tribute to her here, and showed a few pictures of some of the food she made and shared with us over the years.

Well last week we had our Community Potluck which she instigated and we turned it into a mini-memorial for her. 
I wanted to make something special as a bit of a tribute to her.  She loved Greek food, so it was an easy decision to make these Dolmades.

Luckily for me, a few years ago another friend had showed me how to make Stuffed Grape Leaves, so I knew how to roll these up.  

Here's a few pictures of the process, and believe you me it is a process.

I had to grind my own lamb, even.
Cutting the meat from the bones, I did not discard the fat.
 The lamb, ready for the grinder. 

 After being ground up, I also ground the onion up at the end, which had the added benefit of pushing the remainder of the lamb through the grinder.
Ground Lamb and Onions for Dolmades
The lanb, ground beef and onion in the bowl.
Dolmades filling
 After adding the par-cooked rice
Dolmades filling
I spared you the shot of me using my gloved hand and mixing the ingredients together.  By mixing them by hand, I could get a feel for the meat.  I also did take a small ball of meat and cooked it to taste for seasonings.  Even though the rice was still a touch crunchy.
The plate I portioned the meat mixture out on.  Doing this, helped me to not only keep the dolmades consistent in size, but also helped me to get them rolled quickly.
Dolmades filling
After separating and rinsing the grape leaves.  I removed all the torn leaves and set them aside.
Grape Leaves
The rolling process.  Setting the meat on the grape leaf, with the veins on the inside.  Always do it smooth side out.
Dolmades filling
The first part of rolling the dolmade
Dolmades filling
The sides are tucked in.
And then it's just a case of rolling them up neatly.  You want them firmly rolled but not too tight as the rice needs room to expand as it cooks.
After all the dolmades were rolled. 

tucked firmly into the pot.
 An additional layer of grape leaves spread over the top, ( I did have extras)
Because I didn't want a disaster, I not only placed a plate on top of the grape leaves, but also put a bowl containing some water on top of the plate.  This kept the dolmades submerged. 
After removing them from the cooked broth, I placed them into a serving dish and brought them to the potluck.   I served them alongside some Avogolemono Sauce and some Tzatziki Sauce.


Yield: 15-20 for appetizers or 6-8 for dinner
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 2 hourtotal time: 3 H
Dolmades are a fun appetizer to not only make and eat but also to serve.


  • 1 lb. Ground Lamb
  • 12 oz. Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 cup par-cooked long grain rice
  • 1 small onion, ground or finely minced
  • 1 tsp. dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1 jar (16 oz. Grape Leaves)- at least 60 leaves
  • 1 lemon - juiced or
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2+ cups  chicken broth or plain water
  • 1 whole head of garlic - peeled
Avogolemono Sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup liquid (use the cooking liquid from the dolmades


How to cook Dolmades

  1. Remove the grape leaves from the bottle and separate them.  Rinse in cool water and drain in a colander.  I found it was easiest to submerge them in a bowl of cool water and gently tease the leaves apart, then spread them out in layers in a colander.   Remove any stems.   Place any extra large or damaged leaves to the side.  You'll use these to place on the bottom of the pot you cook the dolmades in. 
  2. Par-cook the rice in a half cup of water in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.  The rice will absorb the water.  Set aside and let cool or spread the rice out on a plate to hasten the cooling process. 
  3. Place the meat, onion,  rice and seasonings into a bowl. Using a gloved hand, mix well. 
  4. As soon as the meat mixture is mixed together, you are ready to roll the dolmades. 
  5. I found it easiest to portion out the meat using a small ice cream scoop.  Each scoop was about a tablespoon.
  6. On a cutting board or other clean surface, spread a grape leaf out, smooth side down.  Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture on the leaf, the side with the veins. Form into a small cigar shape.   Starting at the stem end, form the meat into a small cigar shape, then roll the leaf up from the stem end, tucking in the leaf on each side.  Continue to roll it up firmly but not too tightly.  The rice will expand as they cook, and you don't want any escapees.   Place the rolled up dolmade onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface, seam side down. 
  7. Continue to roll up each Dolmade until you either run out of meat or grape leaves. 
  8. Layer the bottom of the pot you're cooking the dolmades in with the reserved grape leaves. 
  9. When finished with the entire recipe, place all the dolmades into a large pot, layered them neatly but tucked together firmly,  on top of the reserved grape leaves.  Add enough broth or water to just cover the dolmades.  Add the lemon juice and the garlic cloves.   Place a smaller plate on top to keep the dolmades from floating as they cook.  Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to just simmer and let cook for 1 1/2-2 hours.  Checking to make sure that the broth hasn't cooked away, from time to time.  If the liquid has reduced too much, add a little more water.  The grape leaves at the bottom of the pot will help to keep them from scorching.
  10. When done, remove the dolmades and serve with an Avogolemono Sauce.
Avogolemono Sauce
  1. Whisk together the eggs and lemon juice. 
  2. Place in a pot, and add a little of the hot broth from the cooked Dolmades, whisk together and add more of the broth until it's tempered.  Turn on the heat and cook together for 10 minutes or until it has thickened
Created using The Recipes Generator

Continue Reading

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Øllebrød (Danish Rye Porridge) for Soup Saturday Swappers

I bet you didn't think I'd make another soup from my Danish background?
Well, tough, I did.  Technically, this is a soup.

Well, maybe a cross between a soup and a porridge.

Literally translated, it means beer bread.  

And I can't honestly say I grew up with it, cause when we had good ryebread in our house, we ate every crumb, stale or not.

Trust me, we did.

BTW, it's time for our Soup Saturday event.  This month we were tasked to make a soup using a craft beer.  And while I had fond memories of the Beer Cheese soup we used to get at a now defunct restaurant in Dallas, I really didn't want to try my hand at recreating it.
Kathy of  A Spoonful of Thyme is our hostess this month, and it was her idea for us to share Soups made with Craft Beer.

So I went to my Danish roots.  And decided to make some Øllebrød.  As I said in the beginning, this is kinda a cross between a soup and a porridge.  

However, in days past, or times of yore, this was a way of using up the end pieces or the last of the loaf of rye-bread.  Back then it was a waste not, want not, way of life and this was often served as a breakfast.  Although it could accompany all three meals of the day, or just replace an evening meal. 
I think it was also an inexpensive way to fill up a little before the main meal.  

In Denmark this is usually made with a beer called a Hvidtøl (White Beer) , which is a seasonal beer, showing up in December. Usually it's very light in alcohol, only about 2 % or so.  It's also a dark malty beer with a hint of sweetness.

Obviously I don't have access to it here, and while I was going to use a local dark beer I absolutely love, I didn't really want to purchase a half gallon.
I love my beer, but that was a bit much when I only needed about a regular size bottle of it.
Not that I wouldn't have enjoyed the rest of the beer, but I had plans for the next couple of days. And Hooter Brown is pretty strong.

And now that I know that they sell it, I'll plan to get some, when I have time to drink it.

In the meantime, I drew upon my scant knowledge, OK, so I have a decent knowledge of some of the dark beers available to me here, and decided to use a bottle of Negro Modelo beer.  Not quite a craft beer, but close enough.

You serve this topped with some whipped cream, or a drizzle of heavy cream or whipped yoghurt or Aeggesnaps.

Rye bread slices soaking. 
Slices broken up a little and simmering in the beer and water.  I make my bread with a lot of seeds.
My first bowl, which had the seeds strained out.  I just topped mine with some lightly sweetened whipped cream and a touch of grated lemon zest. 
After eating half the bowl, I decided to top it off with some of the soup that hadn't been strained, plus of course more whipped cream
after which I ate the whole thing. 

 What can I say, it was totally delicious and filling. 


Yield: 4 servings
prep time: 45 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 75 M
This soup/porridge is traditionally served for breakfast, but it can also be served for dinner or even a late night hangover.


  • 1/2 loaf Dark Danish style rye bread, cut in slices or chunked
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bottle Negra Modelo Beer (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (less if you don't want it as sweet)
  • Juice and zest from one lemon


How to cook Øllebrød

  1. Soak bread overnight in the water, or for several hours. You can also do a shortcut here, place the bread in warm water, on low, very low heat on the stove for about 30 minutes.
  2. Break up the bread in the water and add the beer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and stir, then add the lemon juice and 3/4 of the lemon zest. Let come to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes. (If using a seeded rye bread, you can put it through a sieve and strain out the seeds if desired.) Use an immersion blender and blend the soup together. Top with a little lightly whipped cream and sprinkle with some lemon zest to serve.
All recipes and their respective images are either original or adapted and credited, and are all the sole property of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking © 2011-2020, with all rights reserved thereof.

This recipe and many more Danish Recipes are in my cookbook Hygge- Danish Food and Recipes Dansk Mad og Opskrifter til et Hyggeligt Hjemme, available on Amazon. Also available as an ebook.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Continue Reading

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sole wrapped in Grape Leaves for #Fishfridayfoodies

It's that time.
For great Fish or Seafood recipes that is.

Sneha of Sneha's Recipe is our hostess this month and the theme she came up with was to Fry or Bake Fish or Seafood in Leaves.

My mind immediately flew to baking something on a banana leaf, but then I remembered that all our banana's went bye bye after Hurricane Michael.

Then my mind went blank.  I couldn't think of any leaves, other than lettuce or cabbage.
But then I got one of those pokes, I was making Dolmathes or Dolmades, if you wish for a potluck and since you use Grape Leaves, I thought they would be perfect. 
Grape Leaf wrapped Sole

Grape Leaf wrapped Sole

Grape Leaf wrapped Sole
 I unwrapped the fish, cause I could, so there.
Grape Leaf wrapped Sole
Grape Leaf wrapped Sole
So I did, use Grape Leaves that is and paired it with a Avogolemono sauce.
Which might just be my new favorite sauce.

Sole wrapped in Grape Leaves

Yield: 2 servings for a meal or 6-8 servings as an appetizer
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 15 M
This is a fun way to make fresh or frozen Sole. You can make it into appetizers or into a light meal.


Grape leaf wrapped Sole
  • 1 lb. Fresh or Frozen Sole Filets, cut into tidbits if desired or cut into 8 pieces which will fit into a grape leaf.
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thin
  • 8 large grape leaves
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Cavender's Greek Seasoning
Avogolemono Sauce
  • 1 egg
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth or fish stock


How to cook Sole wrapped in Grape Leaves

  1. Cut the fish into 8 pieces, small enough to fit into a folded over grape leaf, if being wrapped. Sprinkle with the Cavender's Greek Seasoning.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil over low heat until the butter is melted. Place the grape leaf wrapped sole into the pan and place the lemon slices on top. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.  Remove from heat but keep warm if sauce is not quite ready.
  1. While the fish is cooking, prepare the Avogolemono sauce.
  2. Whisk the egg together with the lemon juice. Heat the stock and then temper the egg with a little hot stock, adding the egg/lemon mixture back into hot stock, whisking constantly until it thickens. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Just long enough for the fish to cook.
  3. Serve the fish on top of the Avogolemono sauce. You can make a simple couscous to go with this as well if desired.
Created using The Recipes Generator

In other words, it's Fish Friday Foodies Time!
For Fish Friday this  month our host  is Sneha and the theme is
Fry/Bake Fish Or Seafood In Leaves

Cod in Lettuce Leaves with Shallot, Lemon, and Dill Sauce From Karen's Kitchen Stories
Seafood Stuffed Cabbage Rolls From A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sole wrapped in Grape Leaves, Greek style From Sid's Sea Palm Cooking
Wrapped Fish In Harissa Paste From Sneha's Recipe 

Steamed Fish, Tuvalu-Style From Culinary Adventures

Would you like to join Fish Friday Foodies? We post and share new seafood/fish recipes on the third Friday of the month. To join our group please email Wendy at Visit our Facebook page and Pinterest page for more wonderful fish and seafood recipe ideas.

Continue Reading

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Community Potluck for May

We had what I thought was going to be our final Community Potluck this week, but it is going to continue. 
Just need a couple more host/hostess signups.

The Community Potluck was started by Harriett Beach last year and with her recent death, I thought it would basically go away.  I wrote a little about her here.

She had it set up so that no one person was responsible for the whole thing.  We could sign up to host in a particular month and it has actually worked out quite well.
Next month is covered, as is September and October.  We just need someone to step in for July and August.

But, I had to share the great dishes that were brought and enjoyed the other night.

First though, this gorgeous pot is actually one that Harriett Beach made and it was only fitting that it graced a table for the potluck.  She was a potter. 
I made some Dolmathes or Dolmades- either spelling is correct, in honor of Harriett as Greek food was one of her favorites.
We had some lovely chicken salad
Corn pudding
A chopped salad - the picture I took of it with the plastic wrap off was too blurry to use.
there were some nibbles.
a lovely Pasta salad, and doesn't it look good against the blue bowl.
A Zucchini noodle salad
And Asian Style salad
Corn casserole
There was also this lovely pea salad and the bowl was so pretty it was presented in.
Above a Lasagna, I only got a picture of it with the plastic wrap on.
and here is some lovely smoked salmon on cream cheese and baguette slices
Biscuits and I got to indulge my guilty please which is dunking a biscuit into some coleslaw juice.
Don't judge, it's good.
Now for the desserts...

Key Lime Pie, which disappeared fast.
A selection of yummy baked goods.
We had some pineapple with Santa holding his toothpickes
There were some candies along with squares of an energy bar. 
This heavenly Moroccan Coconut Cake
We also had some watermelon,
and boiled peanuts

And in case anyone is interested, this is how my plate looked,, I had to taste test everything. 

I wanted to add that the Lanark Boat Club was almost totally destroyed during Hurricane Michael last year, and they have done a phenomenal job of restoring the building.

This is how it looked shortly after the storm.

 I also want to add that this is my 1000th post, I can't believe I'd had so much to say about so many different dishes.  

Next question, what to do to celebrate my verbosity? Hmmmm

Continue Reading
No comments