Monday, December 5, 2005

Ethiopian – December 2005

Diva: Sara

Drinks: Tiffany

Ethiopian Roast Coffee from Landgrove Coffee
South African Red Wine from the Wine Company
Honey Mead from Latah Winery
The national drink of Ethiopia is Tej, a golden sweet honey-wine. Tej is a mead that is indigenous to Ethiopia with roots going back to the 4th century.

Appetizer: Lovina
Injera-Ethiopian Bread

¾ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 c Club soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg (beaten)
2 tablespoons butter (melted)

Mix flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in egg and club soda until batter is creamy. Cook at once on a buttered skillet. Fry 2 Tbs. batter for 1-2 minutes on one side only. Serve warm with or under main dishes. The club soda takes place of a sourdough starter. (Made in the same fashion as crepes in a pan)

Spiced Cheese

1 lb Dry Curd Cottage Cheese – or Farmer's Cheese
2 T Spiced Butter
1 tsp Cayenne
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients, being careful not to break up the curds.

Spiced Butter

4 tsp fresh ginger (finely grated)
1 ½ tsp ground tumeric
¼ tsp cardamom seeds
1 ea stick cinnamon; 1 inch long
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3 ea whole cloves
2 pound salted butter
1 sm yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 T garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Measure out the spices on a plate.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat.
Bring the butter up to a light boil.
When the surface is covered with white foam, stir in all the remaining ingredients, including the onion and garlic.
Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 45 mins. Do not stir again.
Milk solids will form in the bottom of the pan and they should cook until they are golden brown. The butter will be clear.
Strain the mixture through several layers of cheesecloth placed in a colander. Avoid the milk solids and discard them.
Store the spiced butter in a quart jar, covered, in the frig. It will keep for 3 months under refrigeration.

Salad: Stacey
Queen of Sheba Salad

1 lb. firm tomatoes, chopped
½ c sweet onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced

½ cup ketchup
2 T red wine vinegar
¼ c olive oil
¼ c sweet white wine (like Madeira)
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2-3 drops Tabasco sauce

Toss salad ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together dressing and drizzle over salad. Toss lightly again and serve. This can be served with lettuce and goes well with Injera bread.

Soup: Nicole
Vegetable Alecha
Vegetable Stew

Yield: 8 portions

The Copts in Ethiopia have many fast days on which they are not permitted to eat meat. Vegetables Alechas and Wats are substituted on these days. (The Wat differs from the Alecha in that it is made with a spice called Ber-beri or Awaze.)

In a 4-quart saucepan:
1 c Bermuda onions in
4 T oil until soft but not brown.
Add: 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch slices
4 green peppers, cleaned and cut in quarters
3 c water
1 6-oz. can tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground ginger.
Cook for 10 minutes covered.
Add 4 potatoes cut in thick slices.

Plunge 2 tomatoes in boiling water, remove skins, cut in 8 wedges each, and add to stew. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add 8 Cabbage wedges, 1 inch wide. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender. Correct the Seasoning.
Place in an attractive bowl and portion out uniformly.

Side Dish: Ashley

Lentils with Ethiopian spice mix (berbere)

Berbere is a chile and spice blend used to season many Ethiopian dishes.

Makes about 1 cup of Berbere.

½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ c ground dried New Mexico chiles
¼ c paprika
1 T salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice

Finely grind fenugreek seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Stir
together with remaining ingredients until combined well.

1 lb lentils
6 c water or vegetable broth
2 red onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (or more)
fresh ground black pepper

Bring lentils and broth to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and Berebere spices to taste. Cook covered for another 30 minutes, until most of liquid is absorbed. Serve with ground black pepper to taste.

Entree: Erin
Doro Wat

3 pounds Chicken or TVP
2 c Onion; chopped
2 T Garlic; minced
2 T Lemon juice
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Ginger, fresh; chopped
½ tsp Fenugreek
½ tsp Cardamom
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ c Niter kebbeh
¾ c Water
¼ c Wine, white, dry
¼ c Berbere sauce
2 T Paprika
4 Eggs; hard boiled

Cut chicken into serving pieces and pat dry. Combine onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, nutmeg, and butter or niter kebbeh in a saucepan. Simmer two to three minutes. Add the water, wine, berbere sauce, and paprika. Cook briskly for three to five minutes or until sauce is the consistency of cream. Add the chicken pieces. Cover tightly and simmer 15 minutes. Pierce eggs with tines of a fork and add to the pan. Cover and cook 15 minutes more, or until chicken is tender.

Berbere (red pepper & spice paste)

To make about 2 cups.
1 tsp Ground ginger
½ tsp Ground cardamom
½ tsp Ground coriander
½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp Ground nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
⅛ tsp Ground cloves
⅛ tsp Ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp Ground allspice
2 T Finely chopped onions
1 T Finely chopped garlic
2 T Salt
3 T Dry red wine
2 c Paprika
2 T Ground hot red pepper
½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
1½ c Water
1 each To 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a heavy 2 to 3 quart saucepan (preferably one with an enamelled or non-stick surface), toast the ginger, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice over low heat for a minute or so, stirring them constantly until they are heated through. Then remove the pan from the heat and let the spices cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Combine the toasted spices, onions, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the salt and the wine in the jar of an electric blender and blend at high speed until the mixture is a smooth paste. Combine the paprika, red pepper, black pepper and the remaining tablespoon of the salt in the saucepan and toast them over low heat for a minute or so, until they are heated through, shaking the pan and stirring the spices constantly. Stir in the water, 1/4 cup at a time, then add the spice and wine mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over lowest possible heat for 10 to 15 minutes. With a rubber spatula, transfer the berbere to a jar or crock, and pack it in tightly. Let the paste cool to room temperature, then dribble enough oil over the top to make a film at least 1/4 inch thick. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. If you replenish the film of oil on top each time you use the berbere, it can safely be kept in the refrigerator for 5 or 6 months. Berbere (Red-Pepper and Spice Paste)

Niter Kebbeh (clarified butter)
1 pounds Butter
4 T Chopped onion
1½ T Finely chopped garlic
2 tsp Fresh grated ginger
½ tsp Turmeric
2-4 crushed cardamom seeds
1 Piece cinnamon
2 or 3 cloves
⅛ tsp Ground nutmeg

Niter Kebbeh is a spiced up ghee. Here is a recipe for it from "The Africa News Cookbook", published in the US by Viking Penguin. Slowly melt butter in a saucepan, then bring to boil. When the top is covered with foam, add the other ingredients and simmer uncovered on lowest heat until the surface is transparent and milk solids are on the bottom (45 to 60 minutes). Pour off the clear liquid and strain through a double layer of damp cheesecloth, discarding the spices and solids. Refrigerate. If strained a second and third time, the mixture will keep either chilled or at room temperature for 2 to 3 months.

Dessert: Tamara

4 c (1lb) almonds, walnuts or equal mix, coarsely chopped
¾ c sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ lb clarified, melted, unsalted butter or margarine
1 lb phyllo dough

Lemon syrup:
2 c water
2 c. sugar
2 lemon zest strips (~3 inches long)
2 T fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine nuts, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Butter 9x14x2 in baking dish. Layer phyllo 1 sheet at a time in dish, brushing each sheet with butter…1/2 package on the bottom, ½ on top with the nut mixture in between. Score the baklava into diamond shapes ~36 pieces. Bake till golden, ~35-40 minutes Make syrup while pastry is baking. In a deep saucepan combine water, sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, stirring often. Let the mixture thicken ~15 minutes. Remove zest and discard, stir in juice. When baklava is finished, pour warm syrup evenly over the pastry. Let stand till cooled slightly. Recut and serve warm or cold.

WildCard: Mariah

Yield: 5 9-inch pancakes

Combine: 1 c buckwheat pancake mix
1 c biscuit mix
1 egg
Add: 1 T oil
1 1/2 -2 c water to obtain an easy pouring consistency.

Bring a 10-inch skillet or a handled griddle pan to medium heat uniformly over the flame. Do not let the pan get too hot.
Spread 1/2 tsp. oil over the pan with a brush.
Fill a measuring cup (with spout) or a large cream pitcher with batter.
Pour the mixture on the hot pan or griddle in a thin stream starting from the outside and going in circles to the center from left to right. As soon as it bubbles uniformly all over remove from heat. Pancakes should be 9 inches in diameter.
Place the pan in an oven at 325' for about 1 minute until the top is dry but not brown.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rustic Fall Flavors – November 2005

Diva: Ashley

Drinks: Sara
A variety of red wines.

Appetizer: Tiffany
Homegrown Potato skins

10 Baking Potatoes right from your garden
1 ½ c cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, diced
1-2 red peppers, diced
3-4 cloves minced garlic
Tofutti sour cream

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Bake Potatoes for one hour, then turn the oven up to 475 degrees. After Potatoes cool, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving 1/4" of the potato in the shell all around (save the potatoey goodness for another use). Place potato shells on baking sheet with a bit of olive oil, coconut oil and or cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, making sure they don't burn.

Fill with the minced garlic, cheddar cheese, red pepper and green onions. Return to the oven at 425 degrees and bake until cheese in bubbly, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with tofutti sour cream on the side.

Salad: Erin
Sara and Mariah to the rescue... Erin may have forgotten that she was going to be out of town for work or something. So it was a serious throw together of stuff from Sara’s fridge. The dressing...probably Sara’s standard garlic-olive oil-balsamic vinegar deal.

Soup: Ashley
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Apples and Garam Masala

8 c (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 medium)
3 T olive oil, divided
2 T maple syrup
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ tsp garam masala
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
¼ c finely chopped shallots
4 c chopped peeled Braeburn apple (about 1 pound)
¼ c sweet white wine
3 c water
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 T soy milk
additional apples for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine squash, 2 tablespoons oil, syrup, salt, garam masala, and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes or until soft.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in apple; sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute. Stir in squash, water, and broth. Bring to a simmer; cook 3 minutes. Place half of soup in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Repeat procedure with remaining half of soup. Stir in soy milk.

Side Dish: Mariah
Enchanted Broccoli Forest

2 c brown or white rice
1 lb. fresh broccoli
1 T butter or canola oil (plus a little extra for the pan)
1 c chopped onion
3/4 tsp. salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T minced fresh dill (or 2 tsp. dried)
3 T fresh mint (or 3 tsp. dried)
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
pepper to taste
cayenne to taste

1/2 c toasted sunflower seeds
1/4 lb. Swiss or cheddar cheese, grated
a little extra butter for the top

Serves 4-6

Cook the 2 cups of rice in 3 cups of boiling water until tender (this will take 15-20 minutes for white rice, 35-45 minutes for brown). Fluff the cooked rice with a fork and set aside.

Trim the tough bottoms from the broccoli stalks and cut the tops into smallish spears of whatever size suits you.

Preheat oven to 325° F.

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onion and salt and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic and the lemon juice and sauté for about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the rice, some black pepper and cayenne to taste along with the optional ingredients. Taste to correct salt, if necessary, and spread in the prepared pan.

Now the fun part. Arrange the broccoli upright in the rice, and, if desired, drizzle with melted butter. Cover loosely with foil and bake just until heated through (15 -20 minutes). Serve right away.

Entree: Lovina
Herb-Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry Port Wine Glaze (Fall Harvest at Ashley’s)

Boneless, center-cut pork loin roast (3 to 4 pounds)
2 T minced fresh rosemary
2 T minced fresh sage
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Cranberry port wine glaze (see recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place roast in an open roasting pan.
In a small bowl, combine rosemary, sage, garlic, salt and pepper.
Brush roast with olive oil. Generously pat the herb mixture onto the roast. Cook the pork in preheated oven 60-80 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in meat registers 145 to 150 degrees. Allow meat to rest 15 minutes before slicing.
While meat is roasting, prepare the cranberry port wine glaze. Spoon warm glaze over sliced pork loin. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Cranberry port wine glaze:

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, minced
1 T minced fresh sage
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
½ c dried cranberries
2 c good quality port wine
1/3 c beef stock
1/3 c red wine vinegar
½ c red currant jelly
1½ tablespoons cornstarch stirred into 2 tablespoons cold beef stock

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add shallots, sage, rosemary and cranberries. Sauté until shallots are wilted and transparent, about 8 minutes. Add port wine, beef stock, vinegar and red currant jelly. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Bring to a boil and quickly stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook until smooth and thickened, stirring frequently.

Dessert: Stacey
Grandma Ellersick’s German Apple Cake

4 c grated raw apples
2 c sugar
½ c oil
1 c chopped nuts (optional)
2 eggs, well beaten
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients well in order given. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes in a greased 9x13 pan. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

WildCard: Nicole
Baked Brie

1 large sheet of puff pastry dough or 1 tube of refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 round or wedge of Brie cheese
Raspberry Jam, or other sweet jam (I used apricot)
Brown sugar
¼ c of maple syrup
slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut rind off the top of the brie round.
On a stick-free cookie sheet, lay out the puff pastry or the crescent rolls flat; put brie round or wedge on top cut side up.
Spread jam on brie, fold dough over top. Drizzle maple syrup and place a handful of brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with crackers and apple slices.