Dan is afraid of very few things but thanks to this cupboard-cleaning, 100-day journey, he is increasingly leery of lentils. Two partial bags — one green, one orange — are among the few castoffs left in the kitchen.
So he knows.
The Lentils Are Coming For Him.
Dan’s dislike of lentils is shared by my daughter, who has turned out to be his soul-mate in matters such as legumes and camping. So you can imagine his dismay when a text from Erin planted the seed for today’s recipe — the Jack-O-Lentil Burger from the animated sit-com Bob’s Burgers.
Hey Dan. They’re heeee-eeerrrr-rreee.
For those who haven’t heard of Bob’s Burgers (that would be me), it is an American animated sit-com that debuted in 2011 about the Belcher family (parents Bob and Linda, and their children Tina, Gene, and Louise) who run a hamburger restaurant. One of the show’s running gags is the witty Burger of the Day posted on the restaurant’s chalkboard: “New Bacon-ings – Comes with Bacon”, “Camembert-ly Legal Burger” or “Chard To A Crisp Burger.”
To get a taste of the series, check out this compilation of highlights, which runs approximately five minutes. As well, at the bottom of this post I’ve included the trailer for Full Bars, the Halloween episode that featured the Jack-O-Lentil Burger.
Naturally, a few enterprising restaurants have picked up on the idea and whipping up creations based on the burger names. And even more naturally, a cookbook was released in 2016 (The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers) so you can experience all the fun at home.
Dan gamely ate it. His only question, which I couldn’t answer was: Why? Why would someone mess up a perfectly good burger with a mess of spiced lentils?
True to the Halloween theme of the burger, it is strange to look at. It tastes better than it looks. And given that the cookbook’s blurb about the burger states that “this hamburger tastes like arm wrestling,” that is saying something.
As for Dan, fear not. One bag of lentils down, only one more lentil recipe to go.
Kitchen Castoff Used
This is how we did it
Recipes for the Perfect Basic Burger comes from allrecipes.com, the rest comes of Bob’s Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (we used panko)
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup dried orange (red) lentils
- Olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 green or red bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 – 1 jalapeño pepper, diced. (Recipe calls for 3 serrano chiles; jalapeño is an acceptable substitute. And 3 sounds like a lot!)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 4 oz log of chèvre (goat cheese)
- Baby spinach and buns
For the patties
Combine the ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and form into four patties. Grill or fry for about 6 – 8 minutes per side or till desired doneness.
For the lentil topping
Put the lentils and 3 cups of water into a pot. Bring to a boil and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t let them get mushy. Drain away the excess water when they are done.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the garlic, onion, celery bell pepper and jalapeño until they are tender, 10 – 15 minutes depending on your heat.
Mix the lentils with the sautéed vegetables plus the honey and ground ginger.
For the Jack-O-Lentil Burger
Spread a good layer of goat cheese on the bottom half of a hamburger bun, add a layer of spinach, then the burger, then a heap of lentils.
Curious about my “Kitchen Castoffs” concept? Here’s the explainer describing my 100-day project.
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