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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Warm Lentil Salad w/Olive Relish and HOLY SHIT I FOUND MY CAMERA

Do me a favor and try to be more excited about the food because right now I am all OVER this camera of ours. It was so much easier/better/awesomer/nicer/cooler/radder taking the pictures for this food post using our Kodak digital. And the camera was only $100 at Walgreens in 2007 on October 30th, the day we left for our honeymoon when I stood there in Walgreens staring at the expensive-ass disposable cameras and realized that Todd and I needed digital, and we needed it now (then). Anyways, cut to the damn lentils, will you Chatty Cathy?


Warm Lentil Salad
Serves 2

-2 strips bacon, cut in half
-1 celery stalk, chopped and diced
-1/4 of a red onion, diced (I use a lot because I love it so you might want less)
-1/3 cup snipped (using scissors is key) cilantro
-a few tbsp snipped parsley
-1/2 cup dry lentils
-2 oz crumbled feta cheese
-bacon grease, reserved

Put bacon halves into a medium sized saucepan over medium to medium high heat.

Look at those cute little piggies!

While that's going on, chop up everything except, naturally, the feta (already done) and the bacon grease (impossible!) Oh, the stuff in the bowl is the Olive Relish, and I'm getting to that in a minute. All the other crap is the um, the other crap.

Hey! Speaking of bacon grease, when it's done, reserve it:

You'll notice my empty olive oil bottle. That's the reason I'm reserving the bacon grease. If you want to like, ~be healthier~ or whatever, feel free to sub in olive oil for the bacon grease but I warn you, no olive oil in the world contains tiny itsy bitsy pieces of bacon. You have been warned.

So! What I did is turned off the heat, dumped the bacon grease out, and then poured in 2 cups water and 1/2 cup lentils. And by the way, not a DROP more than 2 cups because if it's more, then you have the drain the fully cooked lentils and that's lame. What's not lame is feeling like a bad ass because You Know that 1/2 cup lentils perfectly, serenely absorbes exactly 2 cups of water (this math exists on the bag of lentils - I just reduced the serving size to 2 people).

It looks like a pan full of diarrhea but with this camera, to me it looks stunning. Anyways, them's the lentils in the greasy saucepan with 2 (JUST 2) cups of water

While that cooks, you can do what I did and take a shower (it will take over 20 minutes, at least, to fully cook), or you could paint your nails, like I did that other time, or you know, do whatever it is you do when you realize that dinner just gave you an unexpected 20 minutes of Me Time. P.S. if you are not a parent, disregard because your time, all of it, is yours.

Ok, so now your lentils are done. Crush up your bacon in the paper towels upon which they were drained:

A little pouch of bacon, a little treasure trove of deliciousness!

Add all the awesomeness to the pot. When it comes to the bacon grease, however, I only poured in maaaybe half of what the two strips of bacon had rendered. It all looks like this:

Presto! And Delicious! Now cover and keep warm while you make your meat. I made oven fried chicken which I discussed before here, except don't add any herbs or horseradish, and to the panko, add about 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan. So do that.


Olive Relish

-1/2 cup chopped olives, a mix of kalamata and green
-3 tbsp or so of chopped red onion (shamelessly stolen from the Lentil Salad crowd)
-3 tbsp or so of snipped parsley (shamelessly stolen from the Lentil Salad crowd)
-4 scallions, diced
-juice from 3/4 of a lemon
-about a tbsp of olive oil

Mix all that shit together.

Put your lentils in a shallow bowl. Slice your chicken, and put on top of lentils. Top with olive relish and:

One of these is the Glamour Shots version. Guess which!

Anyways, this dish was deliiiiicious.

And to top it off, here is a fun tip I learned from my dad:

Notice what's tying the bag shut? The very end that I cut off! Cut open the bag, keep the castaway and use it to reseal the bag. This works for frozen veggies, bags of lentils, packages of pasta, etc etc etc. Woohoo!

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