Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lentil Stir-Fry with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Yummy. I added chunked potatoes to my pot of lentils while they cooked. I also splashed some balsamic during the last 5 minutes on the stove.
Served w/ little dollop of plain yogurt.

By Freya Bellin on

Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 30 minutes with cooked lentils

Precooked lentils are so useful that it makes total sense to cook extra. Once you do that, it’s a snap to make this one-skillet dish, which you can serve with good bread or rice; or make the variation, an approximation of mujaddarah, a dish popular throughout the Middle East that adds rice to the skillet. Lentil cooking water and porcini soaking water are both invaluable liquids; you can use either (or a little of both) to moisten the stir-fry and save the rest to flavor other dishes.

1⁄2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, optional

Boiling water as needed

2 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed

2 onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 pound mushrooms, preferably an assortment, sliced

3 cups cooked lentils, drained, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried

Salt and black pepper

1. If you’re using the porcini, put them in a small bowl, cover with boiling water, and let soak for about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and roughly chop.

2. Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are dark brown but not burned, about 15 minutes; then remove them from the skillet.

3. Add a little more oil to the pan if it’s very dry and add the fresh mushrooms and the porcini if you’re using them. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the mushrooms cook, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes to release their liquid. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are dry, shrunken, and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes more.

4. Stir in the lentils, 1⁄4 cup or so of the lentil cooking water (or porcini soaking water), and the thyme; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until everything is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with the caramelized onions.

Lentil and Rice Stir-Fry with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions: Substitute 1 cup cooked brown rice for 1 cup of the lentils; add more water if needed to keep the mixture moist as it cooks.

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