In the past three weeks Joie de vivre @ An Amatuer Gourmets Guide and I have taken two other trips to Ethiopia. We both cooked dishes from the same cook book, Exotic Ethiopian Cooking by D.J. Mesfin. Added twists on some dishes in the second post, as well as cooked dishes I made in an ethnic restaurant I managed and was chef back in St. Louis...I am presenting for my finale a triple pass look at three views of this super bowl of goodness...Lentils, Okra and Chicken Alech'a...
Someone out there is thinking "has she lost her mind, did she just mention football"? This is March Madness- basket ball season. I admit, I am not into sports at all, but if the cleats fit, then wear them when you can...
This is the more focused picture, since my photo-shop program for some reason is not opening any pictures from my camera *frustrated chef arrrgh* Just when I began to learn what the heck I was doing to produce better photos...
I wanted this one to be the million dollar baby shot! My favorite burnt orange place mats complimented the reddish glow of the chicken spice, and okra mix (I was told a tri-pod needs to be used)...oh well it all tasted fantastic!
These flavors will continue to be a monthly menu item for us, since they were missed greatly over the past four years. I was glad I got back into the 'swing' of Ethiopian food (oh no now baseball). The lentils are always healthy with their added protein, and fiber. I love spicy foods, and you can make the berbere or we't (spicy), and alech'a (mild) versions in any of the dishes you have seen. There are so many dishes you can easily prepare at home, and not to mention the teff injera is super easy to make. I actually did not even realize they ate okra until I went through some of my other books from Africa.
Here is the recipes of what I actually cooked for this post-
Cook onions in Nitter Kiber (Ethiopian butter in first post) for about three minutes. Add half of stock (or just to cover), lentils, and seasonings and cook on simmer (adding stock as needed) until they are done.
Doro-Bamya We't (combined two recipes; both have same ingredients) Spicy Chicken-Okra Blend
three medium chicken breast, cubed medium 2 cups frozen or fresh okra 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes with chilies 1/4 onions, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ginger powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon paprika powder salt/pepper to taste
I placed them all in a baking dish and placed in the oven, 425 degrees on top rack, and baked for at least a half hour; st iring occasionally until chicken was done.
Served both together side by side with injera (traditional teff flour bread).
NOTE: One thing in my job is I always hear about how someone does not like okra because it is slimy. If you fry it with the onions in oil first then it will not be, but even in this dish I used frozen and it was not slimy at all.
"I experiment with Flavors"...
Elizabeth Stelling, hails from her home state of Texas and has been involved in the food industry via institutional, fast food, B&B's, ethnic eateries and other restaurants since she was fourteen. Now living n New Jersey she has ran her own cafe, teaches culinary classes, runs a small boutique catering and staffing business, restaurant consulting for NJWBO, is a personal chef and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients with the community.
Chef E is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as ran Open Mics in the Princeton, NJ area.
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