Friday, February 6, 2015

Savory Bites-2

Savory Bites from Book Group
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can) chick peas/garbanzo beans –I used canned chickpeas/garbanzos this time.  If you want to cook them from scratch,  you will need ½ cup beans which you soak in water overnight
1/2 cup quinoa (1 1/2 cups cooked)—can use millet
Sun-dried tomatoes—I used about 2 Tablespoons of julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil that were in the bottom of the jar.  I filled the jar with hot water and let them sit for half an hour
1/2 cup red lentils—I used green ones which take longer to cook
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 4.5-ounce can of chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika
1-2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup chickpea (besan) flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Rinse quinoa in a FINE mesh strainer.  Add to a small saucepan with 1cup water.  Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed by the quinoa.
Pick over the lentils and discard any foreign matter. Rinse in a strainer then place in small pan with 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.  Some types of lentils soften sooner than others.
Drain the can of chickpeas in a strainer then rinse well.  Place in a large bowl.
If you did not get chopped or julienned sundried tomatoes, place 4-6 of the tomatoes in a bowl and cover with boiling water.  Let sit about 30 minutes.  Drain, but save the water for another purpose.  Chop the tomatoes finely. (I did not chop the ones I used since they were already smallish.  I DID use the water in which I softened them.)
While all the cooking is going on, place all the seasonings in a small bowl and stir to mix them well.  This is especially important for the onion powder which will keep it from clumping when you add it to the bowl later.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet then add the finely chopped onion.  Cook until the onion is softened.  Stir in the chilies, sundried tomatoes along with the soaking water, and stir well.  Add the seasonings and stir over medium heat until the soaking liquid has evaporated and the spices have developed more flavor.
Drain the lentils and put into the bowl with the chickpeas.  Drain the quinoa (just in case all the water was NOT absorbed) and add to the bowl with the lentils and chickpeas.  With a wooden spoon combine these ingredients well.  Add the onion, tomato, chilies, spice mixture to the bowl and stir until beautifully combined.  Using a potato masher or fork, mash the chickpeas.  (After the fact I realized I could have mashed them while the quinoa and lentils were cooking.  The original recipe did not call for this but I prefer my chick peas mashed.  You may be different. I do think there is potential for the bites to fall apart when cooked if the chickpeas are not mashed.)
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.  In my case, it was near zero degrees Fahrenheit outside so I just set them on a table on the porch, but kept an eye out for marauding squirrels and hungry chickadees and woodpeckers.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove bowl from refrigerator and add the besan/chickpea flour and the egg and mix in thoroughly.  Using a 1 ½ Tablespoon portion scoop, scoop out mixture onto the baking sheet in neat rows.  With a fork, flatten the bites to about ½ inch in thickness.
Bake for 10-12 minutes then remove from oven and carefully turn over the bites and return to the oven to cook for another 10-12 minutes or until the bites are golden brown on top.
Plain Savory Bites ready to travel

These can be eaten plain, hot or room temperature, can be eaten with a nice dipping sauce if you want more calories/flavors in your diet, or can be the “burger” in a tiny slider with lettuce, tomato slice, thinly sliced onion, and mayonnaise or other topping.  Or maybe change the seasonings altogether to breakfast sausage seasoning and make breakfast sandwiches with sliced cheese, baby English muffins, and a round of omelet?
You can also shape them with a much larger portion scoop to make more “burger-like” sized bites, but then they will be burgers and not bites.  They will also be more difficult to turn over without smashing them into pieces.
If you REALLY want to add some fat to your diet, you can cook them in a cast iron skillet in which you have heated your favorite oil or grease (I think they would be great cooked in bacon grease, BUT no bacon here so no bacon grease…alas.) 
This recipe made about 30-35 bites. The original recipe purports to make 9-10 patties, which seems optimistic to me.
The original recipe is found here:

PS  Like the other "savory bites" I served a while ago, these did not sell well. I think they needed the dipping sauce or breakfast sandwich ingredients.  Plain, I liked them fine. I guess I am a minority, except for our book group who did like them plain, too.

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