Welcome to Fall

Supposedly there are four seasons. However, here in DC, both fall and spring seem to last for a matter of hours. Yet, to me, few things say “fall food” like lentils.

So, armed with only that idea, it was off to the grocery store to see what I could come up with. While I know lentils are a staple of most vegetarians’ diets, I wanted to add a meat or protein (usually I do salmon with lentils, but if you follow me on Instagram you’ll remember we just had salmon on Thursday)– Lucky for me, pork tenderloin was on sale.

Here’s the result.

For starters, I rendered some bacon in a saucepan, reserved most of the bacon fat, and then tossed in some lentils and beef stock. While they were cooking, I chopped some red pepper and shallot and cooked them down in the (previously mentioned) bacon fat. Once ready to serve, I tossed in some diced granny smith apple (apple and pork, always a winning combo) and a dash of lime juice. To be completely truthful, I wanted lemon juice, but it was buried in the fridge, and I didn’t feel like making the effort.

For the pork, nothing special- dry rubbed with a combo of cumin, pakrika, garlic, dry mustard, and chipotle powder, then simply grilled.

If your fall lasts more than a few hours — give it a shot.

Tuna Done Right

With kid #2 slated to arrive just about any day now, I’m making a conscious effort to run through all of the wife’s favorite dishes.  She’s yet to make me an official list, but if she ever did, I’m pretty sure this one would be near the top.  Tuna with a spicy mango avocado salsa.

Before the wife showed up in my life, tuna was something that came from a can, was buried in mayonnaise and make the house stink like hell for days. In short, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But, over our first few dates, she helped expand my horizons and eventually I came up with this.

In short, it is pretty easy.  One mango, one red onion, one diced jalapeno (or whatever heat producing pepper you want), one avocado, some salt, a dash of chipotle powder, line juice and a handful of cilantro.  Toss it all together –and then wait for the tuna.

As for the fish –  season it with some salt and pepper, and again a dash of chipotle powder, then get the grill stupidly hot (700+ degrees) — and seer it about 30 seconds a side.  Remember, its almost impossible to uncook tuna, and incredibly easy to overcook it. This one was actually slightly overcooked, but still very tasty.

Wash it down with a tasty pinot noir  …. or if you’re 9+ months pregnant a tall yet refreshing glass of water.

Sleep with the Fishes

As a communications professional by day, I can appreciate the concept of irony. Like, for example, me noting that I rarely cook with a recipe, and then the first few blog posts showcase food that heavily relies on a plan of attack developed by someone else.  Let’s park that though, this is a blog about food, not semantics.

Firmer fishes are something I’ve come around to later in life. Growing up, we used to eat shark and other similar things on occasion, they were awful. Years later, with some cooking skills of my own under my belt, I’m realizing my aversion to “fork and knife” fishes was probably due to the fact that my parents overcooked them….incinerated them — like we’re talking Donald Trump steak preferences here.

The wife has brought me around the past few years, but I still don’t feel overly confident enough to just wing it.  So, when in search of a recipe — Ina Garten is always a good place to start. Her recipes are usually pretty straightforward, and generally speaking, calibrated to feed two people, not 20.

She calls this one Indonesian Swordfish, although the ingredients are pretty basic, so I’m not overly sure what makes this Indonesian.  But again, we’re talking about food here, not semantics.

I served this alongside some quickly flashed kale, that uses all of five ingredients (6 if you count the fire) – Kale, Salt, Pepper, Lemon Juice and Olive Oil. As Ina would say, “How easy is that?”