Many of you know of our Non-Traditional Christmas Dinners. I’ve been working on getting the best recipes up from our most recent one, Christmas 2012, which was Peruvian.
Ceviche easily topped the list, so when we decided to make Peruvian again for a recent family gathering that was the first thing mentioned. Actually, Ceviche was the whole reason we decided to make Peruvian again that evening.
I wanted to try a few different things that we weren’t able to try the first time around. Tacu Tacu was one of them – Rice and Lentils. It definitely comes in a close second to ceviche; a very good side dish! I will be making this again and not just for those evenings when we’re having Arroz con Pollo or Flavorful Peruvian Pork.
As you can see in the instructions, this dish can be made in steps. I would recommend it!
Bring lentils, 5 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a heavy medium saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 12 to 25 minutes (depending on age of lentils). Drain, then transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, cook 1 teaspoon garlic in 1tablespoon oil in another heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add remaining 2 1/4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, then cook, covered, over low heat 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Stir rice from top to bottom with a rubber spatula, then stir into lentils.
(The two steps above can be done prior to the meal. I did them early in the afternoon and then just let the rice and lentils sit until it was time to prepare dinner.)
While rice stands, sauté onion and remaining teaspoon garlic in 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until onion is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chile paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir onion mixture into rice mixture.
(This can also be done as sort of a preparation step. We did this, and then about 20-30 minutes later we finished the last step.)
Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in skillet over medium heat until hot. Add rice mixture and fry, gently flattening with a spatula, until a golden-brown crust forms on underside, about 3 minutes. Stir rice and fry, flattening it, until a crust forms on underside again, about 3 minutes more. Repeat frying and stirring until bits of crust are dispersed throughout, about 9 minutes more (about 15 minutes total frying time).
The original recipe can be found on Epicurious