I mentioned these as a product of my Mujadarrah leftovers when I was outlining some creative toddler meals in this week's Toddler Tidbits, but even my husband liked them. I adapted the recipe below a little so I could use up our leftovers, but I imagine they would taste pretty much the same. They're a little grainy in texture--almost dry--so they really benefit from some sort of sauce (we used ketchup and it was very tasty; it worked with the fried, crispy outside). Plus, they make a pantry meal look so interesting!
Recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
- 2 c. chopped onion
- 2 T. olive oil, butter, or a mixture
- salt and pepper
- 1 c. lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1/2 c. finely diced celery
- 1/2 c. finely diced carrot
- 2 c. soft bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil for frying
- In a medium skillet over low heat, cook the onion in the olive oil, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until they're browned, meltingly soft, and full of aroma, about 15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, combine the lentils, celery, carrot, and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Add water to cover by 3 inches, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid for soup stock. Puree the lentils in a food processor until smooth but still retaining a little texture. Add some of the reserved broth if needed.
- Mix the lentils with the onion and half the bread crumbs. Season well with salt and pepper, then stir in the egg. Spread the mixture out on a platter or tray to cool so that it will be easier to handle. Form the mixture into 3-inch ovals or rounds 2.5 inches across. Spread the remaining bread crumbs on a plate and roll the croquettes in them. (You can do this ahead of time and cover with saran wrap; alternately, you can simply make the mixture up ahead of time, wrap, and mold into patties when you're ready.)
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Pour the oil into a skillet to the depth of 1/4 inch and place over medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove them to paper towels to drain and put in the oven to keep warm. Finish frying the others, then serve them all together.
To make from Leftover Mujadarrah:
Substitute 2 cups or so of mujadarrah for the lentil-vegetable-bread crumb mixture. Puree until it's quite crumbly/mushy, but not liquid. Combine with onions and egg. Proceed as directed.