Lebanese mejadrah

Yield: 8 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 larges Sweet onions such as Vidalias or sweet red onion(s)
1 quart Milk
6 tablespoons Butter
1 medium Onion(s), finely chopped
1 Garlic clove(s), minced
1½ cup Long-grain rice white or brown
3 cups (to 4 C.) chicken stock
The Versatile Grain
and the
Elegant Bean
by Sheryl and Mel London
ISBN 0-671-76106-4
pg 380-381
2 cups All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Salt or to taste
½ teaspoon Pepper
Corn oil for frying (more for brown rice)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Dried green or brown lentils picked over and washed

CRISP FRIED SWEET ONIONS

LENTILS AND RICE

Onions:

Peel and slice onions into ¬-inch slices and separate them into rings.

Place in a large bowl and cover with milk. Soak, stirring once or twice, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and pepper together in a large paper bag. DRain and discard milk and shake onions in flour mixture. Heat 1-inch of oil in a heavy iron skillet to about 375øF. on a deep fry thermometer. Fry the flour-coated onions a few at a time until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels, set aside and keep warm in a low oven.

Lentils and Rice:

Melt butter in a heavy 2«-qt. shallow casserole. Add onions and garlic and saut‚ over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring until the onions are translucent. Stir in rice and continue to stir until the grains are coated with the butter, about 2-3 minutes. Add stock and salt and pepper, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover casserole tightly with aluminum foil and reduce heat as low as possible. Cook for 40 minutes (depending on type of rice used) and don't peek.

Remove foil and fluff rice with a fork, scraping up the bottom crust and stirring it into the rice.

Meanwhile, in a 3-qt. saucepan, cover lentils with water by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and rinse lentils with hot water. Season and stir into rice when it's finished, and top with the crisp, fried onions.

Note: The rice and lentils can be made ahead, covered loosely with foil and kept warm in a preheated low 250øF. oven until serving time.

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 10-17-95

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