I've cooked my way through all 264 recipes
in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook!

April 11, 2010

Braised Pork with Sweet and Hot Peppers (p.435) and Cumin-Scented Lentils and Rice (p. 259)

Matt and I enjoyed the pork roast I made last week so much that I decided to try out another pork dish -- this time made on the stove instead of in the oven.

In a skillet, I sauteed onion and garlic for about 15 minutes before pushing them out of the way and adding pork tenderloins to the pan. The pork is browned on both sides in the pan, and then flavored with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

Once the meat had been seasoned, I added a mixture of water, red wine, and balsamic vinegar to the pan, and placed thin strips of sweet and hot peppers (I used jalapeno, anaheim, and a bunch of super tiny colorful sweet peppers) over the whole mixture. Cover the pan for about 20 minutes, until the peppers are soft, and then serve.

Meanwhile, I was also working on Cumin-Scented Lentils and Rice, or Mujaddarah. I have never done anything with lentils before. Including eating them, I think. In fact, when I went to the store, I first looked in the produce section. Whoops. Next time I know, rice aisle.

The rinsed lentils are added to a cup of boiling water, along with a couple of bay leaves. These cook until all the water has been absorbed, and then another cup of boiling water and rinsed rise is added. The whole mixture simmers with salt, pepper, and cumin for another 20 or so minutes, until the water is again absorbed.

In another pan, I very slowly sauteed thin slices of yellow onion for about 15 minutes.

The onions are poured (along with any extra olive oil in the pan) over the lentils and served immediately.

Both of these recipes turned out really well. The pork was delicious -- you could really taste the wine and the outside was beautifully browned.

The lentils were really flavorful as well. We both added a little extra salt and pepper to them, and I enjoyed them mixed with a little of the sauce from the pork.

Both of us agreed that this is one of the best complete meals we've had from the book so far. Both parts were great individually, but they also paired together nicely.

pork tenderloins -- $1.93 (on super sale at Harris Teeter)
red wine -- $9.99 (plenty left to drink)
peppers -- $4.75 (a few left over)
Total Cost of Braised Pork with Sweet and Hot Peppers: $16.67

lentils -- $1.49 (most of the bag is left)
rice -- $2.39 (most of the bag is left)
sweet onion -- $.96
Total Cost of Cumin-Scented Lentils and Rice: $4.84 (with tons of leftovers)

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Thanks for dropping by! Love, Katrina.