For the Love of Lentils

I am convinced that lentils are a food that I should just automatically like.  Most of my family likes them, they always sounds really good to me and I generally like that sort of thing anyway.  I have such a texture problem with them though - they either seem overcooked and mushy or sort of undercooked and grainy.  But I digress...

So, it was a rainy, cold and dreary day here yesterday; and, even though I wanted to hang out inside to stay warm and dry, I really needed to go out to buy espresso since we were out (and being out of coffee in this house is not ok).  So, I was halfway to the shops when I realized that I hadn't taken anything out to defrost for dinner.  I went to LiquorLand (where they had my favorite champers on sale for $15 for 2 bottles!) and then started roaming the aisles of Coles to see what I could find.  I happened across this really beautiful bag of French Lentils... Ok, but, before that happened, I found these M&M's!  Orange? Mint?  Cool...  I mean, except for the fact that they both look kinda gross; but I wanted to show you anyway. 

Also, before I get distracted again - this was one of the articles in the local weekly paper.  The article was an interview with four local students - for us in the States they would be called senior; but they are called something different here (I can't remember what though).  It was slightly embarrassing to read these boys opinions.  They were so articulate and well thought out - these boys obviously followed politics and cared about who they were going to be voting for and why.  I was no where that interested in politics my senior year; and I didn't even feel that prepared the first time I went to vote!  Anyway - really just loved the headline!

So, back to the lentils....  They were french and they had a cool name.  So, I picked up the package and read an interesting recipe that included lots of oil and red onions.  Looked nasty; but the red onion started me thinking....  I had a fresh block if feta at home and even a red onion. My only stumbling block was what type of meat to serve with it.  I know, I know... It didn't really need meat; but if you are going to try to tell me that than you don't know my husband!  So, I bought some fresh Spanish Chorizo from the deli and home I went.

It began in a rather promising manner.  I was sipping pink champagne, there was music on my Itunes and once the lentils were rinsed they looked like a pile of miniature shellfish:

They purported to cook in only 25 minutes which was not true (I also don't have measuring cups so I was eyeballing the amounts and I may have had it all wrong); but it didn't matter anyway as Joe was late getting home from work.  They smelled delicious while they were cooking - nutty; but with a hint of spice.  While they were going I assembled my master plan:

 How can you go wrong with such a great combination of ingredients?  They looked even better once they were all chopped up in my bowl.

So, the red onion, Roma tomato, Lebanese cucumber, scallions red capsicum (pepper) and feta cheese got a bit of olive oil and lemon juice sprinkled on them and then waited patiently as I pan fried (not much choice as I only have 2 pans and one was cooking the lentils) the chorizo.  It was really greasy and I think next time I'd like to roast it in the oven? or something that doesn't involve it spattering grease over my clean stove.  So, once that was done I caramelized some garlic and onion, added the lentils and sauteed till they couldn't look or smell any better.

Voila!  Mixed all to combine and served with a green salad.  Joe really liked it (or at least he said he did and took the leftovers for lunch); but I have to admit that I wasn't impressed....  The flavours were great; but the lentils really ruined it for me. Same texture problems, I'm afraid.

So, I figure it will be another couple of years before I find a recipe or something that will make me think "Maybe I'll like lentils this time?". 

If I do, I'll let you know.
10 Responses
  1. CoryAlayne Says:

    I wanna book a flight to Australia just to eat dinner with you every night and drink wine and laugh.


  2. Jenny Says:

    You're such an adventurous cook. I wish I could be more experimental. If I don't have a recipe to follow I'm lost.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The school system sounds a bit odd. What we know as a Senior in highschool, they refer to as Grade 12 (instead of 12th grade like we are used to). Actually, Grade 11 & Grade 12 are "College" and "highschool" is grade 9 & 10. I have little neices here, so it is strange to me to hear some of their names for things. Like they call the cafeteria a "Canteen". You are also required to vote by law here once you are of I guess it's a very good thing that you learn about politics early!

  4. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Cory - I so wish you were here... on like a daily basis..

    @ Jenny - thanks! Sometimes I wish I could cook by the book better, I am forever buying cookbooks that never get used!

    @ akroezen - love the word canteen! I also love the adorable school uniforms here, especially the hats.

  5. Stephene Says:

    @akroezen - Actually high school is 7-10 and college 11 & 12. And the canteen is NOTHING like the school cafeteria in the US. It's usually just a little shop where you can buy sweets, meatpies and sausage rolls. Aussie kids do not have school lunches.

    Also! You're not required to vote. You're required to register and you have to go and get your name crossed off when it's time to vote, but that's it. =)


  6. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Bindie - interesting, I heard somewhere else about the whole "only having to get your name crossed off" bit; but I assumed that it was a joke... Learn something new every day!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    You are a VERY adventurous inspire me. But not enough to try. Everything always looks pretty when you plate it up. I'm not a fan of lentils...or lima beans. Ick. And ORANGE M&M'S? Really? Mint..maybe, but orange? Do they test a lot of stuff out in Australia before it hits the States? I've never heard of such a thing. I think the coconut M&M's and the pretzel M&M's are even weird, but orange? So strange. You should try them and let us know how they are.

  8. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ Missy - That's what I thought... Orange M&Ms just weren't doing it for me! Joe is interested in the mint ones though :)

  9. Stacy Says:

    the mint m&m's are really yummy!! i have never noticed the orange ones before. just curious which champers you like? i love the pink bella!!

  10. Mimi and Joe Says:

    @ stacy - I like the yellowglen yellow and pink. So yummy

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