Tasty lentil ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

31 October 2007

Tasty lentil

I got this idea from certain redfoxes. It was an excellent idea and made plenty of delicious businesses to dip in yogurt. I varied it fairly substantially, though, so here you go:

Lentil kibbeh

red lentils
bay leaf
lemon or juice
shawarma mix, cayenne, sesame seeds

For dipping sauce/dressing:

plain good yogurt/soy yogurt
black pepper, fresh parsley

First, make the dressing, because it needs to sit. Mix a cup or two of plain yogurt /soy with copious fresh ground black pepper and chopped parsley. If you are short on either of these, you can experiment with other things; I bet fresh oregano and garlic and some lemon would be interesting. Mint and yogurt would also be good, especially for counteracting an overspiced case.

Put it all in a fine mesh strainer over a cup or bowl, put it in the refrigerator, and let it sit and drain while everything cooks. It'll thicken a bit while you make everything else.

Cook a cup of red lentils in two cups of water with a bay leaf and a squeezed chunk of lemon or a little lemon juice. I used a quarter of a very tiny lemon off our friend Joann's tree. Bring pan to a boil, cover, turn down heat, and simmer twenty minutes, or until total blown-out mush.

At the same time, cook half a cup of millet in a cup of water. Bring pan to a boil, cover, turn down heat and simmer for twenty minutes. Isn't the timing convenient?

In the meantime, set about making savory spicy mix with which to flavor these two awesome but admittedly bland on their own ingredients. Get out a sauté pan and warm some olive oil. Chop up an onion and add it to the pan. I used half a red onion and half a yellow onion just because that was lying around; any mix would clearly work. Add a few cloves of chopped garlic and whatever spice mixture you'd like. I had a bunch of a shawarma mixture sitting around being delicious at me, so I used that. I also added some cayenne and sesame seeds. You can use whatever sounds good to you; I plan on experimenting with fresh ginger in the future. I would also overseason this mix a bit since it's going to be the main spicing for an entire pot of lentil and millet. Cook until onions and garlic are soft and delicious.

When everything is done, mix the lentils, millet, and spiced onion together. Also, preheat the oven to 350F. Shape lentil stuff into little elongated meatball shapes. I floured my hands for this, because I wasn't looking at my source recipe, but now I see it would definitely be better to water them. It worked out fine, though.

Put kibbeh balls on cookie sheet and bake ten or fifteen minutes, rotating if necessary. Take out, pile on plate with bowl of dipping sauce, and eat. Or, if you're feeling fancy and/or in need of salad, make a bed of greens, add kibbeh, and drizzle yogurt sauce over.

I experimented a little with making full sandwich-sized patties, but those didn't work out so well as the main kibbeh. I made them too thin, so they crisped too much and got too dry and crumbly. Otherwise they would have been great, though, so you should clearly feel free to experiment as well. I would make them at least as thick as a standard burger, and probably as thick as a really thick burger. An inch would be good. Then I bet you could stack lentil burgers between sheets of waxed paper, and lo! You have your own veggie burgers waiting in the freezer for instant dinner at any time.

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