Friday, January 7, 2011

Lentils go from 'canned to Cannes'
with roasted pork and carrots

I’ve expressed before on this blog my love of any dish that makes me feel like I’m eating in a French bistro. I’ve found another that makes me feel that way: Mustard-Crusted Pork with Carrots and Lentils (click for the recipe) from Gourmet magazine.
   As the recipe description says, the recipe’s creator, Maggie Ruggiero, has taken lentils from “canned to Cannes.”
   In fact, the lentils are actually the highlight of the dish. If you’re trying to add more fiber to your diet, this is a yummy way to get it.
   We’ve even made the delicious lentils on their own as a side with other dishes.
   I also liked this dish because I was able to eat cooked carrots without feeling nauseated.
   I’m a lifelong hater of cooked carrots. I love them raw, but cook them in a way that gets them mushy and I won’t go near them (other than a good cream of carrot soup, of course!)
   In this recipe, the carrots are roasted along with the pork loin so they get a little softer but not mushy – much better.
   This dish does take a little work, but it’s not hard to make.
   Carrot sticks are tossed with oil and roasted in the oven in a shallow baking pan (we used a 13” x 9” baking pan.)
   A pork tenderloin is browned all over in a skillet, then put on a work surface and brushed with Dijon mustard and a mixture of oil and bread crumbs (we used panko, a type of fine Japanese bread crumb.)
   The pork is put in the pan with carrots, and the roasting continues.
   While the pork roasts, garlic and fresh thyme are cooked in oil in a small saucepan, then lentils from a can, chicken broth and mustard are stirred in and the mixture cooked until heated through.
   Though the recipe doesn’t say to do this, my husband sliced the pork tenderloin once it was finished roasting.
   Then we served it with the carrots and lentils.

Another bistro-worthy easy dish: Garlicky Chicken Thighs in Red Pepper Sauce

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