Michael’s cookbook is organized very much like the menu at MGFD. Recipes are divided into categories: snacks, small plates, salads, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches, large plates, and extra-large plates. Flipping through the “large plates” section though, you’ll come across a recipe that’s slightly different from the rest. Among selections like whole roasted chicken, grilled wild salmon, and mustard and molasses St. Louis ribs, there’s a recipe for curried lentil stew with Greek yogurt. This stew is not only vegetarian and affordable to make, but it’s also ready in less than 40 minutes.
Michael used to make it when he was trying to save up to open his first restaurant. But that doesn’t mean that the stew sacrifices flavor for affordability — or that he ever gets tired of making it. This is the kind of recipe that could easily be added to the home cook’s rotation of delicious, reliable dinner meals. It features hearty levels of flavor from cumin, curry powder and red curry paste — made with red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, salt, shallot, spices and kaffir lime. It also pleases with a variety of textures. The stew is topped with a dollop of cool, creamy Greek-style yogurt and crunchy chopped cashews. Once it comes together, it is pure delicious comfort. Continue reading