Monday, July 14, 2014

Baked Eggs with Lentils and Split Peas

As I'm currently living in an empty house with none of my household items, cooking new recipes is basically impossible. So while I impatiently await the movers' delivery truck, I finally got around to writing up this recipe that we loved back in the fall. It's in no way seasonal, but that doesn't make it any less delicious!

It's a great pantry meal where earthy split peas and lentils are brightened up by spices, tangy sour cream, cilantro, and lemon. Dished into adorable ramekins, topped with an egg, and served alongside a simple salad or thick slices of summer tomatoes, it makes for a hearty yet not too heavy meal. So if you can bear to turn on your oven, give it a try!  Otherwise...maybe dust off this recipe when the days turn a little cooler!
Serves 2

1 Tb olive oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup brown lentils
1/2 cup split green peas
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne (depending on your spice tolerance)
1 tsp cumin
1 strip of lemon peel
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped plus a little more for garnish
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs

Before cooking, rinse and drain your lentils and split peas. Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium saucepan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallot and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they began to lightly brown and soften.

Add the lentils, split peas, strip of lemon peel, and spices, stirring to combine. Let them cook for a minute or two until the spices are nicely fragrant.

Pour in the broth, and raise the burner to high heat. Bring the broth to a boil; then cover and reduce the heat to low. Let everything simmer for 30-35 minutes, until the split peas and lentils are tender. Note that lentils cook quicker than split peas, so they will break down a bit in the cooking process.

When done, remove the pan from the heat, remove the strip of lemon peel, then stir in the cilantro and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the mixture into two greased individual ramekins or gratin dishes, making a shallow well in the center of each. Gently crack an egg into each ramekin, and sprinkle with a little more salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Bake the ramekins for 18-25 minutes such that the egg whites are set and the egg yolks are still a bit runny.

When done, garnish with a little more chopped cilantro, and serve immediately

Note: I recommend using small trivets or a folded napkin or dish towel at each place setting to keep the hot-out-of-the-oven ramekins from damaging your dinner table

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