My inspiration for this meal came from a meal I had at Le Cirque during restaurant week. It was pork belly over a lentil salsa concoction. Now this may not be quite a Le Cirque level meal, but it's still tasty.
I decided to be slightly lazy with the main dish by just throwing some stuff in a baking pan and tossing it in the oven. However, being lazy doesn’t always mean that your appetite has to suffer, or that your only option is the $3 falafel shop on the way home from the subway stop (although it is some darn good falafel). My laziness led to the wonderful combination of pork and apples that you see above. It doesn’t really seem like they would make a good match at first mention, but their compatibility scores are through the roof with a marriage that has stood the test of time. Think about all the times you’ve seen a pig roasted over an open fire (most likely on television or in a movie). What does that pig have in its mouth? An apple. (Bam!)
• pork chops
• black pepper
• garlic powder
• apple(s) (sliced)
• 1 lb of red lentils
• cayenne pepper
• barbecue sauce
• shallot (diced)
Season the pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cinnamon. Throw them in a baking dish along with some apple slices (I used granny smith apples). Put a pat of butter on each of the chops and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
This day, I also decided to try making lentils for the first time. Let’s just say that this didn’t turn out quite as planned… I started by sautéing a diced shallot in a little olive oil. Then I added the lentil-to-water ratio as written on the package. Now either this ratio was off or I cooked them for too long (or some combination of the two), but the next thing you know my lentils turned into what I refer to as a “puree” in the title to this post. By themselves, they didn’t taste all that great, but I was able to doctor them up with some salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and a little barbecue sauce. I admit that this may not have been my finest culinary moment. However, I take pride in seeing the glass as half full, which will become more evident by my next post. So stay tuned…