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Persian Taco Trio

Executive Chef/Owner Hoss Zaré
Zaré at Fly Trap/Grill & Grain

[Serves 12-16 depending on how loaded you make your taco]


1 1/2 chickens, cleaned and quartered


1/2 cup yogurt

1 small white onion, small dice

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 pinch saffron

1 Tbsp sumac


After marinating for at least 6 hours, grill the chicken and finish it in oven. Then pull the chicken meat and toss it with Shirazi (Persian salad of diced cucumber, heirloom tomato, onion, olive oil, basil, and lemon juice). Spread the tortilla/ taco shell with yogurt-saffron mix (yogurt-saffron mix: drop pinch of saffron in warm water and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then add to one cup of yogurt, salt and pepper.)

Top taco with mixture of chicken and Shirazi.

[Grilled and Braised “Abghoosht” Lamb Taco]

4 lamb shanks

2 cups mirepoix, medium dice

4 bay leaves

1 Tbsp pepper, ground

1/2 Tbsp 7 spice

2 tomatoes, quartered

2 sprigs rosemary

2 sprigs lemon thyme

2 sprigs marjoram

2 sprigs oregano

1/2 cup tomato paste

2 cups red wine

Veal/chicken stock to cover

1/2 cinnamon stick

2 cardamom pods, whole

1/2 Tbsp cumin seed, whole

4 cups fingerling or new potatoes, roasted and smashed

1 cup garlic, roasted and smashed

1 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1 tsp chili flakes

Torshi (Persian pickles)

Mixed herbs (parsley,
tarragon, basil, mint, dill, radishes), julienned


Season shanks with salt, pepper, and 7 spice. Grill lamb shanks to get some smoky flavor. Next, in a heavy bottom braising pan, sear all sides of shanks until golden brown; set aside. In same pan, caramelize mirepoix, deglaze with red wine, and reduce to half. Add all remaining ingredients and then arrange lamb shanks on top.

Cover with stock and bring to a boil. Cover with parchment and place in a 400°F oven for 2 to 3 hours (until lamb falls off bone). Take out of oven, remove shanks from sauce and set aside. Strain sauce, and reduce to half. Pull meat from braised lamb shanks, mix with mashed potatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, chopped Italian parsley, chili flakes, and reduced braising sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, put spoonful of lamb mixture on soft, small tortilla, top with touch of Torshi. Finish with fresh herbs and julienne radishes.

[Vegetarian Kofta Taco]

1 cup bulgur wheat

2 cups vegetable or mushroom stock

1 cup dried lima or fava beans, or adzuki, ana sazi, bolita...(any desired beans)

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp coriander, ground

1 egg, beaten

1 cup breadcrumbs (panko works best)

1/2 bunch cilantro (or dill or tarragon if not available), chopped

1 Tbsp harissa

1 Tbsp oregano, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

For Stuffing:

Mushrooms, cooked


Garlic, roasted


Cook beans in plenty of water for 40 to 50 minutes at a slow boil. Then, cook bulgur wheat in vegetable/mushroom stock. Should be fluffy; set aside. Cook onion and garlic in oil until translucent and fragrant, but not browned. Add cumin and coriander and cook for another minute, let cool.

In a bowl add all ingredients to cooked beans, bulgur wheat.  Mix in enough breadcrumbs to make the mixture semi-firm. Put in refrigerator to firm for about an hour. Using wet hands, roll mixture into 3-ounce balls.  Thumb ball to make pocket for stuffing.  After stuffing, close back into a ball, roll in breadcrumbs, and then fry in hot oil 3 to 5 minutes.

Spread Mediterranean avocado salsa on tortillas, add olive and feta, top with kofta, and finish with carrot-verjus-7-spice emulsion sauce.

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