Lentil & Sweet Potato Chili
Part one of a three-part series on flexible weeknight dinners - a spicy lentil chili you'll be able to use in all kinds of meals!
Last week, I guess I forgot that I was on my own for a second at the grocery store. I bought WAY more fresh fruit than I could possibly eat. So when it became the night before I would leave for Chicago, I had eaten my nectarines, but still had six or eight plums.
So while I was waiting for some laundry to be done and working on a gift for my sister-in-law, I chatted on the phone with my mom and got started making jam. Yes, four things at once – this is what happens to me the night before a flight.
Luckily, we actually just finished our blueberry jam and would be in need of some new jam for the following week.
This recipe makes about two pints. Here’s what you need:
Wash and chop the plums, into chunks no bigger than 1/2 inch on a side. Put them in a saucepan on medium heat. Make sure the saucepan is big enough to handle 5 cups!
Stir the sugar in to coat the plums. As the plums heat up, use a potato masher or a wide spoon to smoosh them a little bit and encourage them to break down. Some of this will happen on its own, but I think a little help is not a bad thing. Over the next 20 minutes or so, as you stir occasionally, the plums will come to a low boil and break down further and further until they look a little more like jam that is too liquidy. That is OK – jam will never be jam while it is still hot.
I let the fruit simmer for about 30 minutes to get out some of the excess water. After the 30 minutes is up, take the pan off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. At room temperature, move the jam into clean jars (to sterilize, boil in a pot of water for 10 minutes). Store in the fridge for several weeks – thus far I’ve not had a jar of jam go bad on me – there are only two of us, and we finish it before it has a chance to do anything.