Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Polenta and Red Lentils

Polenta, or corn grits, are available for me locally through Bob's Red Mill 
(a coarse cornmeal poured slowly into three times as much boiling water 
while stirring and then cooked on medium low until thick—stirring regularly 
all the while.  Season the cooked polenta with a tablespoon or so of olive oil 
and salt.).  

Red lentils are also sold by Bob’s Red Mill and can sometimes be found 
at my local grocery in the health food / bulk section.  They cook up 
into a beautifully golden, soft mashed-potato consistency and are surprisingly 
satisfying and delicious served with polenta  for breakfast or an easy supper
Slices of very ripe tomatoes would make this combination beyond delicious.

Both of the recipes below are based on the directions that used to be
 on the polenta and red lentil packages from Bob's Red Mill.


3 Tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 cups polenta
1 teaspoon sea salt
6 cups water

  1. In a large, deep pan over high heat bring water and sea salt to a boil; gradually stir in polenta. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent sticking until mixture is very thick (about 30 minutes); use a long-handled spoon because mixture pops and bubbles and can burn.
  2. Stir in butter (or olive oil),  and more salt if needed.
  3. Oil a deep medium sized bowl, spoon polenta into bowl and let set for 10 minutes. Invert onto a flat plate. Mixture will unmold and hold its shape. Cut polenta into thick slices and serve hot.

Makes 6 Servings.

Red Lentils

1 cup onions, chopped
1 - 2 Tablespoon butter or oil
1 cup red lentils
3 cups boiling water
1 ½ teaspoon salt

  1. Set water to boil.
  2. Sauté onions in butter or oil.
  3. Stir in lentils and sauté for a few minutes.
  4. Add boiling water.  (I've also had good success by just adding to cold water and then bringing to a boil—this method may take a little longer but not much)
  5. Boil gently 30 minutes, stirring often, until very soft.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings

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