Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lentilicious!

Given the distance and the lighting, this is far from a good shot. Still, I'm just happy to have managed to capture even this picture of the Cedar Waxwing that dropped in the other day. Actually, they've been coming by for several days in a row but there was only once one of them perched on a branch close to my window -- in sunlight -- and sat there looking gorgeous. Until I raised the camera. Just as the focus was zeroing in on him, he flew away. (Insert sob.) Other than that single tease, the flock tends to perch briefly in the trees furtherest away, in lighting that makes it impossible to get much more than silhouettes.

As an aside, there are times I really love SpellCheck. I simply never remember how to spell silhouette. It's so nice to type in my best guess and then have SpellCheck correct me.

Ava, remember asking me about lentil recipes awhile back? Well, I can finally share one with you -- and any other of you Coffee Mates who might be interested. I don't know how it happened that lentils have never crossed my lips before. One of life's mysteries, I reckon. But I finally got around to picking up a bag of them at the market today and, for my first performance, happily whupped up some lentil burritos.


I was only going to make a couple of them but I grated up so much colby/jack cheese that I ended up with four. Which is great. Elevenses, you know. I was very impressed with the result. The lentils -- at least in this recipe -- taste very much like beans so the burrito didn't seem so bizarre after all.

What I did was bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil and stir in 1 cup of rinsed and drained lentils. Put the lid on, turned the heat down to low and let them simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a neighboring frying pan, I sauteed half a medium onion, minced, 1 of my lemon drop chili peppers, minced, and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. I also added about a cup of summer sausage that I'd run through the chopper so it was like crumbled hamburger. When the onion was nicely tender, I turned that pan down to low also.

When the 20 minutes was up, I turned the lentils, remaining broth and all, into the onion and sausage mixture, stirred everything up good, put a lid on it and let everything continue to cook at the low setting until all the extra broth had been absorbed. I don't know how long that took because dotter Patti called and we chatted awhile before I remembered I was cooking my din-din.

Okay. Turned the mixture into a bowl and let it cool just a little. Grated up a chunk of the colby/jack cheese and pulled out the package of flour tortillas. Yeah, I bought 'em this time instead of making them. Plopped about 3 heaping spoonsful of the lentil mixture onto each tort and rolled it up like a burrito, setting each one on a plate with the flap side down. I had a shallow layer of vegetable oil heating in the freshly cleaned frying pan. When it was ready, I laid each burrito, flap side still down, into the oil very carefully and let them fry until golden. Turned them with kitchen tongs and browned the other side, then set them on a paper towel to catch any excess oil.

As you can see in the photo, one of them tried to unroll on me when I turned it over. No harm done. All the good stuff stayed inside. And it was good stuff! Really, really good. I find it difficult to say, "Nom, nom, nom," and chew at the same time but I figure orgasmic moaning translates the same.

I had a goodly portion of the filling left over so it's sitting in the refrigerator waiting for the next incarnation. I think I'll add some diced tomatoes and a bit of 'mater juice and cook it up a bit, then serve it over rice. What do you think?

9 comments:

The Old Guy said...

Lovely picture of the cedar waxwing, Dee. I remember seeing them sit on the branches of a mountain ash in Toronto, in a definite pecking order. They passed the berries from one to another up the line to the top bird on the branch. Apart from the fact that the berries have a laxative effect, it was a lovely moment in birding.

Dee said...

I've heard that about cedar waxwings, Bill. They're a very social bird, aren't they. I rarely see one alone. Groups land and take off together like a merry band of Robin Hoods. Uhmm, I hope they don't take offense at the robin bit.

Anonymous said...

The cedar waxwing was a good model. They are such beautiful birds. The burritos sound heavenly, when is dinner?

Dee said...

Dinner? Heh, heh. Are you up for midnight snacking, Mz Em? I figure it will take that long for the two I already ate to work their way out of my tummy and leave room for the last two.

Ava South said...

If you are asking what I think, Dee, well, I think you are very creative. Everytime I think of lentils, soup comes to mind and that's about that. But I love this burrito idea. Thanks so much for the inspiration. I still have my bag of lentils in the pantry. And I do have some whole wheat tortillas in the fridge. Not enough cheese handy though. I still will get around to making these soon.

Thanks.

Ava

Maggie said...

Ah yes, add chopped celery, carrots, a dash or two of salsa, and a tomatoe or two with chicken broth, and you have lentil soup.

MMmmmmmmm MMmmmmmmmm good. LOL

Missed ya.

Dee said...

Now see, Maggie/Mage (smile), you're another person who's done lentils while, all these years I've been ignorant of their goodness. I have a lot of catching up to do.

By the way, if one goes to either fooddownunder.com or recipezaar.com, one will find a kajillion recipes for for lentils, fixed all different kinds of ways. It's great fun just browsing.

Bonnie said...

Lentils are a bean are they not? :-)

Wish I could have a waxwing visit here. Think they just pass us buy for the Hill Country.

Dee said...

Bonnie, lentils are legumes. Which makes them kissin' cousins, I guess, with beans, soya, chickpeas and regular peas ... and peanuts.