Grilled Lamb Heart and California Avocado Flatbread

Grilled Lamb Heart and California Avocado Flatbread

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Credit: Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton, Co-Chefs, Ox, Portland, Oregon
The National Culinary Review, May 2016


12 flatbreads (recipe follows)
Pickled red onions (recipe follows)
Avocado sheets (recipe follows)
1½ lbs. trimmed, cleaned lamb hearts (about 4 oz. per heart)
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, as needed
Smoked sea salt, as needed
2 Fresno chilies, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1½ cups dill sprigs

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
1½ t. kosher salt
½ t. ground black pepper
1 t. baking powder
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup warm water (110-115°F)

Pickled Red Onions
1 medium red onion, cut in
1/8-inch-thick slices
½ cup lime juice
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. granulated sugar

California Avocado Sheets
6 fresh large (approximately 8 oz. each) California avocados, peeled, halved, pitted
Kosher salt, as needed
4 T. lime juice, divided


1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut each lamb heart in half; drizzle with 2 T. olive oil, season each side with kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Working in batches, place flatbreads on grill; cook until edges begin to brown and curl up, 20-30 seconds. Flip over; continue cooking until crispy, 15-20 seconds. Transfer 12 flatbreads to individual serving plates; keep warm.

3. Remove 1 avocado sheet at a time from freezer. Cut open three sides along edge of bag; peel open, invert avocado onto flatbread. Peel bag away from avocado; season avocado with pepper. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining avocado sheets.

4. Put lamb heart portions on grill; cook about 2 minutes. Turn; cook 2 minutes longer for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; rest 1-2 minutes before slicing lengthwise as thinly as possible.

5. Place lamb heart slices evenly on top of each avocado-topped flatbread; season lightly with smoked sea salt. Scatter 15-20 slices pickled red onion on top, followed by 8-10 slices Fresno chili, 8-10 dill sprigs and 6-8 cilantro leaves. Drizzle with olive oil; serve immediately.

For flatbreads:
1. Place flour, salt, black pepper and baking powder in bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment. Mix on medium until combined. Add olive oil and water; continue mixing on medium until dough forms ball, about 30 seconds. Stop; scrape down sides of bowl. Continue mixing 1 minute. Portion dough in 1½ oz. pieces; roll each piece into ball, place on lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel; rest in refrigerator 30 minutes.

2. Preheat large heavy-bottomed frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Remove dough balls from refrigerator; place 1 ball on flat work surface. With rolling pin (and without adding additional flour), flatten into oblong shape, about 5 x 8 inches. Repeat process with 2 more dough balls. Lower heat to medium. Gently peel 1 flatbread off work surface; carefully place in heated pan. Cook about 30 seconds, or until dough starts to bubble and underside has golden-brown spots. Flip over; cook second side 15-25 seconds longer, or until just cooked through.

3. Remove flatbread from pan. Place on half clean kitchen towel; fold over other half to cover. Cook remaining 2 flatbreads; stack on top. Repeat process with remaining dough balls (2-3 at a time). Store cooked flatbreads up to five days in refrigerator.

For pickled red onions:
Put onion slices, lime juice, salt and sugar in gallon bag. Squeeze as much air out as possible; seal. Gently massage bag to help dissolve salt and sugar. Refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to three days.

For California avocado sheets:
Sprinkle each avocado half with salt. Place each piece, flat-side down, in 6 x 8-inch vacuum seal bag. Add 1 t. lime juice to each bag; press gently so avocado flattens to no more than 2 inches from open side of bag. Place bag in vacuum sealer; seal top ½ inch of bag. Repeat with remaining avocado halves. With rolling pin, mash avocado thinly and evenly to edges of bag. Lay bags flat on baking sheet; freeze until solid.


12 servings


Appetizer, Lamb, The National Culinary Review

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