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Food Product Design: Design Applications - A Lesson in LentilsFood Product Design: Design Applications - A Lesson in Lentils

February 1, 2000

3 Min Read
Food Product Design: Design Applications - A Lesson in Lentils

Food Product Design

 

February 2000

A Lesson in Lentils


By: Christianne Ingegno
Applications Editor

    Lentil history dates back to 9000 B.C., with origins in Iraq and Turkey. A member of the dry legume family, lentils are found in many cuisines, including Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean. The great interest in these types of foods has increased lentil use in the United States as well.  In this country, lentils are grown particularly in the northwest, in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. Americans consume about 25% of these, with the balance exported around the globe. Lentil types include U.S. regular, or brewer, the most common variety; eston, which is the variety most often exported and which is used widely in France; pardina, or Spanish brown, used frequently throughout Spain; grande, named for their size; and red chief, whose outer skins are removed for quick cooking. As implied by their name, red chiefs are reddish in color, which adds great visual appeal.   Lentils are an excellent source of protein. They're high in fiber and iron, low in sodium, fat and calories, and contain no cholesterol. They're also easy to prepare, requiring no pre-soaking and having shorter cooking times, about 30 minutes, than other dry legumes. As a rule, lentils are cooked using a 2:1 liquid-to-lentils ratio.  Lentils can be used in soups, stews, stuffing, meat, poultry, dips, salads and sauces. Lentils have a mild flavor on their own, and can be enhanced with many herbs, spices and seasonings. They hold up well to strong flavors, and provide a nice foil for many different dishes. Lentils can be used at ambient, hot or chilled temperatures, depending on the application.  Lentils can be considered a value-added item, because they're relatively inexpensive. In combination with other ingredients, they can be used to create products ranging from upscale and mid-scale to mainstream.  As an added bonus, storage for lentils isn't complicated. They can be kept in a cool, dry place for an indefinite amount of time without any loss in nutritional value, taste or freshness.
Lentil Jambalaya
Formula:

Ingredients % by Weight Cooking oil...............................................0.78
Lean ham, chopped...................................6.75
Chopped onion..........................................6.75
Celery, sliced............................................6.75
Green pepper, chopped..............................6.75
Garlic, minced...........................................0.80
Thyme leaves, dried...................................0.06
Cajun-style seasoning.................................0.07
Sage, rubbed..............................................0.03
Tomatoes, canned and diced......................21.53
Chicken broth...........................................31.63
USA lentils................................................5.72
Long-grain rice..........................................5.60
Fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined..............6.78
Whole bay leaves, to taste
Total: 100.00% Procedure:
  In stock pot or steam-jacketed kettle, sauté ham in oil until lightly browned. Stir in onion, celery, green pepper, garlic, thyme, Cajun seasoning, sage and bay leaves. Sauté until vegetables are soft, about five minutes. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, lentils, rice and shrimp. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove bay leaves before serving.Recipe courtesy of the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, Moscow, ID. They may be reached by calling 208-882-3023 or by visiting their website at www.pea-lentil.com.
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CopyrightWeeks Publishing Co.3400 Dundee Rd. Suite #100
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-559-0385
Fax: 847-559-0389
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.foodproductdesign.com

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