I have a secret. I eat baby food.
Actually, I eat toddler food. And it's delicious. Don't tell anyone.
OK, no, it's not that disgusting celebrity diet fad where starlets attempt to become repulsed by food by eating jarred baby food. Ick.
Since his first bite of solids, I've made Jacky's food from scratch. From purees to the above burgers, it's been homemade all the way. We do so much cooking in this house that it's like second nature, really. And pretty fun.
And, like I said, I partake in this fare, too.
In preparation for Jacky graduating to solid foods, we were given an excellent book, Cooking for Baby. I've cooked my way through the book, from baby's first purees to Indian dal to ricotta-blackberry parfaits. I've at least had a taste of everything (it's only fair, no??) and some of it, I've eaten right along side Mister Toddler. Delicious stuff.
I usually tinker with the recipes, and this one is no exception. I pumped a bunch of chard into the otherwise plain lentil patties, and attempted to make the texture more moist. I eat mine topped with Greek yoghurt and Sriracha. Jacky has his "buh-guh" as finger food, smeared with minted yoghurt. Happy mommy, happy baby.
Secret Lentil-Chard Burgers
Adapted from Cooking for Baby, by Lisa Barnes
Pick over 3/4 c. brown lentils, discarding rocks or irregular pieces. Place in a pot and cover with 2 c. water. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. When done, drain and set lentils aside to cool. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats in a food processor and set aside in a shallow bowl. In the same processor work bowl (no need to clean), process 4 large, clean and stemmed chard leaves by pulsing, until coarsely chopped. Turn chard into a medium bowl and add cooled lentils. Mash together lightly until the texture is to your liking. Add 1 clove minced garlic. Season with 1 t. each curry powder and ground cumin, plus sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Add 3 T. ground oats, reserving the rest. Lightly beat 2 eggs and gradually add to lentil mixture, mixing well. (You might not need all the eggs--add just enough to make the mixture moist and cling together.) Using your hands, form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties, about 3/4" thick. Coat exterior of each with oats and set aside on a plate. When all 6 patties are formed, chill uncovered in fridge for 15 minutes or longer. Heat 1/2" organic canola oil* in a heavy-bottom pan until very hot. Fry patties in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook each side undisturbed until deeply golden, then drain on paper towels or rack. Serve with minted Greek yoghurt, plus hot sauce for grown-ups.
* This may seem like a lot of oil, but assertive searing is necessary to hold patties together. If you get your oil very hot, the burgers will absorb a shockingly scant amount of oil. Alton Brown told me so, and it's true.