Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lentils with roasted peppers and meatballs

A quickly improvised variation on a Macedonian classic. Contributed in full by my husband. I love cooking, but I do so appreciate when he cooks something homey :-)

2 cups of lentils
4 cups of water
1 yellow onion
1.5 tsp paprika
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp olive oil

0.5 lb ground meat
2 tbsp minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
0.25 cup breadcrumbs
0.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
black pepper

2 red bell peppers

Mix the ingredients for the meatballs. With wet hands, form small, 0.5-0.75-inch balls. Place onto an oiled baking sheet. Spray the tops lightly with vegetable oil.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 20-25 minutes (depends on the size of the balls).

Clean and slice the bell peppers. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high. Add a tsp of oil. Add the bell pepper slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until you see significant browning. The peppers will smell and taste incredibly sweet.

Add the lentils, water, onion and salt to a pot. Cook until lentils are soft. This will take about 20 minutes (depends on your lentils). Add the peppers from the cast iron skillet.

In the cast iron skillet heat 3 tbsp of olive oil and add the flour. Remove from the heat, cook until very lightly browned. Add the paprika and mix. Do not overcook, as it will become bitter. Add a cup of the cooked lentils and whisk in immediately, making sure that no knots are formed. Pour this mixture into the rest of the lentils.

Add the meatballs as well, bring the whole pot to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

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