Friday, July 29, 2011

Lentil Tamale Casserole

Lentils are a legume.  I like making this because I can wander in and out of the kitchen at leisure and still appear to be getting something done.

You need:
a packet of taco seasoning
10 ounces of dried lentil
2 boxes of cornbread mix
an onion
a can of creamed corn
a can of tomato sauce
2 eggs

Lentils, all of them I have ever found, come in 16 oz bags.  If you use the whole bag, you will fall asleep from exhaustion trying to chew the casserole.  Lentils are not for the casual diner and just don't use the whole bag in one go.

Dump out about 2/3 of the bag, there's no need to run around being obsessive about measuring it, into a big bowl and rinse them very well.  Leave them sitting half an hour or so in enough water to cover the top of the lentils. 

Pour out the water and rinse one more time, then dump the lentils into a pot and cover them with the tomato sauce and the taco seasoning packet.

pre-measured items are great!  Recycle!

Stir that all up and leave it on low for 20 minutes to half an hour.  

bubbly tomato sauce, do your magic and soften the lentils that the bag says 'don't need soaking!' and the bag lies, oh how it lies.

While you are waiting, chop up your onion-as much as you want to use-and saute it some in a frying pan with a little butter or spray to keep it from sticking.

If you had an electric skillet, you could do this FIRST and put the tamales and tomater sauce on top of the onions!  I do not have an electric skillet, but I sometimes use the wok to make this and the onions go in first.  I figured more people had a pot and a frying pan than had a wok from 1960.

When that's the way you want it to look, dump it in with the lentil mix and stir.

At this point, you can keep going and finish or you can wander off again while the flavors mix in together a little while.

I am re-reading a book called The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  I read it several years ago when it first came out and really liked it, but I have forgotten how it ended.  I keep wandering off to read more.

When you have reached the crucial decision to continue with dinner prep, turn the oven on 350 and then you need to get out your blender, the cornbread mix, 2 eggs, milk and the can of creamed corn.  Mix the corn in first, then the eggs and just use enough milk to make it easy to stir.  It's fine with almond milk instead of cow.

I SWEAR I wash this shirt almost daily.  I know it has been in 9 out of 10 photos this summer.  He's not a hobo, he's 11.  Sometimes there is not much difference.
Here, he is not being a hobo boy, he is being the BenBlender 99 model.

Spread the lentil mix out into a casserole dish

mmm, looks like fish eggs and chunks of lard!

The pour the cornbread mix on top.  I used to add cheese to the cornbread, but you really can't taste the difference if it's not in there, plus it adds fat and calories.  I want some flavor in exchange for such things!

It's pretty thick, so spread it out into an even layer.  If you are not ready to cook it yet, you can keep it covered in the fridge in this state for up to another 24 hours.

mmm, purdy!

Once it's in the oven,leave it alone for 20 minutes, then come back and be near-by.
you can peek if you HAVE to

To fill the time while you wait, clean your kitchen

Give Small Dog sprinkle cheese.  Come ON, look at her!


Then check the top.  It should be firm and a fork should come out clean.  This takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes total, it's a mystery why it is so inconsistent.

As you can see, there are poke holes right in the top!  Pooooooooke Hoooooooooles

Once wounded, the lentil tamale's time is short, topped with shredded cheese, sour cream or just a little salt, it will be gobbled up even by those narrow minded people who thought they did not even like lentils.  Pshaw, as if.

About Me

Unschooling mama from the start with 2014, 2016 and 2018 graduation dates. I enjoy camping, reading, swimming, hiking and photography.