There's been discussion on the Chicago board about where to get stuffed grape leaves with meat. It never occured to me that these were hard to find, but apparently they are, and when they are found, the meat tends to be beef instead of lamb. This inspired me to ask my mother for her dolma recipe. My mother grew up in Iran, the daughter of missionaries, and ate dolmas there, but this recipe comes from their Turkish cook during the year my parents lived in Ankara.
Hadiji's dolma recipe, via Miriam Hilton :
I LB ground lamb
1 chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped or pressed
1/2 cup raw rice
2 TBS catsup (the secret ingredient in Turkey!)
2 tsp. dried dill weed
salt and pepper
40 grape leaves
Olive oil and lemon juice or Italian dressing to cover.
Wrap 2tbs filling in each grape leaf. Pack closely in 1 1/2 quart cassarole or in two pie pans greased with olive oil. Pour lemon and oil or Italian over till it shows on the top. Cover tightly with heavy plates or reversed lid in casserole.
Place on edged cookie sheet (It always boils over) and bake for 1 hour at 350.
Afyet olsun! (Turkish "bon appetit.")