Only once in a blue moon I manage to acquire a food item as precious as a pair of fresh lamb kidneys. And when such miracle happens, the little guys receive the utmost respect and nothing less than royal treatment. Usually, it means the simplest possible preparation, accompanied by the very best ingredients. Instead of a milk soak, they get a bath in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic and fresh herbs. They then meet the grill for a perfectly timed moment; long enough to acquire a beautiful char on the outside, yet short enough to remain tender and pink in the center. That’s about all the cooking that happens, and on the plate they go! No fancy sauces, just a generous sprinkle of Maldon crystals and black pepper. And with a slice of freshest baguette on the side, this is my idea of eating heaven. —QueenSashy
good quality olive oil
finely minced sage, plus another 16 or so leaves for garnish
aged balsamic vinegar
Maldon salt (or your personal favorite) and freshly ground pepper.
Clean the kidneys from the fat and membranes attached to them. Cut the kidneys in half lengthwise, and gently remove ureter, the white tissue in the center. (Even if you have never done it before, no worries, it will be immediately obvious. You will need a sharp knife though, to avoid damaging the precious little ones.)
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, minced sage and balsamic. Place the kidney halves in the marinade and marinate for about two hours.
In a small pan, over medium heat, heat the frying oil until very hot but not smoking. Fry a couple of sage leaves at a time until crisp, for about 5-10 seconds. Using a fork, transfer the leaves to paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt.
Preheat the grill (griddle, grill pan or cast iron pan). Remove the kidney halves from the marinade and place them on the grill. Grill about a minute or two per side. (This will depend on the size of the kidneys, the grill/pan, etc., but make sure not to overcook them, or they will be dry and rubbery. The end product should be wonderfully charred on the outside and medium rare inside.)
Place each kidney half on a plate, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, garnish with fried sage leaves and serve immediately.
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.