Family recipes are delicious, easy to make
I grew up in a family that loves good food. In fact, my dad was so serious about it he used to rate the recipes my mom made on a scale of one to ten. My mom, being the good sport that she is, took it as constructive criticism, realizing that it was the recipe, not her cooking, that he was judging.
I wanted to preserve the many recipes that are family favorites, so about 15 years ago, I asked my mom, two sisters and my mother-in-law to share some of their favorite recipes so I could put together a family cookbook. My mom even had some of her mother’s favorite recipes.
The two family recipes in this column are super easy to make, delicious and they compliment each other.
My sister, Lisa Kline, lives in Houston and loves to cook and entertain. She can make some very impressive dishes, but she also appreciates the simplicity of down to earth food.
She submitted a recipe for mujadara. Mujadara is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that uses only three main ingredients: lentils, rice and onion.
Like fried chicken, chili and many other dishes, there are a bazillion variations of the best way to make the dish.
Her husband Glenn, who is kind of picky like my dad, really likes her version.
My sister’s recipe is very basic, but if you add fresh mint, parsley, cilantro, or all three, it’s a winner-winner lentil dinner. Some people like to add cumin, cinnamon or corriander. Don’t be afraid to play with your food.
Lisa says that sauteing the onions thoroughly until they are deep brown is the key to making this dish delicious. She likes to serve it with a salad of sliced cucumbers mixed with yogurt and a touch of finely minced garlic.
However, another perfect sidekick to Lisa’s mujadara is my Grandma George’s cucumbers salad.
She and my grandfather always had a vegetable garden, and I have many memories of helping harvest cucumbers for her to make this salad and eating it too.
1 cup lentils
2 cups water
4-5 tablespoons oil
2-3 large onions, chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sort lentils, discarding stones and any broken lentils. Rinse lentils and drain.
Combine lentils and 2 cups water in medium sauce pan. Bring to boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes.
Drain liquid from lentils into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 2 cups. Set aside. Leave lentils in saucepan.
Heat oil over medium heat in heavy skillet. Add onions and saute, stirring occasionally until well browned, about 15 minutes.
Add onions and their oil to pan of lentils. Add measured liquid and bring to boil. Add rice and season to taste with salt. Cover and return to boil.
Reduce heat to low and cook, without stirring, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add pepper andmore salt to taste.
Makes 4 or 5 servings.
GRANDMA GEORGE’S CUCUMBERS IN SOUR CREAM
2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt Put cucumbers and onion in a bowl. Mix sour cream, sugar, vinegar and salt and pour over cucumbers and onion. Refrigerated for several hours.
(Note: I use red onion) email@example.com | 817-573-7066, ext. 230