Monday, November 7, 2011

Comfort Food Day: Lentils

 As the weather gets colder I find myself craving the type of comfort food that used to make me feel warm and fuzzy when I was a child. Of course I have adapted my old favorites, incorporating spices as my mood might dictate. One of those favorites is lentils, which I favor not just because they reek of childhood memories, but also because they are a great, no-fuzz nutritious meal. Here is my recipe:

2 1/2  Cups Green Lentils (cleaned and rinsed)
5 Cups of water
2 Large Boneless Pork Chops (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic cloves (crushed/minced)
3 Green Onions (sliced thin)
1/2 Large Red Pepper (diced)
1 Large Carrot (grated)
2 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes (Cubed)
1 TBSP Mild Yellow Curry
Salt and Pepper to Taste

In a large pot add the lentils and water and cook on high heat until boiling. 
In the meantime start cooking the pork chop cubes in a large pan on medium high heat, stirring frequently  until they are golden brown on the outside and cooked through. Please (and I cannot emphasize this enough) make sure that your boneless pork chops have a nice fatty edge. This will be important as you cook the meat in order to render the fat to allow the meat to cook in its own fat. 

Remove the pork from the pan, making sure to leave behind whatever fat the meat has released. Add the pork to the pot with the water and lentils.

Add the olive oil onto the pan where the pork was cooked, followed by the garlic, green onions and red pepper. Saute these ingredients for about five minutes to allow them to sweat and release their aromas and flavors into the pan. Add the carrot and allow it to sweat for two minutes. Add this mixture to the pot of lentils, followed by the cubed potatoes, curry and salt and pepper.

Lower the heat to medium low and allow the lentils to cook and the flavors of the meat and vegetables to mingle. Cook until the lentils are soft. Serve and enjoy.

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