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Old 01-18-2007, 10:05 AM   #11
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There is no need to soak lentils. They are fairly thin skinned so will cook quickly from the dry state.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:43 AM   #12
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like Andy says, there is absolutely no reason to soak lentils, they cook up so quickly. I usually cook them with onions garlic carrots, bacon or ham and add a tomato product at the end, and a splash of vinegar.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:57 AM   #13
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Keith Floyd has a recipe which essentially involves boiling Du Puy lentils in water and a can of tomatoes (chopped with a big knife so you have some texture) for twenty mins or so and then adding a fat slice of bacon (about 4 oz or so) and sausage (I use small chorizo sausages) and leaving to simmer until the lentils are done. If I'm in a hurry, I do something similar with lentils (any colour) that I've pre-cooked or out of a bottle: fry a small, finely sliced onion for a bit, add some diced bacon and sliced spicy chorizo. Continue frying till the onion and bacon are done, then add your lentils, a few tablespoons of tomato sauce and continue to cook until heated through. Totally cheating but very quick and warming.

Green or Du Puy lentils are nice cold (once cooked!) with chopped crispy raw vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, etc.), avocado pear and diced cheese (something acidic like feta or goat's cheese) stirred through and dressed with a vinaigrette dressing. Makes a great starter or light lunch.

Oddly, I find boiled brown lentils in their own thick juice very comforting. Odd because I didn't start eating lentils till well into my twenties so no reason why I should find them so homely except for the simple fact that they are!
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:07 PM   #14
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Definitely

Quote:
Originally Posted by boufa06
No, it is ok to soak without loss of anything important. It is hardly necessary to do this since lentils boil easily anyway. However, whether you soak or not, begin the cooking process by adding water to the lentils and bring them to a boil, then remove from heat and strain in a colander discarding the water. This process will reduce the gas produced during digestion.
This process will reduce the gas produced during digestion.

Am I glad you told me about this. The family is so conscious of this problem and I feel it is healthy if someone even has gas as it is sign of eating 'right' foods. One doctor told us to just 'let them fly' as this is indication you have eaten the roughage necessary to empty your stomach. It is better than eating refined foods that remain in the body for who knows how long. I have heard some real horror stories from nurses in the family about what found in the body after someone passes on(dies). Why can't people just try to be natural? I do appreciate the hint about preparing the lentils, have no problem with keeping family 'gas free'
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:42 PM   #15
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Hope I don't make anyone feel embarrassed about what the doctor said. He was one of our favorites because he meant what he said. It really shocked us when he said it but now we feel he didn't mean to be crude about anything.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
Hope I don't make anyone feel embarrassed about what the doctor said. He was one of our favorites because he meant what he said. It really shocked us when he said it but now we feel he didn't mean to be crude about anything.
I mostly cook my lentils Indian style, and add a pinch of asafoetida to them . This stinky resin (usually sold in powdered form) is a wonderful anti-flatulent. Don't ask me how it works - but it does! Do something like this:

Cover the lentils with water. Add a diced potato and a diced carrot, a bay leaf, 1 tsp turmeric powder, a small stick (or a pinch) of cinnamon and a clove or two. No salt.
Bring to a boil and cook until the lentils are barely soft. Add more hot water if the lentils begin to dry out. Drain, but keep some of the cooking water that remains.

Slice a medium onion into half moon shapes. Crush 3-4 cloves of garlic, and grate a 1/2" piece of fresh ginger ( use a tsp of dried if you don't have any fresh).

Heat some oil (or ghee) in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until just wilted. Add the garlic and ginger, stir three or four times, then add 1/8th tsp of asafoetida. Stir once then add a tsp of cumin seeds. Sizzle, then add the lentil mixture and a little of the water. Add 1 chopped tomato and a fresh, chopped serrano pepper, if you like the hot stuff! (otherwise, leave it out). Add 1 tsp salt ( depending on how much you're cooking), stir and cook through for about 5 minutes. The lentils should be "wet" but not too soupy.
Just before the dish is ready, add a tbsp of fresh cilantro and a tsp of Garam Masala. Serve with Naan bread or papadums.

Another dish that's great for lentils is a Savoury lentil and pumpkin pie . Cook the lentils and the pumpkin in a little water (with a tsp salt) until barely done. Remove, save a little of the water.
Fry a small onion, finely diced, in a little butter until it begins to brown. Add a 1/4 tsp cinnamon, a 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg and a 1/2 tsp ground cumin to the mixture, stir once or twice, then add a tbsp of tomato paste with a tbsp of the cooking water. Stir until mixed then remove from the heat.
Process ALL the cooked ingredients until you have a thick paste. Return to the pan and heat through, adjusting salt if necessary, until almost dry.
Pile the lentil mixture into a pre-baked pastry case, and cook in a 375º oven for about 20 minutes. Great with a fresh green salad!
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:30 PM   #17
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cliveb

That is really unusual! My family will really be pleased. This sounds so healthy. Is this something you experimented with or did you find in some cookbook? I just think pumpkin and lentils would be so very healthy for person. The family has said to cut down on red meat so this is one sure way to give it try. As I said, sounds really different. thank you for the time of sharing with me.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:06 PM   #18
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Try this "soup" that's more like a stew. This dish is packed with viatmins and fiber,and freezes well. The lentils will dissolve during the cooking thickening the soup nicely: Brown Rice and Lentil Soup
1 and one half cups diced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
one half cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic chopped
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 14 ounce can tomatoes,coarsley chopped
1 and one half cups red lentils
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 and one half teaspoon dried basil
1 and one half teaspoon dried thyme
1 and one half teaspoon dried oregano
one half teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
one half cup chopped parsley
In a large kettle, combine the veggies, stock, tomatoes, lentils, rice and herbs...except for the parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes or until the lentils and rice are tender. Season with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaves,add the parsley and serve. Makes 8 servings. Preparation time: l hour

Note: lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:41 PM   #19
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I am pleased to read this thread. My suggestion would be to simply simmer a cup of them in two or three cups of water, with a teaspoon of salt, for a couple hours and decide how they taste to you. You could next substitute various stocks, one at a time, for the water, and combine other ingredients, but always looking toward your palate, not what the gourmands of the moment say is soigné.



Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
I bought a lb. of lentils awhile back, knowing that they are healthy, and wanted to try to incorporate some more nutritious ingredients into my menus. So its about 5 months later and I'd like to use them. Problem is, I have extremely little experience with this ingredient, and really don't even know what a lentil tastes like on its own. Most of the lentils I've had were in lentil soups, which were ok, but they weren't very exciting.

So I'm looking for ideas or recipes that you use lentils in... like I said, I'm fairly unfamiliar with them, but I'd like to keep the flavors fresh and vibrant if possible, but not overpowering the natural flavor of the lentil, as that is something I would like to experience as well.
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Old 01-19-2007, 06:16 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
That is really unusual! My family will really be pleased. This sounds so healthy. Is this something you experimented with or did you find in some cookbook? I just think pumpkin and lentils would be so very healthy for person. The family has said to cut down on red meat so this is one sure way to give it try. As I said, sounds really different. thank you for the time of sharing with me.
No, it's originally from a cookbook and I can't for the life of me remember which one, otherwise I'd be only too happy to acknowledge the author!
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