Cooking Light (October 2012)
Earlier this week, we invited our friends Trevor and Owen over for dinner. They just got married a few weeks ago here in D.C. (We were honored to get to participate -- Clay stood up with Trevor, and Zach sang a song during the ceremony.) It was a beautiful event.
Right after the wedding, T&O took off for a honeymoon in Hawaii. They just got back this past weekend, and we wanted to catch up and hear about their trip. So we invited them to swing by for dinner on Monday night.
The previous night, on Sunday, we had thrown a dinner party for 8, which we'll write about soon, after the Super Awesome Cover-to-Cover project. The Sunday night dinner ended up being a fairly lengthy affair, with plenty of wine consumed by the group.
The next day, the evidence remained -- empty wine bottles and wine-streaked glasses still stood on the dining room table. And at 7 pm on Monday, they were still there. Trevor and Owen were due to show up at 7:30.
Mission 1: Clean up from the previous night's dinner.
Mission 2: Get cooking.
We had been meaning to make these Spiced Lentils with Poached Eggs for a few weeks now. We dog-eared it in the October Cooking Light, thinking it would be a nice fall dish that also happens to be vegetarian.
This dish was perfect for an evening when we were short on time and needed to quickly get dinner on the table. Start to finish, it takes about 30 minutes if you prep the onions and tomatoes at the same time the lentils are cooking. It's a four-step process: make the lentils, spice the lentils, poach the egg and serve.
When we made these for Trevor and Owen we omitted the Greek yogurt.It wasn't an intentional omission -- we got caught up in the talking and laughing and it slipped through the cracks. But when used leftover cooked lentils to recreate the dish for dinner later in the week, we did include the yogurt. To our surprise, it adds so, so much to this dish. A nip of tangy yogurt is fantastic with the warm lentils and runny egg.
The lentils themselves aren't overly flavorful. If we had to do it over again, we would have turned up the spice, perhaps by adding tomato paste for a really concentrated tomato flavor, and amping up the curry and cumin slightly.
Still, on a nippy Monday night, this was a perfect dish over which to settle in, warm yourself, have a laugh and be with friends.
Spiced Lentils and Poached Eggs
Cooking Light (October 2012)
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Nutritional Information Available at CookingLight.com
Notes from Zach and Clay of The Bitten Word:
We omitted the bay leaf, because we sort of don't believe in them. That's a story for another time.
We followed the magazine's lead and served our lentils with some simply roasted carrots.
Ingredients1 cup dried small red lentils
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomato
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain; discard bay leaf.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and tomato; sauté 8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add curry, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Add lentils; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Add water to a large skillet, filling two-thirds full; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer. Add vinegar to pan. Break eggs into custard cups. Gently pour eggs into pan; cook 3 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove eggs from pan using a slotted spoon. Place about 3/4 cup lentil mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 poached egg. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon yogurt and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro.