December 28, 1997 in Features

While You Smell Roses, You Can Taste Lentils

Rick Bonino Food Editor
 
Tags:recipe

When your team only makes it to the Rose Bowl once every 70 years or so, you understandably get a little rusty about the rules of etiquette for example, what to eat during the big game.

Unfortunately, unlike the Orange, Peach, Sugar, Citrus or even Aloha, the name of the bowl itself doesn’t offer much culinary guidance.

And the odds aren’t good of finding the ingredients locally for, say, a wolverine stew (or even, as a Michigan fan might suggest, creamed cougar).

But Pullman is located in the heart of the Palouse, which produces some 95 percent of the nation’s lentil crop. And lentils are a tasty addition to that traditional game-day entree, chili, as in the recipe below. (Serve it in rose-colored bowls, if you’ve got them.)

While the chili simmers, treat your guests to another favorite football-watching food, nachos, made with the award-winning Cougar Gold cheese produced on the WSU campus.

If you must feed some Michigan fans, use a mixture of gold and blue corn tortilla chips for the nachos. But good luck locating any maize-and-blue cheese.

Lentil Chili

Adapted from a recipe entered in this year’s National Lentil Festival Cook-Off in Pullman by Janet Repp of St. John.

2 1/3 cups uncooked lentils

1/4 cup chopped onions, or 2 tablespoons onion flakes

2 pounds ground beef

Onion powder and garlic salt, to taste

1 package Lipton onion soup mix

1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed tomato soup

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons barbecue sauce

1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons prepared mustard

4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped fine (optional)

Cajun spice mix, to taste (optional)

1 (12-ounce) can or bottle of beer (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-size pot, combine lentils and 5 cups cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Add chopped onion or onion flakes and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, in a large pot or Dutch oven, brown ground beef, adding onion powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper to taste; drain off fat. Add remaining ingredients and cooked lentil mixture.

Cook in a crockpot for several hours to blend flavors, or simmer on the stovetop, or bake for 1 hour in a 350-degree oven.

Yield: About 8 servings.

, DataTimes MEMO: For a booklet containing 99 lentil recipes, send $2 to: National Lentil Festival, Pullman Chamber of Commerce, 415 N. Grand Ave., Pullman, WA 99163.

For a booklet containing 99 lentil recipes, send $2 to: National Lentil Festival, Pullman Chamber of Commerce, 415 N. Grand Ave., Pullman, WA 99163.


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