Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I didn't go grocery shopping yesterday because I was low on time...

Cross posted in Kosher Cuisine

...due to yesterday's sudden recurrence of my obsession with organic food. What did I do for dinner? The only animal protein I had available was a can of sardines -- which I didn't dare use because hubby says he doesn't like sardines -- milk, cheddar and mozzarella cheese (already used lots of cheese for breakfast and hubby's lunch), and a single egg. I did have plenty of plant protein in the form of blackeye peas (which I didn't want to use because I prefer overnight soaking), soymilk (not much left), walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and some lentils. Help!

Google to the rescue! I think I searched for "recipe lentils nuts" and came up with this useful page. I decided to tweak the following recipe from that page, even though I was a little confused because some of the words were replaced with this weird "s&bp" or "s&gp" thing. I'll write next to each ingredient and step how I tweaked it. The original recipe will be bolded.

Lentil and Nut Cakes--or loaf

fresh white bread, 2 slices, crumbed (more volume than dried) ->I used instead a container full of crumbs of Delicious Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread that were in the fridge just waiting to be used in a recipe that called for bread crumbs.
1 C lentils (for this I prefer brown) ->I just used whatever I had left, which may or have not been a full cup.
2¼ C of slightly reduced veg stock OR water ->I used water to boil the lentils. I always use water if a recipe says stock or water because when I use stock, I use this expensive vegetable broth that's basically the only thing I can find that's both kosher and not full of icky stuff like sugar and lots of salt. I looked up how to make my own stock but I don't have a strainer as of yet.
1 med yellow onion, chopped ->I found about 3/4 of a large white onion in the fridge and sauteed that. I added a tomato and sauteed further for extra veg and extra flavor.
1 can black olives, coarsely chopped ->I was going to use instead a can of green olives that I thought I'd gotten, but they were nowhere to be found! So I just used what was left of a can of capers instead.
2 sprigs rosemary (around 8 inches each), minced ->I took a random number of leaves off of our rosemary from our brand-new garden! :) I forgot to mince them. I used some whole in sauteing the lentils, the onion and tomato, and threw some more into the final concoction for extra flavor.
nut of choice, at volume of choice, only partially toasted (a couple minutes at 300°) ->I used some walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds. I didn't bother to toast them at all, as I knew they would be baked with the final dish and I didn't want them to get burnt.
salt ->I sprinkled a little in the sauteing onion and tomato.
ground black peppercorns ->I have only ground pepper but I couldn't find it until well after dinner was made. Good thing, because it came out delicious without the pepper!
ground green peppercorns ->I didn't have any of those.
white wine ->I didn't have that either but I figured the vinegar from the capers would be a good substitute. (I'm no expert, but I guess that was ok.)
butter ->I was low on butter, but I did have some Earth Balance Buttery Spread (I usually use butter but I have that on hand to use with meat) so I used that instead. I only put some into the final concoction.
ev olive oil ->I use canola oil, as it's considered to be a healthy oil and it's cheaper than olive oil.
1 lg egg, whisked ->I didn't bother to whisk the egg; I just tossed it into the mixture.
Melinda’s Extra Hot Habanero Sauce or store or home hot sauce of choice ->I used instead some 365 Everyday Value Mild Salsa that I had on hand.
cooking spray ->I never use cooking spray anymore -- it's expensive and I don't think it's natural -- and I didn't even grease the pan at all because there was already a lot of oil and buttery spread in it.

In a saucepan, saute lentils over high heat in oil with s&bp until some brown and the aroma increases. Turn heat to low, add stock or water, s&bp. Simmer uncovered (not a low boil, so 1 bubble roughly 5-10 seconds) around 1¼ hr. S&BP again around ½ hour into it. Finish with a little butter, s&bp.
->I sauteed the lentils with rosemary, added water, and let it boil before turning it down to a simmer. I think I let it simmer for approximately the time stated.

Sweat the onion in oil, s& bp. Add ¾ C white wine, s&bp&gp and a little butter. Cook around 5 minutes. Finish with s&gp.
->I heated the oil in a skillet, added onion, sauteed for bit, then decided to chop up a tomato and add it. I sauteed it for a bit longer, then added a little salt and rosemary.

Crumb bread in food processor. Pulse nuts a few times if you wish.

Whisk egg with s&bp. Add butter (about 1 inch of a quarter pound stick). Add hot sauce to taste. Combine everything. Stir. S&GP to taste. Check seasonings ->I don't currently have a food processor but my bread was basically already in crumbs. I just left my nuts and seeds whole. I began mixing everything together, without whisking the egg, and with the buttery spread instead of butter and salsa instead of hot sauce. I added more fresh rosemary to the whole mixture. I tasted it. It tasted slightly strange because of the raw egg (not recommended if you're concerned about salmonella from raw eggs) but otherwise good.

Spray and fill the ramekins (I have 1 C ones). Put into a 350° oven around 20 minutes.
->It was still kind of soft after that amount of time, but it tasted delicious!

Tons of variations/omissions/additions possible. But I think green peppercorns are pretty important. They make things so round and supple.
->I'm so glad I made it anyway, even without the green peppercorns!

This post was written in response to a comment on Facebook.

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