- Cullman, Alabama


May 1, 2013

Chef draws on South American barbecue culture


Provoleta With Herb Salad

4 appetizer servings

Who doesn't like seared and melted cheese? The crust is the best part of the provoleta.

It's nice to cook and serve this in a shallow, enameled cast-iron gratin dish. Be advised that it will smoke up your kitchen.

This will be on the menu at Del Campo, Victor Albisu's recently restaurant in Washington.


1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, preferably small ones

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

One 1-inch-thick slice provolone (12 ounces)

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Leaves from 2 stems flat-leaf parsley

Leaves from 1 stem basil

Leaves from several stems watercress

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 slices country bread, toasted, for serving


Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium heat.

Sprinkle half of the oregano and half of the crushed red pepper flakes onto the thick slice of provolone, pressing them into the top side of the cheese. Place the cheese on the griddle, seasoned side down. Cook for about 2 minutes, until you see the bottom start to caramelize, then turn it over and cook until the second side starts to brown and the cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with the remaining oregano and crushed red pepper flakes, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Remove from the heat.

Toss the parsley, basil and watercress in a mixing bowl with the remaining teaspoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the hot cheese among individual plates, with equal portions of the herb salad alongside. Serve right away, with the toasted slices of bread for scooping up the cheese.

NUTRITION Per serving: 320 calories, 22 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 810 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar

Roasted Lamb Shanks With Burnt Carrots and Goat Cheese

4 servings

This dish offers traditional and refined combinations of South American flavors. The sweetness and texture of the carrots balance out the rich and succulent meat.

Chef Victor Albisu likes to grill slices of country bread and serve broken pieces of it over the lamb shanks.

Piment d'espelette is a mild, sweet ground pepper, available at La Cuisine in Alexandria, Va., and Penzeys.

MAKE AHEAD: The lamb shanks need to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. From Albisu, chef at Del Campo in Washington.

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