LENTIL CROQUETTES came to me entirely by accident, when a pot of lentils boiled over on my stove. The little beans were still good, but they were too disintegrated for soup. So I simply mashed them with eggs, flour, and seasonings, and then fried them by the spoonful in hot oil. Voila…a new appetizer was born! These croquettes are crispy outside, creamy inside, and packed with nutrition. Give them a try — I guarantee you’ll like them.
Ingredients for 40-50 appetizers
1 bag (16 oz) hulled and split red lentils
1 quart water
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup self-rising flour (or whisk together 1/2 cup all purpose flour with 1/4 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda)
Special Equipment — a heavy-bottomed saucepan that will hold at least 2 quarts; a skillet; a wooden spoon (or potato masher); a baking sheet lined with paper towels
The lentils — Bring lentils and water to a hard boil in the saucepan; cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed, and the lentils are soft enough to mash. Then pour the lentils into a large bowl and mash them with a wooden spoon. Let cool for 10 minutes or so.
The croquette batter – Thoroughly stir into the lentils the beaten eggs, followed by the flour. Then add remaining ingredients, and mix well.
Frying the croquettes – In the skillet, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil to 350F. Working in batches, gently drop spoonfuls of batter into the oil. Fry until the bottom of each croquette turns a rich, golden brown (about one minute). Then flip them over, and brown the other side. Transfer finished croquettes to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
If you’d like to make these croquettes the day before a party, fear not. Let them cool after frying, and then refrigerate in a zip-lock bag. Reheat on a parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes at 400F. I’ve tested this — it works.
As for a dipping sauce, consider a mild salsa, like this one. A creamy salad dressing, like “Catalina” or “Thousand Island” would be delicious, too.
Think you’ll give these croquettes a whirl? Let me know, in the comments field below.
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