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Lentils and Sausage – not so weird after all July 20, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, Food, random stuff.
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First thing – if you haven’t entered our giveaway, be sure to skip on over there and leave a comment for a chance to win the drawing for a $40.00 gift certificate from CSN Stores!  This is it – we’ll be firing up the Random Number Generator at 5PM Eastern time, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow, so be sure to get your entry in!

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A while ago, Marx Foods sent us, along with several other bloggers, a couple of bean samples.  The also provided a sample to another blogger of golden lentils.  Wow, those lentils sure are busy, huh?  First there were just regular old  lentils, then green lentils, red lentils, and now golden lentils?  Who knew?

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While this golden lentil dish looked (and sounded!) wonderful, we really aren’t interested in a rainbow of lentils.  (That, and along with cleaning out the freezers, we’re also trying to clean out the cupboards, too.)

Let’s see if we can . . . improvise, huh?

The first thing we did was  just brown a couple of Peeps’s Italian sausage links – we did them on the grill, but not completely cooked through – just enough to get them nicely browned – and to be able to slice them about 1/4 inch thick.  Then into the Dutch oven to finish cooking and render some of the fat from the pork.

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Meanwhile, we rinsed a cup of RED (not yellow) lentils and just set them aside for a few minutes.

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Then we went to work on the mire poix, only not exactly.  Sure, I finely diced an onion, some garlic (of course!) and a carrot.  But standing in for the celery was some of the fennel that I thinned from the garden – I treated them just like I would celery.  If, of course, I’d been using celery, which I wasn’t.

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Once the sausage finished doing its thing (it was cooked through and had left a bit of fat in the pan), we removed that from the pan and added the faux mire poix and a pinch of kosher salt.  (And as an aside, should one sentence ever have two different words that end in “x”?)

Anyway.  We let that cook about 10 minutes or so, until the veggies were nicely softened.

PhotobucketFrom here, it’s pretty simple (as if it hadn’t already been mighty simple already!) – season as desired (I used some dried oregano and a good pinch of my Tuscan herb blend from last fall, and that was really all we needed.)

Add a pint or so of chicken stock – or even water, but remember, water doesn’t add much except, well, water.

Reduce the heat and let it all simmer until the lentils and the veggies are done.

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Now if you want your lentils creamy -and, really, who wouldn’t? – I’m afraid you’re going to have to add some, you know, a little cream.

I cheated and used half and half.  We try to avoid keeping heavy cream in the house.

We avoid half and half too, but, well, Peeps’s mom uses it in her coffee, so we had to make sure we had it on hand while she was here, right?

Just a smidge, though – maybe 2-3 tablespoons.

Plenty of cream left for coffee!

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Stir that in, and get the cream heated through, then gather up the cooked sausage (remember the sausage?), and stir that into the mix.

You’re probably going to have to get the sausage hot again, too, by this point, so actually, you could add that right along with the cream, I guess.

Right on top of things, I am!

Once everything is hot, it’s just a matter of ladling it into bowls, chiffonading some basil for a tasty garnish, and serving with some fresh bread.

PhotobucketAnd this was not half bad at all!  The flavors went together well – healthy lentils, creamy lentils (and cream!), and the subtle flavor of fennel in our riff on the classic mire poix, along with the quiet herbiness of, um, the herbs.

And there was even enough left over for another meal, this time over rice, which was just as good!

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