I am a freelancer in the publishing industry, so words are very important to me. I'm a leftist living in a world gone mad, so politics are very important to me. I'm an environmentalist living in a degrading world, so pick up your damn trash, get rid of your gas guzzlers, and don't touch ANWR, you self-absorbed capitalists!

Do leave comments: let's make this a conversation. If you prefer, you can contact me at friuduric at yahoo dot com.

27 November 2007

Lentil Nut Loaf

Marsha mentioned that she cooks tofurkey because her family requires a turkey-ish thing on the Thanksgiving table. Here's what the Consort makes every year for Thanksgiving. I explain the Thanksgiving version after the regular loaf-pan directions.

Nut and Lentil Loaf

4 cups water
2 cups lentils (if you have red lentils, then do 2/3 cup red lentils and 1 1/3 cup brown lentils. It will stick together better that way. Otherwise, just use brown lentils and it will be fine).

Cook the lentils on the stove until the lentils are soft, about half an hour.

In a large saucepan, melt:
4 tablespoons butter
Add and cook over low heat for 15 mins:
12 stalks celery, finely minced
2 Tablespoons mixture of tarragon, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, and other herbs that you like
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4 teaspoons salt (seems like a lot, but we have been doing this for a wile, so trust me!)

Combine lentils and celery mixture and add:
4 cups finely minced onion
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

Turn into 2 well-buttered standard loaf pans. Bake in a 375 degrees oven for at least 1 hour, until a knife comes out fairly clean.
While the loaves are baking, make the sauce. in a saucepan, melt:
4 tablespoons butter

add and cook very slowly for 30 mins.:
2 cups minced onion
2 vegetable bouillon cubes, crushed

Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil

Then, add and cook until thickened, stirring constantly:
2 Tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in a little water
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour, dissolved in a little water

When thickened, add:
2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup

Serve some of the sauce over each portion of the loaf

For a real thanksgiving display, make the loaf in a large, oval baking dish, as well as filling a few muffin cups with loaf.

When done, put the oval nut loaf on a baking sheet, using the muffin-loaves to make the thighs on each side. Roll out some puff pastry for the "skin", and cover the loaf. Brush this with a mixture of soy sauce and ketchup for color, and bake at whatever temperature the puff pastry box says. Make a twist in the other end for the neck, maybe cut a slit between the legs and sew it up like you would a turkey, and so on. Chopsticks can make nice drumsticks. It all depends upon how creative you're feeling!

Front of nut loaf turkey

He usually does the stringing and chopsticking, but we didn't bring our chopsticks with us, and we had no toothpicks in the house to make the closed up turkey cavity this year. You can see the pictures larger on flickr.

Back of nut loaf turkey

NOTE-If you make it in the regular loaf pans, then it can be cut into portions when cold, wrapped in foil or plastic, put in a plastic bag, and frozen for future use. You need only defrost the number of slices you need (when defrosted, this is delicious microwaved as a sandwich, with ketchup and maybe some cheese).