Stuffed Romaine Leaves with Avgolémono Sauce
Avgolémono sauce is a traditional lemon sauce, often drizzled over dolmades. This recipe was inspired by the new breed of Athenian ouzo bar owner-chefs, who mix traditional foods and flavors with new ingredients to enhance their eclectic menus.
1⁄3 lb. ground lamb
1⁄3 lb, ground beef
1⁄3 lb. ground pork
1⁄2 cup toasted pine nuts
1⁄2 cup currants
1 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp, fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup cooked white rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1⁄2 tsp. cornstarch
2 heads romaine lettuce
1. In a large heavy skillet, sauté lamb, beef, and pork for 10 minutes. Drain fat and remove from heat. Stir in pine nuts, currants, dill, mint, parsley, cloves, cinnamon, rice, and salt and pepper, then remove from heat and set aside.
2. To make avgolémono sauce, heat chicken broth. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs and lemon juice mixed with cornstarch. Whisk hot broth into egg–lemon mixture, 1⁄4 cup at a time, and place in the top of a double boiler over low heat. Cook until sauce thickens to the consistency of yogurt, about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, remove outer leaves of heads of lettuce, cutting off and reserving top half of each leaf. Blanch leaves in boiling water for 5 seconds to soften. Place 2 heaping tbsp. filling at the base of a leaf. Fold over sides and carefully roll up. Repeat with remaining leaves. Place seam-side-down on a platter. Spoon extra filling around the stuffed leaves. Top with warm avgolémono sauce.