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Ham and Lentils

28 September 2009

Ham and Lentil Hash_092009

A few weeks ago I bought a bag of lentils from the grocery store, which is not an usual occurrence for me. In fact, this is the only time I have ever purchased lentils. Unsure of what exactly to do with them, I buried them in my cupboard and mostly forgot about them. Yesterday I was doing a bit of kitchen reorganizing, found them, and decided to troll the Internet for something lentil-y to make for dinner. I found several recipes for Ham and Lentil Soup, which looked lovely, except it’s not quite cold enough for soup. I thought I could probably tweak it a bit (less chicken stock, more bacon, more veggies, more spices) to make it more of a side-dish and less soupy, and what I ended up with was absolutely delicious!

Ham and Lentil Hash

(Serves 4-6 as a side dish)

1/2 cup lentils
4 strips bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4-6 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste (I use copious amounts of fresh-ground pepper)
1 1/2 cup ham, diced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon Emeril’s Essence
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, rough chop
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch, optional

Pour boiling water over lentils and let stand for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy.  Then add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and salt & pepper and saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add diced ham, mustard, thyme, essence, tomato sauce and chicekn stock.  Bring to a boil, add lentils, and simmer for 25 minutes.  Thicken with cornstarch if necessary.

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