You all enjoyed peeking in my kitchen so much, and you wanted more.
'BURT,' you said. 'I HAVE NONE OF THE COOKINGS. ALL I LIVE ON IS LUNCHABLES I STEAL FROM THE OFFICE BREAKROOM! PLEAZ HALP.'
Welcome to Gator's Kitchen!!! Every week, I'll show you an easy recipe for something that you can make, just like a real actual grown up. I came up with the name 100 percent totally on my own because I'm a creative genius artist. I'm going to give you recipes that look like fancified food from a restaurant none of us can afford to eat at, but can come right from your kitchen, even if you keep it in a box under your bed.
Tonight, I bring you this gif of Burt Reynolds from the film Gator, (one of the greatest films ever made ever) AND a really easy recipe for some lentil beans.
Look how masterfully Burt handles this 'drunk' fall. What grace. What precise, masterful genius. He makes that bar stool his bitch. All other film drunks bow before the genius that is Burt Reynolds!
As for tonight's recipe, it's basically a very simplified version of Lebanese lentils (Mudardara, if you've ever had that dish). My BF freaking loves this dish. Probably more than he loves me.
BTW, no 'UMM ACTUALLY THOSE ARE NOT LEBANESE BEANS, BECAUSE TRADITIONALLY BLAH BLAH BLAH' Yes, yes, I know, I know, I am not saying these are authentic. like I said these are a take on those beans. You're very smart and super global aware, now please go sit in the corner while we make our shitty non-authentic beans; kthanx.
Burt's Motherfucking Lentils
Lentils (I used half of a 1 lb. bag of dried lentil beans from HEB)
Cumin seed 1/2 teaspoon
2 onions, sliced
Ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon
Cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon
OK, you got your ingredients. So let's cook some lentils. (MOTHERFUCKING LENTILS).
Grab a pot and throw some lentils in, cover them with about 1-2 inches of water. Boil them to a rapid boil, then turn them down to a simmer, cover and wait about 20 minutes. While that's going on, it's time to cook your onions.
Disclaimer: My knife skills suck. I never get the pieces all the same size. I look like Barney the Dinosaur trying to slice, dice or chop. It's pathetic. So they never turn out perfect, but whatevs. Cooking doesn't have to be about perfection.
Anyway, prep the onions first and have them waiting and ready to go in. Get a pan on the stove, at about medium/medium high or so. Take your foofy or non-foofy oil and pour about 1/2 cup-3/4 cup in the pan.
When it just starts to get heated up, toss your cumin seeds in there. If you have whole peppercorns, they are good to throw in too. I just had some regular pepper and used that instead.
Toast the cumin seeds for just a minute, long enough to smell them. MMMM. Once that's going, get your onions in the pan. Don't keep your flame too high! That's the biggest mistake I always make BECAUSE OMG I WANT TO EAT ALL THE FOODZ RIGHT NOW UGHHHHHHHH.
Stir the onions a lot. Once they get a nice dark brown caramel color, use a little slotted spoon and take a spoonful out and reserve for garnish later.
Then, add your ground cumin, cayenne and cinnamon stick (*) and saute for about 1-2 minutes.
Here, you can add some Basmati rice if you want to. (I didn't, because I like the beans on their own). But if you want, toss in about 3/4 of a cup of rice, and saute until the grains brown. Then, pour about 3 cups of water in, bring to a boil, reduce to low and cook about 30 minutes.
If you don't want all the starch like me, go right to the step where you add the beans. You want them to cook almost soft, but not mushy. Drain them when the texture tastes right (right is what is tastes good to you) and add salt to taste, just a few pinches.
Put them in the same pot with the onions and spices (and rice if you've used it). Stir everything together. Season with more ground cumin, cayenne and salt/pepper to taste. Once you feel happy with it, you're ready to go. Garnish with the onions you took out earlier.
Here's the final dish—I made some coriander crusted chicken and sauteed baby bok choy to go with them. I serve it with a little masala papad to eat with the lentils.
* Here's where you can play a little. You can add fenugreek, fennel seed, a bay leaf, allspice, coriander—just play around with the spices until you find something you like. Saute some garlic with the onions, if you want. Add a lemon squeeze. Add some bacon. Use garbanzo beans or lima beans instead. Make it your own.
Next time on Gator's Kitchen, we'll do some easy pasta salad and discuss why Sharky's Machine should be mandatory viewing in all public schools.