Food storage weekend ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

23 February 2009

Food storage weekend

This Sunday was one of the most profitable food days ever.

Saturday night I put white beans on to soak; Sunday morning I boiled them with a bay leaf; we now have about three cups of white beans in bean broth coagulating in the freezer. I put a batch of black beans on to soak for later.

Then I made red lentil-quinoa burgers. I cooked a cup of quinoa in the rice cooker while I chopped up a store yellow onion (dry, not highly scented), a farmer's market red onion (juicy, fragrant, striated with a stripe down the side), and four cloves of garlic (garlicky), then softened them in a saucepan with olive oil, paprika, oregano, and thyme. We still have no marjoram, or some of that would definitely have made an appearance. When soft, I added a cup or so of red lentils, a bay leaf, water, and a block of frozen stock, simmered covered until the lentils were cooked down to slurry, and simmered half-covered over low heat until sufficiently thick. "Sufficiently thick" = "stirrable, yet reasonably dry and and malleable". I mixed it with the finished quinoa and let it cool while I went to the grocery store and acquired more supplies, including the first tiny thin asparagus of the season.

When I came back, I made the mix into twelve badly lit lentil-quinoa burgers. Normally I'd do this with my hands, but the glop was just too gloppy, so instead I spooned it out like batter and smoothed the burgers with the back of the spoon. Bake at 350F on a cookie sheet with oil and flour dusting or parchment if you're intelligent and have some. Rotate or flip every 5-7m, and be careful; these can be pretty breakable. They're done in 20-30m, when golden browned on both sides.

I had maybe enough mix for 1.5 burgers left after the first tray, so I decided to make them into little kibbeh balls instead. I threw a couple shakes of cayenne and some extra paprika in to make them ultra spice balls (as opposed to the fairly neutral, sauce-vehicle burgers). Soon I will eat them with raita or maybe just plain drained thick yogurt.

I also made Joy of Cooking barbecue sauce, with no worcestershire, cayenne/paprika/red pepper flakes to sub for chili powder, and molasses to make up for my non-brown sugar. Is it bad that I know its page number (90) by heart? Don't answer that. When the sauce was done, I doused a couple burgers in it and stuck them back in the oven to let it all caramelize together. Then I threw them on a toasted bun with lots of lettuce, stuck a pickle on the edge of the plate, and had dinner.

Most of the other burgers, in contrast, went into the freezer to become emergency burger store.

Then today (oh yeah, it's Monday now you guys) I stuck two burgers, hummus, pita, and a bunch of chopped leaf lettuce/red pepper/green onion business in boxes and bags and brought them all to work, where I eventually and messily made myself two pitas' worth of stuffed sandwich for lunch, then ate them all. Oh man, that was a good idea. I may never buy a falafel sandwich again.

Then I came home.

The black beans are cooling to go into the freezer right now.

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