About a month ago, Craig and I made another attempt at Ethiopian cooking. I have to admit that I don’t think this round was quite as much of a roaring success as the first attempt, but it was still pretty darn good!
This time, I made the nit’ir qibe (clarified, spiced butter). I made a three-pound batch given how quickly we used up most of our first batch, and knowing that we had some more cooking ahead of us.
While Craig is usually the chef in our house, I also made the samosas, which are essentially filled (and fried) pastries. These are always favorites of mine when we go out to eat, and I wanted to give them a shot at home. I made the dough and rolled it out into 4″ circles, which were then cut in half. I formed the semi-circle shaped pieces of dough into little funnel shapes, and then filled them with a tasty beef filling.
I sealed up the pastries, and then they were fried in vegetable oil. We never fry anything in our house, so this was a bit of an experience in and of itself. The end result, though, was pretty delicious!
They’re not quite as pretty as I’d like, but I’ll work on that next time. I really prefer the vegetarian version, but our cookbook only provided a recipe for a beef filling and I didn’t have any luck finding one online. Anyone out there have a vegetarian samosa recipe they’d like to share? Pretty please?
For the main course, Craig worked hard to prepare a trio of dishes: yesiga tibs (beef), ye’abesha gomen (collard greens), and dinich wot (potato stew).
The tibs didn’t turn out quite as expected, and the potatoes soaked up most of the sauce (and the sauce is so good, you want to have a lot of it). The greens were pretty good, and that’s saying a lot for me, since I’m generally not much of a fan of collard greens. We rarely eat beef anymore, so it was pretty odd for us to have two beef dishes in one meal.
[All of our recipes are again from Exotic Ethiopian Cooking by D. J. Mesfin.]
When we buy injera from our local Ethiopian restaurant, we get a quantity that is way too much for us to eat on our own. So, last time we cooked, we froze the leftover injera and used that this time around. It certainly wasn’t as good as if fresh – it just didn’t have the same texture and ability to soak in the goodness of the food – but it was just fine for this occasion.
And speaking of large quantities, how about this five pound bag of berbere that just arrived in the mail yesterday? We needed more since I’m providing an Ethiopian dinner for my book club this week – perfect to go along with our discussion of Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (which I really enjoyed, by the way).
I’m going to try to get a round serving platter or two before my book club dinner, so we can experience the shared eating style that is most common in Ethiopian cuisine. We still have a few standard, favorite recipes to test, so I’m trying to figure out if we should try those out on our guests or save them for another time. More soon…