Ethiopian dinner

I have been craving lentils lately. I ordered them a few times from a new restaurant that opened up in downtown Lancaster called Himalayan Curry and Grill. I have also eaten them at an Ethiopian restaurant and grocery called Addisu. They were delicious both places but I just can’t keep ordering take out!

I decided to try making the Ethiopian version at home. I read a bunch of recipes from around the internet and decided to try this one. I modified it a little bit based on what I had at home and the lentils came out amazing! I also made a chicken dish and vegetable side. I used most of the same ingredients in the chicken as the lentils. So if some of the quantities seem a little funny, it’s because I split them to make two dishes.

I mixed my own Berbere seasoning from this recipe also. I didn’t think this version was particularly spicy. My husband bought some right from the Ethiopian restaurant and grocery store. I ended up adding extra to my dishes because they didn’t really have that much spicy heat to them. You can adjust how much you add to your dishes depending on how much spice you like.

Ethiopian Red Lentils (Yemisir Wot)20130306-203102.jpg

3/4 of a large red onion, diced small

1/2 Serrano chile, minced

1 hungarian hot wax pepper, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece ginger, minced

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp. Berbere seasoning (from this recipe)

1 tbsp. turmeric

1 1/2  15 oz.  cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (plus a little more as needed)

2 cups split red lentils

Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep cast iron pot and saute the onions, peppers, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes – salt and pepper to taste. Add in the spices and saute another 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add in the tomatoes, coconut milk, and 2 cups of stock. Bring to a simmer and add in the lentils, then bring to a boil. Stir the lentils, cover and turn the heat down to low. Stir every ten minutes to keep the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If the lentils appear to be drying out, add stock a little at a time when you stir the lentils.

Chicken Dish – I have no idea what to name this!20130306-203121.jpg

The picture above shows the chicken before I broke it up. If you want to eat the chicken in pieces you can. It is still really good! But you won’t be able to pick it up with the Injera.

4 chicken thighs

pan searing flour (I use Wegman’s brand or you can make a mix of flour, salt and pepper)

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 of a large red onion, diced small

1/2 Serrano chile, minced

1 Hungarian hot wax pepper, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch piece ginger, minced

2 tbsp. Berbere seasoning (from this recipe)

1 tbsp. turmeric

1/2 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (from the 15 oz. cans used in the lentils)

about 1 cup coconut milk

1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

Dredge the chicken in the pan searing flour. Sear both sides of the chicken thighs in the oil and butter in a low cast iron pan with a lid. Remove the chicken and saute the onions, garlic, peppers, and ginger – add salt and pepper to taste. Add the seasonings and saute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and stock. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, submerged under the sauce. Bring to a boil, cover, and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. The chicken will come out falling off the bone! When you remove the pot from the oven, remove the chicken thighs and pull the chicken off the bones. Chop the chicken in to bite size pieces and place them back in the sauce. I added about a teaspoon of the Berbere from the restaurant to this to give it a little more spice. Here’s what it looks like:

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Ethiopian veggies: Cabbage and carrots20130306-204047.jpg

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 head shredded green cabbage

2 carrots

1/2 Spanish onion, sliced thin

3 garlic cloves

1 tsp ginger, minced

1 tbsp. turmeric

1 tbsp. cumin

1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable stock

Saute the onions, ginger, and garlic in the olive oil. Add in the spices and saute until fragrant. Add in the carrots and cabbage, salt and pepper to taste, and the 1/4 cup of stock and saute. Cover and stir every few minutes until soft. I ended up adding a little of the Berbere from the restaurant to this to give it a little kick.

Here it is all put together. I served it on top of Injera, just like at the Ethiopian restaurant and we ate it with our hands!

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I would like to try to make the Injera by myself. We got this one from the Ethiopian restaurant. They sell almost all of the ingredients that you need to make their food and the equipment you need as well. They have the pan to make Injera but it comes with a hefty price tag and I just don’t think I would use it that much. I did have the idea today to try to make it in my crepe pan! So for next time, I’ll try to do it myself. I think I am going to try to use this recipe. I’ll let you know how the crepe pan works.

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Roasted Pork Loin with Beer Braised Cabbage and Butternut Squash Soup

A simple, quick Fall dinner!

Pork Loin and Apple Cider Sauce:

one small pork loin (about 1 lb.)

2 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper

1 cup apple cider

1 tbsp. creme fraiche (one of my favorite ingredients!)

1 tsp. chopped fresh chives

Rub the cumin, salt and pepper evenly over the pork loin. Heat an oven safe skillet on high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan, allow to heat up (but be careful to not let the oil start to smoke!). Sear the pork loin on all sides to form a nice golden brown crust. Place the pork loin (in the skillet) into the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. About half way through cooking, pour 1/2 cup of the apple cider into the pan and leave it in the over to finish cooking (the apple cider will keep it nice and moist). Remove the pork when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 140 degrees. Let the pork rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

To create the sauce, place the skillet on the stove top over medium high heat. pour the other 1/2 cup of apple cider into the pan to deglaze it. Make sure you scrape up all of the yummy little brown bits off the pan! Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce by half. Add in 1 tbsp. creme fraiche, stirring until melted,  and 1 tsp. chopped scallions.

Beer Braised Cabbage:

1/2 head purple cabbage (about 1 lb.)

2 apples peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup apple cider

1/2 bottle of Fall seasonal beer (I used Organic Pumpkin Ale, but you could use an Oktoberfest or something similar)

1/2 a medium-sized sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp. celery salt

salt and pepper to taste

Core and thinly slice the purple cabbage. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add two tbsp. olive oil. Saute the onion for a few minutes, until it begins to turn translucent. Add the cabbage and saute a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the apples and saute a few minutes more. Pour in the apple cider and the beer and allow it to come up to a bubble. Cover the pot ad let the cabbage cook down until it is soft, stirring occasionally.

Simple Butternut Squash Soup:

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and diced small

1 small sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp. fresh chopped chives

creme fraiche, for serving

Saute the onions and garlic in a small soup pot until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the butternut squash and saute for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Add about three cups of chicken stock (make sure the squash is submerged). bring to a boil and cover. Allow the soup to cook until the butternut squash is soft and cooked through. Use a hand blender to blend the soup until smooth. Add in extra chicken stock to thin out the soup if desired. Bring the soup back up to a slow bubble (if you added more chicken stock) and add in the chives. Serve the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.

There you have it – a simple delicious Fall meal made from seasonal veggies. yum!