Experimentation, or, kitchen as location for the exercise of weird ideas that sounded good

December 29, 2009

I am not altogether sure about this.

Lentils, simmering.

In the Christmas present, a cool green cast iron Dutch oven. Thanks, Child B!

So far, so good.

Shallots, sauteeing.

And for some reason, the photo I inserted here is not showing up. Nevertheless, still so far, so good. And then we get to this:

H'mmm. And I repeat, h'mmm. But, how 'bout that Dutch oven, huh?

Lentils, barbecuing. This, I am just not so sure about.

You see, how it was, was like this. I have been compulsively checking Food52.com since being chosen a finalist for my glazed ham recipe, to see how many votes are in and try to figure out how many of them are votes I ginned up. And while I was about it, I entered both the upcoming week’s contests, because one was for beans and one was for New Year’s Resolution Recipes, and I’ve got a killer black-eyed pea cassoulet that I entered.

And I found this recipe for barbecued lentils.

Now, look. I’m a Southerner. We’ll barbecue damn near anything. In general, if it is a protein source, it can be cooked outdoors over coals and will be wonderful. I have barbecued all manner of swine, fowl, and mammal, and even an occasional reptile, amphibian or fish.

I do realize that elsewhere, there is a belief that putting a vaguely spicy, tomato-ey sauce on something makes it “barbecued.” ‘Tain’t so. While the judicious application of barbecue sauce adds to the finished over-the-coals product, it does not barbecue make. Or, to quote my dear friend Martha, “If a cat had kittens in the oven, you wouldn’t call ’em biscuits.” Or something like that.

Anyway. There was this recipe for barbecued lentils that I thought SOUNDED pretty intriguing. I like me a lentil. And I always feel heathy when I eat them, little protein-filled buggers that they are. And I had all the stuff to make same, so I figured, why not?

You cooks your lentils, with a bay leaf and a whole garlic clove. Meanwhile, you makes your sauce — onion garlic, ketchup, mustard, ginger, cayenne, and balsamic vinegar. A whopping third-of-a-cup of balsamic vinegar.

Folks, that is a metric ass-load of vinegar. And when it hits the hot skillet, everyone in the neighborhood can smell it. The dog came up and looked puzzled.

It is currently simmering away in the brand new Dutch oven that Child B got me for Christmas. And I am anxious to taste these babies. I think. I’ll let you and y’mama ‘n ’em know how it turns out.

LATER: Well, it was OK.  Don’t know that I’ll make it a lot, but it was OK.

Cropped tightly, because the original picture showed how horribly dirty my stove is.

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