Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spicy Lamb and Lentils with Herbs

Alison Roman of Bon Appetit
I keep wishing there was another protein to cook with.  How many riffs can you find for boneless skinless chicken breasts?  But it seems unlikely that the Fearless Flyer from Trader Joe’s is suddenly going to extol the virtues of Rabbit or Goat.  So when I see an intriguing recipe with a protein we don’t eat that often, I am all for cooking it.  That would apply to this wonderful concoction.  Here, ‘aggressively seasoned’ lamb is combined with French Lentils de Puy and a shower of fresh herbs and then laid atop a serving of cool, rich yogurt.  It’s the work of Alison Roman of Bon Appetit Magazine. Ms. Roman is a wildly prolific recipe writer.  She has 244 recipes on ranging from Charred Scallion Butter to Sardines with Grilled Bread and Tomato. And she's even been here recently with her recipe for Fennel Crusted Pork Chops (See  In this recipe for Lamb, the seasoning is limited to cumin and red pepper flakes but the final result is definitely spicy.  The counterpoint to the spice is the sweetness of the lentils and the coolness of the yogurt.  Add to that, chopped English cucumber, parsley and cilantro and the balance is pretty well perfect. I’d love to tell you that this dish comes together in 35 minutes as Ms. Roman promised but for that timing, you can’t count the making of the lentils.  That adds another 40 minutes.  But the lentils are just as important to the dish as the lamb.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Cajun-Spiced Swordfish Tacos with Green Onions, Radishes and Chipotle Sour Cream

El Mitote's Tacos
I love tacos.  And apparently I am not alone. I posted the Instagram picture of the ones on the left and it broke the bank in "likes".  These tacos are from El Mitote (208 Columbus Ave. NYC Tel: (212) 874-2929).  But even with a taqueria so close to home, I still can’t get my fill of these easy to make little goodies.  Besides, the closest El Mitote gets to a fish taco is its shrimp version.  So when I saw this recipe in the New York Times, I was hooked.  Cajun flavors are some of my favorites.  Although the original recipe, from a line cook at Union Square Café named Chad Shaner, called for white fish filets, like cod or red snapper, I went for swordfish.  I’ve been using Swordfish with Cajun spices ever since I was introduced to Chef Paul Prud’homme, who pretty well put Cajun food on the map in the 80s.  Swordfish shines in this recipe.  Its layer of spice hides at the bottom of the toasted corn taco which is slathered with Chipotle flavored Sour Cream. Crisp radishes, and grilled green onions add layers of flavor and then a shower of cilantro leaves give the taco a final touch.  Even though this Taco is not particularly Mexican, I hope you can forgive it for that. The Taco, it turns out, is one of the world’s most adaptable foods.