1 cup lentils
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 tablespoon olive oil (1-1/2 tablespoons more later)
1 15 ounce can chickpeas
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Makes 8 bowls. Takes 1 hour 30 minutes.
Soak lentils in bowl for 1 hour. While lentils are soaking, mince garlic and onions. Dice tomatoes. Cook rice according to instructions on package. Cook elbow macaroni according to instructions on package. Cook lentils according to instructions on package. (Thank goodness for package instructions.)
Put olive oil and onion in skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until onion begins to brown. Stir frequently. Remove onion and place on towel-covered plate. Add garlic to skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove garlic and place on towel-covered plate.
Add olive oil, chickpeas, tomato, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, and salt to skillet. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Put chickpea mixture into serving bowl.
Combine garlic, white vinegar, and red wine vinegar in mixing bowl.
Serve on plate with a spoonful each of: rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpea mixture, vinegar/garlic mixture, and top with a spoonful of sautéed onion.
1) Chickpeas preserved the United States of America during its unpleasant Civil War of 1861-1865.
2) Rebel forces during this war often ran short of fun food to eat. Sausage pizzas were unheard of on the front lines as early as August, 1861. Quiche Lorraine disappeared by February, 1862. Caviar in April. Chicken parmigiana in August. And so it went. The Confederate forces had to subsist on chickpeas.
3) By September, 1862, the Confederacy was on the culinary ropes. General Robert E. Lee, command of the Army of Northern Virginia devised a daring invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania to secure vast supplies of ham so necessary to delicious recipes such as juice and sugar-glazed ham.
4) But it didn’t happen. Sometime in September, Union soldiers looking for fine Southern tobacco hit the Mother Lode, found three fine cigars wrapped in sheets of paper. These papers detailed General Lee’s invasion plans.
5) The Union scouts turned the plans over to General McClellan, commander of the Army of the Potomac. The Northern forces scurried, between epic banquets, to intercept the rebel foes. The worthy foes collided at Antietam, Maryland on September 17, 1862.
6) Fighting at Antietam’s cornfield was so hot that the kernels popped off the corn cobs. And so popcorn was invented while the South’s hopes for military victory melted as fast as ice cream on a charcoal grill.
7) But it needn’t have happened that way. If only Lee’s orders had been wrapped in a can of chickpeas. Those Northern scouts fresh off a meal of bacon cheeseburgers would surely have ignored orders surrounding a can of chickpeas.
8) And so, the South would eventually lose the Civil War. The Union would be preserved. Slavery would be abolished and bacon cheeseburgers would forever after dominate the nation’s culinary scene.
9) And so it goes.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.