Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu for 3/7/11 -- Cod Stuffed Collard Leaves or Pseudolmades (Dude2)

* We linked this post at the Hearth and Soul Hop at Hunger and Thirst *

We have a whole lot of collard greens in the fridge at the moment, and I think they are a great leaf to use for any time you want a dramatic presentation on something.  They're also pretty durable, and they get nice and soft when you steam them.  Seems like a great match for a dish inspired by dolmades -- one of my favorite Greek appetizers.  These were pretty good, but I think next time I'm going to cut the rice in half and add more lemon juice and capers.  I put my recommended modifications in parentheses beside what I actually used, so you can take your pick of what to use.

Cod Stuffed Collard Leaves (makes about 15):
  1. 2 bunches of large collard leaves
  2. (1/2 lb minced shrimp -- this was my original plan, but my shrimp were gone!)
  3. 3 cod loins
  4. 2 Cups rice (reduce amount, probably by half)
  5. 2 Tbsp capers (increase ot 3 Tbsp)
  6. juice of one lemon (add an extra half lemon)
  7. one medium white onion, minced
  8. one carrot, minced
  9. one stalk celery, minced
  10. 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  11. 1.5 tsp dry dill
  12. 2 bay leaves
  13. 1 tsp sea salt
  14. black pepper
Saute the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic together until tender, then add the capers, salt, dill, and pepper:

Now add the rice, bay leaves, and 3 cups water and cook until the rice is done and the water is absorbed. While that's cooking, slice your fish.  I sliced mine about 1/4 inch thick:

Now it's time to prep the collard leaves.  First wash them and cut off the part of the stem that sticks out past the leaf.  In order to make the leaf roll properly, I sliced off the thickest part of the main stem, being careful not to actually split the leaf.  To do this, lay the leaf flat on the cutting board and carefully slice the stem off just above the remainder of the leaf.  In retrospect, I think this step may be easier after the leaves are steamed because they will lay flatter, but I didn't try it so I'm not sure.  If you do this, try it and let me know!

Now steam your leaves until they are limp and easy to work with, and lay them out on the cutting board next to your pan of rice filling and fish.  To stuff them, put a couple of tablespoons of rice on the leaf, then lay some fish on top and roll it up like a dolma:

Fold up the bottom over the filling:

Fold the sides in:

And roll it up!  Put the rolled pseudolmades into a steamer basket and steam for about 20 minutes, or until the fish inside is cooked.

To serve, mold up the extra rice filling (I used a cap from a baby bottle) and garnish with some carrot strings.  To make carrot strings, first make a bunch of thin carrot slices with a vegetable peeler:

Stack the slices on top of each other and double them all over:

Then set them up so they're laying in a stack and slice off thin strings:

I think this recipe would also benefit from a spicy kick, maybe a jalapeno or cayenne sauce.  You could even add some heat to the stuffing and I think it would work out pretty well.


  1. This is such a good idea! It's so much easier getting hold of collard greens than vine leaves! Coming from an asian background, it also kind of reminds me of rice dumplings, but with edible leaves (:

  2. Collards seem to grow so well here, so I'm always looking for ways to use them. This is better than the fish in parchment (which I love), because of the edible and good for you wrapper.

  3. @Shu Han: Thanks! The leaves really worked well. I hadn't thought about other uses, that sounds really great

    @Claudia: Fish in parchment sounds great. I'll have to try the recipe from your blog for that one.

    I also think these leaves might be pretty good for pit barbecue (replacing banana leaves or other similar large leaves as a moisture wrap). I'll try that later this year and report back on how it works.

  4. Oh Erik! As a Greek girl I can say with some authority that your dolmas look lovely! What a unique combination! I have to be completely frank with you and say I dont like fish, but my mind is already turning to make this with some pastured pork loose sausage! Collards are one of my favorite foods. Not just favorite greens, but foods and I love them more than chocolate. Then again, I am a strange one! Thanks so much for sharing these on the hearth and soul hop. I will be featuring it on my hearth and soul hop highlights this friday at a moderate life because it is so unique and I also love when dudes cook! All the best and thanks again for sharing with us on the hearth and soul hop! Alex

  5. @Alex: Thank you so much for the huge compliment! I can't wait to see what you come up with for the sausage filling; that sounds delicious. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Ok, you had my just with the name of this recipe, because I enjoy few things more than a clever or punny recipe title :) But moving past that, I've gotta say that this is just flat-out a great idea, and you've got me thinking of all of the things that I can stuff into collards now. Thanks for sharing your creation with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  7. hi! I did try the pseudolmades out in the end, well not exactly the same, because i only stuffed them with rice. but the leaves worked really well and your photos were so helpful (: