Friday, August 26, 2011

Recipe: Lentils with Shrimp

I really love lentils. They add great flavor and texture to soups, they are great for you, and they are cheap.  I realized the other day that while I'd added them to soups and stews before I'd never used them as a star in their own right.  This recipe pairs them with shrimp and it is a very nice combo (chicken would also work nicely).  I like the color contrast between the pink shrimp and the dark lentils, plus the pop of the shrimp in the mouth is also complemented with the toothsome legume.  There are two ways you could cook the lentils.  One is "risotto" style where you keep adding water/stock/wine until they are finished, and the other is to boil them in lots of water and then drain.  For this recipe I used the first method, but use whichever you like.  P.S. I also did a while bag (1 pound) of lentils for leftovers, if you don't need a gigantic bowl full, cut the recipe down.)

You will need:
1 lbs. bag lentils
1 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely diced
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup white wine
4-6+ cups water (to add in as liquid is absorbed)
1 lbs. medium shrimp tailed, shelled, deveined

Heat the olive oil in a large pot.  When hot add in the onion and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add the garlic, a pinch of salt, and pepper.  Continue sauteing for around 4 more minutes or until garlic is fragrant and golden.  Add the cup of white wine, 3 cups chicken stock, and cup of water.  Bring to a boil and add the lentils.  Add a heavy pinch of salt, pepper, and paprika plus a moderate pinch of cayenne (remember this is A LOT of lentils, they need flavor).  Stir occasionally and cook for 25-35 minutes, covered.  As they cook they will begin to absorb the liquid.  You will need to add more a cup or so at a time as it dries out (this will be every 8 or so minutes).  The lentils are done when some are beginning to fall apart but most still have a bite to them.  Adjust seasoning as necessary.

For the shrimp, season with salt, pepper, and paprika and saute on the stove until just pink all the way through.  Top each bowl of lentils with the shrimp and enjoy.

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