11 November 2008


The DUTCH Series N°1

My brother is currently an MBA student in Rotterdam, which means a crazy busy work schedule, with little time to do anything else but eat, sleep & study. I cannot help much with the later two but when it comes to the kitchen he has come to the right place. 

When asked what the magic recipe was to turn 24 hours into 48… I must say I was at a bit of a loss. However what I did have was a few ideas up my sleeve for quick & easy recipes that he could use as time savers.

The parameters he set me were simple : the recipes had to have a prep time of 15 minutes, be budget conscious and stove top friendly – as they have no oven in the apartment. So here is the 1st of what will be called the         DUTCH Series:

Lentils with Smoked ham & red wine: A wonderful winter dish, where the smell of onions, spices, garlic & red wine, simmering over a hot stove, invoke thoughts of mountain chalets, crackling fires, crisp evenings and good company. The smoky flavours of the ham go well with the warmth of the red wine and the slightly nutty flavour of the lentils. I find this dish quite filling so often eat it on its own, however it can be an excellent accompaniment to lamb, beef or a meaty fish (ie tuna).


  • 200g brown lentils
  • 100g chopped smoked ham (I buy a cut of smoked ham & chop it myself)
  • 1 small white onion
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 laurel (bay) leaf
  • 3 gin berries (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 300mL water
  • 1/4 cube beef bouillon
  • pepper to taste
  • handful chopped parsley

sp-lentils-detail sp-ham-detail

sp-wine-detail sp-lentil-dish-detail

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking time 40 minutes – perfect to get your reading done in!

  1. Cut onion into very small pieces
  2. Cut ham into 1cm cubes. (NOTE: If pressed for time you can buy lardons, pre-chopped smoked bacon pieces, to use as a substitute)
  3. Heat oil, add onions, spices (coriander, cloves, bay leaf, gin berries), cook until soft
  4. Add crushed garlic & chopped ham, cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add red wine & pepper, simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Add lentils, mix well
  7. Combine water & bouillon cube.
  8. Add bouillon to lentils , COVER, and cook for 40 minutes on medium/low heat till water is absorbed
  9. Chop parsley and add to cooked lentils just before serving


  1. Marjorie Says:

    I know we will do lots of baking when you are with us; however, D says we have to begin the whole cooking scene with this recipe We love the combination including the red wine and we can even drink some when we are stirring the pot!! Really looking forward to savouring it with both of you.

  2. Kristan Says:

    If you’re short on time and need a quick, tasty, healthy meal that will satisy both your gourmet tastebuds and your schedule then this is it! I made this meal with only 20 minutes to spare and it turned out to be one of the best I’ve had in a long time. The ingredient base is simple, and I forgot how great it can be to cook with lentils. The real winner in this one is the coriander and the cloves. They are like little gems hiding among the lentils. When you hit one it is a taste sensation that fuses with the red wine the garlic and the onions. I second the opinion that once the red wine is open then its only fair to have a glass while cooking. This recipe will definately make muliple showings in my kitchen. Thanks for posting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: