Monday, August 10, 2009
DF9: Mexican Lentils with Pineapple and Banana, Chicken Sausages, Baby Zukes
I know you are wondering if I have lost my mind, combining lentils with pineapple and banana. There are some Mexican recipes I have seen over the years that combine fruit with savory ingredients, like dried beans, with one of my favorites being pork with Manchamantel (table-cloth stainer!) sauce, that includes pineapple, mango and chiles. This recipe is from Sheila Lukins' All Around the World cookbook. I noticed it on the way to the sweet potato salad recipe and decided it was worth a try.
Believe it or not, the lentil dish was absolutely scrumptious. Among the many leftovers in the fridge, the lentils are what I chose for lunch today. Sheila pairs the lentils with a tomato sauce enriched with golden raisins, onion and garlic, and then adds the pineapple and banana at the very end of cooking. It has a very bright, sprightly feel to it and was perfect paired with some Cilantro Chicken sausages and baby zucchini.
I noted that aside from the onions and garlic there were no seasonings in the tomato sauce, and so I took matters into my own hands, with good results, I am happy to report. So here is my adaptation of Sheila's recipe.
8 oz. dried lentils, picked over and washed well.
1 t. salt
6 c. chicken stock or water or a combination of both
2 ribs celery with leaves, halved
1 carrot, trimmed and halved
8 sprigs Italian parsley
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced (mine were huge, so I only needed 4)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 t. cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. ancho chile powder
salt and black pepper to taste
1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits, with juice
2 underripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. dice
Place the lentils in a saucepan with the chicken stock or water, celery, carrot, and parsley. Bring the lentils to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender. There will still be some liquid in the pan.
Drain the lentils, remove the carrot, celery and parsley, and set the lentils aside.
While the lentils are cooking, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large deep skillet. Add the onions and cook until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the tomatoes (undrained) to the pan, and add the raisins, cumin, coriander, and ancho chile powder. Simmer uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the pineapple and its juice and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bananas and cook for 2 more minutes. Gently fold the lentils into the mixture.
I decided that a nice glaze would be tasty on the sausages. I browned the sausages in a skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, and when they were done, I removed them from the pan. To make the glaze, I melted 2 T. butter in the skillet, and added 2 T each of mango chutney and guava jelly, and 1/2 t. smoked paprika. I added the sausages back the pan and let them baste in the glaze for about 5 minutes before serving. It was really a great combination of flavors and we thoroughly enjoyed the sausages!
This was a great quick meal packed with flavors! I loved the contrast between the sweet and the savory in the lentils, and the sausages were an easy-to-prepare treat. The baby zucchini weren't such a big hit. While I ate mine with relish, DC would not touch his.
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