One of the fun things I like about cooking is taking parts of different recipes and combining them into one.  There are just so many things to do and so few meals in a day.  And there are other things one must do – like earn the money to buy the food to combine…

I had a recipe for peppers and shrimp served over grits that I hadn’t made in years and the scallops and lentils I made back in August.  I wanted the shrimp and I wanted the lentils.  A recipe was born.

Actually, the recipe was born because Victor brought in the last of the peppers from the garden.  Nice, spicy longhorns…  I really wanted to use them up and since shrimp really has very little flavor of its own, it’s the perfect foil for spicy ingredients.  And the lentils just go with everything.

I used a large peeled shrimp because I didn’t feel like dealing with shells, but use whatever you like in whatever size you like.  They will all work.

Shrimp and Peppers with Lentils

For the Lentils:

  • 3 oz minced ham
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup French green lentils (lentilles du Puy)
  • 5 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • salt and pepper

Mince carrot, celery, garlic, and onion, and saute in 2-quart saucepan.  Cook until vegetables are wilted.  Add minced ham.

Add lentils, tomatoes, water, and a pinch of S&P.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, about 35 minutes – or until lentils are tender.  Check water and add more, as necessary.

For the Shrimp:

  • 4 bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 hot peppers, chopped
  • 5 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp
  • splash Tabasco
  • S&P to taste

Sauté bacon in skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and half the tomatoes to drippings in skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté  until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick, about 10 minutes. Add shrimp, Tabasco, and remaining tomatoes to skillet. Sauté until shrimp are done, about 5 minutes.

Plate lentils and serve shrimp on top. Top with reserved bacon.

It’s a rather easy dish to pull off and tastes good enough for company.