The National Lentil Festival is held yearly in Pullman, Washington and as part of the festival they host the Legendary Lentil Cook-off. I am still trying to make it to that one and looking forward to creating new recipes to enter next year. But, in the meantime, thought I would share my entry from this year – Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie. Recipe entries had to specify at least 1/2 cup raw lentils, 1 cup cooked lentils and/or 1/2 cup of lentil flour and no more than 15 ingredients (not including salt, pepper or an oiled pan).
Southwestern Lentil Shepherds Pie
1 poblano pepper
1 ear of corn, cleaned
5 cups vegetable broth, divided use
1 cup raw lentils, rinsed
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided use, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed, minced, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from can
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, diced
1 24-ounce package refrigerated store-bought garlic mashed potatoes
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded, divided use
2 ounces hot and spicy or nacho cheese flavored tortilla chips, crushed
Preheat broiler to high heat. Broil the poblano pepper until blackened and blistered on all sides, approximately 2 – 3 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and place into a small heat-proof bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove and discard skin and seeds. Chop poblano and set aside.
While the poblano is in the broiler, also place the ear of corn under the broiler. Broil on all sides just until the corn begins to lightly brown, approximately 1 – 2 minutes per side. Remove from broiler and allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off of the cob and set kernels aside.
Turn broiler off and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Zest and juice the lime, set both aside.
Place a large, deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add in 3 cups of the vegetable broth, the lentils, onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover skillet and cook lentils according to package instructions, approximately 30 minutes.
Once the lentils are fully cooked, in a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 2 cups vegetable broth, cornstarch, chipotles, adobo sauce, and ground cumin. Add to lentils in skillet. Also add in the tomato, reserved poblano pepper, reserved corn, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Mix to fully combine. Cook over medium heat until heated through and thickened, approximately 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
While lentils are cooking, heat the mashed potatoes in a microwave just until warmed (or bring to room temperature if microwave is not available). Mix into the potatoes 6 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro.
Evenly divide the lentil mixture between 4 single serve baking dishes. Top evenly with the remaining 2 ounces of pepper jack cheese, then with the mashed potatoes. Place baking dishes into preheated oven and bake for 15 – 18 minutes until heated through and bubbling around the edges. Then top evenly with the crushed tortilla chips, place back in oven and bake until chips begin to lightly brown, approximately 3 – 5 minutes, or can be broiled for approximately 1 minute. Garnish with fresh cilantro and enjoy!