Friday, April 24, 2009

cooking with the forthright fattie!

(You may not want to read this if you're a vegetarian!  I'm sorry!  I don't eat a lot of meat, but I do enjoy it here and there.)

Last week G and I went out for a long overdue meal at Cochon in South Philly.  (I'm throwing in the specifics for my local readers, holla kristisummer and ubervixen!)  I ordered the "Suckling Pig Confit over Lentils and Brussels Sprouts topped with a Poached Egg."  It was delicious--sooo flavorful and toothsome.  G and I both concluded that the only thing that could impart so much deliciousness to the meal was an excess of pork fat.  

However, the individual components of the meal were simple enough that I figured I might be able to recreate them in my own kitchen.  Instead of suckling pig (because I wouldn't know where to begin suckling a pig) I used bacon.  Still delicious fatty porkness, but much easier to control, portionwise.

Here's a rough estimation of a recipe.  I cook pretty instinctively (instinctually?) so some of the details may be off, but any approximation of this would work.  By my calculations, a serving somewhere in the 10 point WW range, assuming you eat about a cup of lentils.  As for the original, I'm sure it was some sort of multiple of 10 points.  Like 100.

The Forthright Fattie's Fake Suckling Pig
(serves 2 with leftovers)


for the lentils
2 c. lentils*
3 c. water
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
5 strips bacon, cut into smallish pieces
kosher salt to taste

for the brussels sprouts
10-12 fresh brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon olive oil
kosher salt to taste

for the egg
2 eggs
1/2 c. vinegar 
2 c. water

Soak the lentils in the water for several hours ahead of time to soften.  When you're ready to begin cooking, put the lentils over high heat.  Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are translucent.  Add to the pot with the lentils.  In a separate pan (use the one you sauteed the onions in!), fry the bacon until just beginning to brown.  Remove from pan with tongs or a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon grease in the pan, and add to the pot with the lentils.  Add salt.  Keep an eye on the lentils, boiling until the water has reduced away.**

Rinse and trim the brussels sprouts, cutting them in half and getting rid of bruised outer leaves. Rub the cut side with olive oil.  Place in the pan (with the bacon grease in it) and cover for 5-10 minutes, until sprouts soften.  Remove the lid, sprinkle sprouts with salt, and saute until the bottoms are browned.

Fill a small pot with the water and vinegar.  Bring the water to just under the boiling point.  Slip the raw egg into the water.  When the whites have cooked through, remove the egg.  Repeat with a second egg.

When lentils have cooked through, and the water is mostly gone, place the brussels sprouts on plates.  Spoon the lentils over the sprouts, and then gently place the poached egg on top.  Garnish with fresh ground pepper and serve.

*I used yellow dhal lentils because that's what I had, but the lentils in the original recipe were some kind of firm brown lentils.  My version ended up with very mushy, soupy lentils.  They tasted good, but were nothing like the original.  Next time I'll try it with the teeny tiny black lentils I have and see if it's better.

**Or in my case, until there's a lot of mush.  You might want to siphon off some of the water, but it's best to do this before putting the bacon in; otherwise, you'll lose the deliciousness.

Next time I'll try to take a picture!

1 comment:

  1. Your recipe sounds really good! Everything's better with pork, isn't it? I was in town recently and Cochon was on the shortlist of places to check out. Next time, Cochon, next time! My guess is that the chef used lentilles de puy, a firm, browny-green lentil that holds its shape during cooking. They made me into a lentil believer! I must add that I admire your bravery in dining out. It seems like such a challenge to balance eating well and enjoyably and not going over points/calories by a catastrophic amount. It sounds like you do a great job.