Thursday, February 23, 2012

Winter Lentil Stir Fry

The name stir fry is a bit of a misnomer for this recipe.  I am not quite sure what else to call it though.

This meal had mixed reviews from my family.  Curtis and I loved it.  The boys ate it pretty well too, especially the brussels sprouts (Yay for brussels sprouts loving boys).  M refused it on the grounds of being too tired to eat something new.  The original recipe called from a homemade mint sauce to drizzle over top.  We don't currently have a thriving mint plant and buying fresh mint in the stores is a little costly.      We opted instead to pick up some mint chutney at our favorite Indian restaurant just around the corner from us.  It was actually cheaper and quite tasty.  If you aren't a mint chutney fan, you could also top with some olive oil and Parmesan, goat cheese, or another chutney or curry sauce.

This meal will quickly find a place in our menu rotation.  I figure next M may like it better, and if not, that is her loss---and our gain.

This will serve 4 -5.

Winter Lentil Stir Fry
adapted just a bit from

1 c uncooked brown lentils
olive oil
8 - 10 very small new potatoes, cut in half, or fourths if potatoes are on the large side
12 - 16 brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered, again depending on size)
1/4 c almonds, sliced are preferable, but whole will do if that's all you have on hand, toasted

mint chutney
plain Greek yogurt for topping (optional)

In a medium saucepan, cover lentils with about 2 - 3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 - 30 minutes, until lentils are soft but not mush.  Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 - 2 T olive oil over medium heat.  Put the potatoes in the skillet, cut side down and sprinkle with a little salt.  Cover the skillet and let the potatoes steam for five minutes.  Check the potatoes.     If they are not fork-tender (but not mushy and falling apart), add 1/4 c of water, cover again and let steam for another five minutes.  Once fork tender, stir them about a little.  Add the lentils and cook until they are heated through.  Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same skillet, add a little more olive oil and add the brussels sprouts cut side down.   Over and cook for about 3- 5 minutes, or until the bottoms of the sprouts begin to brown.  Taste a sprout to see if it is tender throughout.  If not, cover and continue to cook.  Once the sprouts are tender, uncover, increase the heat, and cook until the cut sides have begun to caramelize.  Add the lentils and potatoes back to the skillet along with the toasted almonds.  Heat and then put in a serving bowl or platter to serve.  Drizzle with mint chutney and yogurt as desired.

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