Sunday, February 23, 2014

Long Awaited Lentils

Looking back over 2014 so far I don't think James and I have spent more than 3 or 4 nights at home together. We've crossed in airports, met up in distant cities. We've missed the day to day make dinner, sit together at the table -- my favorite part of the day.
It's been months of carry out salads and sushi, burgers and anything easy.
Finally we've landed at home for a few days together and I get to see if I remember how to cook. I'm certainly out of practice.
Mercifully, since I haven't been to the store or farmers market in eons, I am a bit of a hoarder. At least an ingredient hoarder, so even when the cupboard looks most bare I can generally still manage to scare up something for dinner. Tonight with a little inspiration from Nigella Lawson and her devil may care entertaining style I whipped up a pot of lentils with Italian sausage and a simple red wine pan sauce.
I sautéed chopped onion and a dash of chili peppers in some olive oil and then stirred in about 2 3/4 cups green lentils. I covered the lentils with cold water and let them simmer, covered for 1/2 an hour until tender and most of the water was cooked away. Meanwhile in a separate pan I tossed a few cloves of garlic in olive oil and then browned links of Italian sausage. After about 5 minutes I splashed in a heavy 1/3 cup of red wine and 1/4 cup of water. The sausages cooked through for about 10 minutes in a covered pan. Now Nigella may be working with fattier sausages or she may be paying more attention than her TV demeanor would indicate. Though she claims to have a winey sauce my sausages were nearly cooked dry and so I made a quick pan sauce with red wine and balsamic vinegar just quickly reduced that I added, along with the sausages themselves to the waiting lentils. Well actually I moved the sausages out and put the lentils in their pan to take advantage of the tasty fond -- but no matter I did in fact achieve a tasty winey garlicky sauce which I topped with a generous shaving of parmesan cheese.
In just a few days we are off again but for now something homemade (and made just for you Honey) beats all the carry out in the world.

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