That would be me. I’m a lazy cook in general, and french cooking in particular brings out my lazy bone. I like things I can make in one pan, or things that don’t require cooking ingredients only to assemble them with other cooked ingredients, and I really really hate anything that requires soaking…beans can be found in cans, already cooked and not that different from the ones you’d take from hard to soft yourself!!
Bringing me to dinner last night. I have this old recipe for Saucisses aux Lentilles du Puy that I ripped from Saveur who knows when. The real version expects me to simmer lentils and tie fresh thyme, parsley and bay leaves together, I suspect while making my own pork sausage if the French had their way. Well, fortunately for me, I’m more than willing to offend the French and adapt a recipe using, gasp, Progresso soup and organic chicken sausage!! Oh, and for my triathlete friends–this is totally within Ironmomma’s Core Diet.
So here’s how Sausage and Lentils gets made at my house:
2-3 slices of bacon
1 tbsp or less (I use less, sometimes none) of butter
1 small onion, or large, use what you’ve got, finely chopped
1 carrot (again, if I don’t have one, I leave it out), finely chopped
1 stalk of celery (really, I never have this, and I’m not buying a bunch to use one stalk), finely chopped
1 tbsp (or more) of dried Herbes De Provence (that’s rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and savory–but much easier to buy just the one jar)
1 can of Progresso lentil soup
1 can of plain old lentils, drained
1 package of organic italian style chicken sausage (I buy Al Fresco brand at Wegmans)
1 cup of white wine (the sweeter and less drinkable the better, buy those little bottles at the wine shop if you aren’t a drinker, but its an important ingredient–trust me)
1 cup of water
2 sauce pans
1. I start by poking the sausages with a fork and plopping them in a pan with the cup of wine and cup of water. Boil this, until all the liquid is gone (you’ll be cooking the lentils in the other pan while this happens), and let the sausage brown/carmelize in the pan. The sugars in the wine brown nicely and really add to the flavor, and the alcohol has long since boiled away. You need to watch this as it gets less liquidy–you don’t want to ruin your pan or your sausage.
2. While that boiling is going on, cook the 2-3 slices of bacon in the other sauce pan.
3. Add butter, onion, carrot, and celery and cook til soft.
4. Add the Herbes, the can of soup, and the drained lentils and bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened.
If you’ve done all that correctly, the sausage and lentils are done at about the same time
5. When lentils are thickened, remove from heat and add dijon mustard and balsamic to taste (I like a lot of dijon and find that adding at the end is really the most important part, otherwise the flavor disappears, if you eat this as left overs, you’ll have to add it again, because the flavor just disappears the next day).
Serve one sausage on top of lentils–this makes 4 servings for normal people. It makes 2 at our house–Jake eats 3/4 at one time and I get the remaining 1/4.
Its not pretty, but its good winter food!! On the side I like Wegman’s Rosemary Loaf with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Sometimes we eat a salad beforehand, you know, for the veggies…