Looking ahead

On account of having spent a little too much in Italy in general, and also on account of wanting some money to go see my brother in New Orleans, I have decided against restaurants this week. All of my food is going to be homemade from budget supermarkets. Well, not quite. I am still going to get my breakfast at the bar, but I will not be dining at my pastaficio, or any restaurants for at least this week.

So, to kick things off, in a contradictory manner– breakfast from the bar.
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Sorry for the bad photo, I messed with the settings of my camera, and didn’t realize when I took the picture, so I had to enhance it on the computer. This is what happens when I try to think before I have coffee.

Now, to go properly into my week of home cooking– Lentils.
This past weekend, my flat-mate moved out, and to make room for the new girl, all of my food was pushed to a side on the shelves we share in the fridge and the pantry. This is when I found out that I have a lot more stuff than I thought. I inherited a bunch of dry goods from the previous students, and included among them, a packet of lentils.

I saw this, and thought that it would be perfect for saving money. Half of the world lives on lentils, and besides, I didn’t have to pay for them.

Unfortunately, my entire knowledge of cooking centers around stir fry, and or leaving cheap cuts of meat in the appropriate wine for a long time, and then putting it on pasta. Oh, and mushrooms fried in butter.

I quickly ran through my internal cookbook– none of my standard techniques applied to lentils. So, being a good millenial, I ran to the google for help. Unfortunately, I detest recipes, and I didn’t feel like going out to buy stuff. So, I just kinda read what the general rules for making lentils were. I also read that you don’t have to soak them like other beans, which was a relief.

In the end, I ended up just putting them in a pot with water, bringing it to a boil, then putting in a quartered onion, some chopped up spicy salami (pepperoni in America) and some garlic, along with salt, pepper, origano, and pepperoncino. Then I just left the to simmer, coming back occasionally to stir it (okay, I was sitting eight feet away, but I was doing other stuff)

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As it turned out, lentils are thirsty little buggers. I kept having to add more water as they cooked and absorbed water. Eventually, when they tasted tender, and had almost absorbed all of the water (which was more of a vegetable/salami stock by this point) I added just a bit of cheese. I like cheese.

Here is the end result.
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It was pretty good, and I am very proud of cooking something new.

And to return to an old habit: the gratuitous close-up.
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