|Ye'atakilt Kai Wot|
I've just started testing recipes for Kittee-Bee Berns' upcoming Ethiopian cookbook. You know if you've ever done it, that testing recipes is a lot harder than just waiting for the book to be published and buying it, but I have to tell you that testing the recipes for Kittee has been great so far. I love Ethiopian food, and I'm pretty sure I could eat it every night, though I might need a larger wardrobe.
Seriously, I think my natural ability to stop eating when full has taken a vacation from my brain. This morning I woke up still full, and only managed a cup of tea for breakfast. Maybe once the novelty wears off, I'll regain some control.
First up was a visit to an Ethiopian grocery store and injera bakery, where I purchased various spice blends and other assorted necessities. I had to have help from the kind proprietor to identify the items, and I wrote the names of the various herbs and spices on their labels so I'd remember what they were.
I had planned to buy gluten-free injera there, too, but they were sold out, and I was told I needed to order it in advance. Luckily there are three or four Ethiopian restaurants on every block where we were (both sides of the street, too!) and several had signs in the window for GF injera. We picked one and asked if they would sell us injera, and they said yes. We bought six pieces. It was the darkest, thickest, sourest, largest injera I've ever had. Perfect.
|Homemade Niter kibbeh on the left. Dry berbere from the shop on the right.|
The first thing I made was the fragrant cooking oil used for many of the dishes. In Ethiopian cooking, a spice infused clarified butter is used, but for vegan cooking, that needs to be altered. I minced, peeled, grated, measured and cooked my niter kibbeh, then put a jar into the sink to catch the liquid fat as I strained it. I was almost done with the straining when the jar tipped over and much of the oil mix dumped into the sink. I quickly set the jar upright, then, after staring in disbelief at the golden liquid in my sink, decided the sink was clean enough, grabbed a silicone spatula, and scooped up as much as I could. I lost about 1/2 cup but I suppose it could have been worse.
|Ye'atakilt Kai Wot|
We made three dishes the first night and one the second night. Plus, I made a seasoning mix and a salad dressing.
There was a lot of food so our plan was to add something new each night to go with leftovers.
This is working out well because the food actually tasted even better the second night. (And I'm counting on it being even better on night three. :D) I think it would be perfect party food that I could make ahead and reheat.
Although we've loved everything I've made so far, I think our favorite dish was Ye'zelbo Gomen — a collard recipe. There were a lot of mmms and ooooohs as we ate it.
Because I've been photographing the food at night, it's been hard to get good images, but trust me, tasting the testing has been a real treat so far.