Pastel de Lenteja con Nuez (Mexican Lentil Nut Loaf)

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 chipotle chiles, chopped
1 pound lentils, well washed
1-1/2 quarts
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 pound pecans, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

Tomato Sauce:

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 pounds tomatoes (about 5-1/2 cups), chopped
1 cup water or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in the bottom of a pressure cooker and saute the onion, celery and chiles for 5 minutes. Add the lentils and cover them with 1-1/2 cups water. Close the pressure cooker and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and dry. If you dont have a pressure cooker, boil the lentils in the water, covered, over low heat until tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Add the parsley, pecans, breadcrumbs, soy sauce and salt, and mix well, forming a heavy dough.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 5″ x 9″ bread pan with aluminium foil, and grease it with margarine. Fill the pan with the lentil mixture and cover with a piece of aluminium foil to seal in the moisture. Bake for 45 minutes.

While the lentil loaf is in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce by heating the oil in a 2 quart saucepan. Saute the onion for 5 minutes and add the tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally. Add the water, bay leaf, salt and black pepper cover and allow to cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the loaf is done baking, remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Decorate with pecan halves and serve sliced, covered with hot tomato sauce.

Recipe from A Taste Of Mexico by Kippy Nigh.