Chef Way Richard Reddington cooks smoked ham hock (the lower portion of a hog's hind leg), which he transforms into a ham foam. He serves the dish topped with quail.
Easy Way Leave out the ham foam and quail; the lentils and ham are delicious on their own with the sherry vinaigrette.
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2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 light-green celery ribs, finely diced
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup brown lentils, picked over
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
3 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound thickly sliced smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup snipped chives
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, stock and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ham and cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Drain well and return the lentils and ham to the saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar and garlic. Whisk in the grapeseed and olive oils and season with salt and pepper. Stir the dressing into the lentils and fold in the parsley and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chris Blanchard likes the earthy notes in a Syrah from California's Central Coast.
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