Great Day Kitchen, 8/22/17 - Greek Fest - Opa!

In honor of Greek Fest, Kopi invited his lovely wife, Elaine, to prepare some delicious Greek dishes in the Great Day Kitchen.

The 57th Annual Fresno Greek Fest takes place August 25-27 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church.

So in honor of Greek Fest, Kopi invited his lovely wife, Elaine, to prepare some delicious Greek dishes in the Great Day Kitchen.

St. George Greek Orthodox Church is located at 2219 N. Orchard in Fresno (SW corner of First and Clinton).

Click here to learn more about Fresno Greek Fest.

Yalanzi / Dolmades - Stuffed Grape Leaves


  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup rice
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbs. Parsley chopped
  • 14oz whole tomatoes chopped with juice (optional)
  • 1 tbs. Fennel, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbs. Mint, chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 juice of lemons
  • 50+ grape leaves, fresh or canned


Sauté onions in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes, chopped finely. Add rice and 2 cups of water, including tomato juice. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Add parsley, mint, fennel, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add juice of 1 lemon. Cool.

Fresh grape leaves should be dipped in boiling water for about 5 minutes to make them flexible. Canned grape leaves should be rinsed thoroughly in cold water. Spread out grape leaves, shiny side down. Place one heaping teaspoon of rice mixture. Turn ends in and roll. Do this until all rice mixture is used up. Save several grape leaves to line bottom of pot and arrange dolmathes side by side and layer upon layer. Top with grape leaves and place heavy plate on top to keep dolmathes compact. Add lemon juice and water to cover dolmathes. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer about 45 minutes or until rice is cooked. These are better if they are made one day ahead. If more tartness is desired, add more lemon juice.



  • 1 lb. Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Allspice
  • ¼ tsp. cloves-ground
  • 1 lb. Phyllo
  • 1 lb. Butter (melted)


  • 1cup honey
  • 1cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 orange -peel only
  • 26 whole cloves (optional)


Combine all syrup ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil-watching carefully. Then reduce heat and slowly simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool. (Can be made up to one week ahead-store in a cool place).

Nut Mixture: Coarsely chop walnuts and mix in bowl with sugar, cinnamon, allspice and ground cloves.

Brush 9”x12’ pan with butter. Lay sheet of phyllo on bottom of pan. Brush first layer with butter and repeat until you have used about 12 sheets. Spread a thin layer (about 1/3 cup) of nut mixture on top of phyllo. Cover with a sheet of phyllo, brush with butter and repeat this process (phyllo-butter-nuts- phyllo-butter-nuts…..) until you have used all of the nut mixture. Then cover with remaining filo sheets buttering each sheet as you layer it.

If you have time, chill baklava in the refrigerator until top hardens so that it will be easier to cut. Using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise first, then diagonally to form diamonds. Optional: insert a clove in the center of each piece. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until evenly golden brown. Remove from oven and pour cooled syrup evenly down each row. Allow to cool several hours before cutting and serving.

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