Dish of the Year: Mita’s Cordero Al Ajillo

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The year’s best bite, from Jose Salazar’s Mita’s, transports even the most jaded traveler to Spain’s colorful southern coast, home of sherry, flamenco music, and bullfighting.

Cordero Al Ajillo: Lamb loin, pequillo peppers, fingerling potatoes, Merguez sausage, and fennel soubise
Cordero Al Ajillo: Lamb loin, pequillo peppers, fingerling potatoes, Merguez sausage, and fennel soubise

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

Lamb loin
Salazar conjures up Moorish-inspired flavors and an intoxicating aroma by marinating Marksbury Farm lamb loin in garlic and olive oil for up to two days.

Fennel Soubise
Soubise is a French classic, traditionally made with onions. Salazar switches this one up with fennel for a licorice accent. “I thought the anise flavor would help tie everything together,” he says.

Pequillo Peppers
Mild pequillo peppers are stuffed with merguez, a North African lamb sausage laced with cumin and coriander, which adds a pop of heat to the dish.

Fingerling Potatoes
The Spanish love their olive oil, and Salazar crushes fingerling potatoes with oil to create a creamy complement.

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