Friday, June 15, 2012

Ethiopian Collard Greens-Ye'abesha Gomen

We've been getting collard greens in our CSA share lately.  The Mister and I stopped eating meat more than 2 years ago so cooking them with a piece of smoky ham was out.  M. suggested Ethiopian collards and I was more than happy to oblige.  I followed Saveur's recipe and it is so delicious. made this recipe twice in 2 weeks.  The first time I made it with Alecha (vegetable stew), spiced lentils and a pretty decent injera.  The second time I made it with roasted beets and added the beet greens to the collards.  Each time it was very good.  

Injera is a stretchy flatbread that looks like a big crepe.  One large piece of injera is put on a platter and little piles of the other foods are put on top of it. The flavors of the food seep into the injera making it taste delicious.  Another platter of just injera is usually nearby so the diner can tear off pieces to scoop up the food.  Berbere is a blend of spices that seasons the meat and lentils dishes in Ethiopian food.  It makes the food hot and spicy and sooo good!

I've made Ethiopian food before and it was fine but this time it was much tastier.  I think the key was making the Spiced Butter and the Berebere seasoning-  I roasted the spices and ground them in a coffee grinder.  We live in an apartment and the smell of the spices filled the whole house.  M. ran into one of our upstairs neighbor and he said the smells wafting from our apartment was making them crave curry.  

My injera took 24 hours. Much shorter than the authentic way of making it which entails making a starter and capturing wild yeast.  I couldn't wait that long.  Nor could I find Teff flour which is what injera is traditionally made from.  I made a whole wheat version with bread yeast and let it ferment overnight.  The texture was very good.  It was holey and stretchy like real injera.  The flavor wasn't quite right, it was more sour.  Still, it made for a good base for the lentils, vegetables and collards.  

I followed the recipe for the Alecha vegetable stew from my Extending the Table cookbook.  It's a basic recipe with cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  The lentils also came from Saveur-  All in all, these were great meals and I hope that we keep getting collard greens in our weekly share!

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