I was craving something different this week - a dish that was savory and hearty but with a twist.
When I found this recipe for crispy lentils with ground lamb, I was sold. Then I decided I would turn the mixture into tacos, and things developed from there!
For the tacos
3/4 pounds ground lamb
4 cups freshly cooked French green lentils, 1 cup cooking liquid reserved
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chile powder
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Minced cilantro, for serving
Corn tortillas, for serving
Diced tomato, for serving
For the yogurt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of salt and pepper
Begin by cooking your lentils and then prepping your yogurt and other ingredients, as the rest of the dish comes together easily.
During the last 10 minutes of cooking your lentils, turn the heat to high under a large deep skillet and add the lamb a little at a time, breaking it into small pieces as you do.
Stir and break up the meat a bit more, then add the cooked lentils. Keep the high heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils begin to brown and pop, 5 to 10 minutes. Don't worry if the mixture sticks a bit, but if it begins to scorch, lower the heat slightly. Add the cumin, chile, and garlic and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the reserved lentil liquid and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook until the mixture is no longer soupy but not dry (I probably let this go about 2 minutes too long). Stir in the olive oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning.
Dish meat mixture onto corn tortillas and garnish with cilantro, diced tomato and yogurt.
This Greek adaptation of traditional ground beef tacos was really fun to try. I loved the crispy lentils and the depth of texture and flavor they provided as well.
I also could not get enough of this yogurt. Goodness.
I did over-crisp the lamb and lentils a tad, so the final combination was somewhat dry. But as long as you don't follow my lead, I think you'll love this dish as well. The leftovers also made terrific lunches.
Happy almost weekend!