Executive chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto in San Francisco is a fan of offal in all its permutations, as well as an ardent supporter of local family farms. For offal recipes, preparation tips, sources and lore, go to his site, http://www.offalgood.com.
4 lamb kidneys
1 cup milk
1 cup green lentils
1 bulb garlic, split
1 bay leaf
1 bunch thyme, tied in a bundle, plus additional branch
1 bunch parsley stems, tied with the thyme
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, smashed
11/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional to garnish
1/2 cup garlic, slivered
2 sliced red Fresno peppers or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup mint, leaves picked
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Soak the kidneys in milk for 2 hours. Remove them from milk and rinse in cold running water for 1 hour; dry the kidneys. Split each one in half; remove and discard the fibrous membrane from each side of each half.
2. While the kidneys are soaking, rinse the lentils in cold water. Place them in a nonreactive pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Once boiled, strain and rinse them again with cold water. Place the lentils in a non-reactive pot with the whole onion, carrot, split garlic head, bay leaf and tied herb bundle;
3. Season the kidney halves with salt and pepper; lightly dust with the seasoned flour. Heat the butter in a pan. Place smashed garlic clove into the pan and add the remaining thyme branch; sizzle for 1 minute and then add the kidneys. Sear both sides of each kidney half until golden brown and medium-rare, or approximately 3 minutes total cooking time. In another pan, heat olive oil and sizzle the slivered garlic and peppers or chile flakes. Add the lentils and toss gently to incorporate. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and toss in the torn mint.
4. To serve, place the lentils on warmed serving plates. On each plate, lay 2 kidney halves on top of the lentils; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.
Per serving: 510 calories, 36 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 20 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 405 mg cholesterol, 1,540 mg sodium, 13 g fiber. Calories from fat: 35 percent.
-- Staff analysis