For a good and enjoyable time, take the effort to prepare an Ethiopian dinner. The typical dish could be inaccurately described as a stew, but is not at all like the typical American stew of beef, potatoes and carrots. The menu would include a variety of dishes. Many of these dishes can be made a day or two ahead of time and will reheat well. The only thing we cook the day of the dinner party is the breads and the cottage cheese dishes.
Two good books for recipes are: "The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors" by Jeff Smith and "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant", by the Moosewood Collective. Both of these books are good references on ethnic cooking in general. The second is vegetarian.
We have selected the following recipes for you to choose from: Lamb and Cardamom (except we make it with beef) Spiced Cheese. Doro Wat Chicken. Collard Greens and Cheese. Yemiser W'et (spicy lentil stew) Yetakelt W'et ( spicy mixed vegetable stew) All of these recipes call for a spiced clarified butter called Niter Kebbeh. We have included the recipe from each book. They should be interchangeable.
They all call for a spice mixture called Berbere. The Moosewood book uses a dry preparation. The Frugal Gourmet book uses a mixture that has an oil and wine base mixed in with the spices. We would reccommend making both and using each with the recipes from the respective books. With experience, you may pick a favorite one and convert the measurement from one recipe to the other.
One of the most important ingredients to the Ethiopian meal is the bread, which is called Injera. Try both recipes. We prefer the fermented version from the Moosewood book.
TO SERVE: At an Ethiopian restaurant, the meal is served on a communal tray. A very large platter is covered with Injera, overlapping to give a complete cover. Each separate dish is placed on the Injera. On the table there is another plate with several Injera rounds folded into quarters. To eat, one takes a hand sized piece of the bread, folds it around a portion of one of the dishes on the common tray, picks it up and eats. There are no utensils other than the bread. Submitted By JOELL ABBOTT On 05-04-95
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