Monday, April 25, 2011
I ran across the sauce by accident before hearing it was the chefs' sauce de rigeur. I popped by a place to pike up a few Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and saw a bottle of hot sauce. I figured it'd be good and later foud out about Sriracha. I actually bought the chili-garlic sauce from the same company. I prefer it to Sriracha. It's a bit chunkier, but has that same chili goodness.
Anyway. Hit Eat Bar for Happy Hour. Great wines at half price and great beers at reduced price.
Better get back to work.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I left the ticket in my car and headed off to get a baguette to have with the Fu'ul I'd made for breakfast. Yes, still obsessed with that dish. This morning, I was doing the same exact errand (it's been a fu'ulish weekend; I'll be here alllll night folks) and picked up the ticket. Then I looked at it. Really looked at it. The address seemed odd. Then I noticed it was a District of Columbia ticket. Hmm. I didn't think they ticketed in Alexandria! Although I do have Virginia plates, my car is a 2 door Ford, not a 4 door Honda. Naturally, the plates didn't match. Funny thing is that I did take note of the time of the ticket the day before, but missed the rest of it.
I'll give full credit to someone. They picked up a ticket Saturday night in the District. Noticing that my car was parked a little over the line, they put it on my windshield in hopes that I'd pay for their ticket. Well played!
They apparently think I'm stupid though. Is anyone going to mail a ticket for Virginia parking to the District?
Friday, April 15, 2011
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I’ve tried a few new dishes recently and can’t resist sharing a favorite with the world. WETA recently did a series on places that serve breakfast around Washington. One of the most interesting is Aurora Café, whose owners are Eritrean. It happens to be fairly close to my sons’ preschool and so we’ve been able to go there for a few breakfast dates. It won’t be a surprise to learn that the coffee is fantastic. I’ve had a few interesting dishes—kilcha fit fit (kinda like having spicy stuffing for breakfast) and eggs silsi (an Eritrean scramble) are two dishes I’ve had an enjoyed. Keen orders fu’ul every time she goes there and I happily polish off anything that’s left. We went there yesterday morning and ordered our usual. I was a bit disappointed to have no leftover fu'ul.
It’s a mushy bean stew served with a bit of yogurt and bread on the side to sop it up. Hunting around, I’ve found various recipes for ful, an Egyptian dish that appears to be related. I'm sure variations are available all across northern Africa. Fu'ul is a type of small fava bean. I tried an early version using edamame and lentils. Not bad, but not the real thing. Then I discovered an ethnic supermarket nearby that has the real beans--both canned and dry. Jackpot! My second batch rocks. If you can't find canned fava beans (the little ones), try using small white beans.
The other special ingredient is Berbere, a spice blend unique to Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. I'm sure anyone from Ethiopia or Eritrea would protest, but garam masala is a reasonable substitute. The addition of paprika appears to be the primary difference. I hunted around a bit and I think this is the closest to what we've had at Aurora. Full credit to Jessica Balsam's blog. Serve with a crusty baguette.
I'm still looking for a silsi recipe.
Ethiopian Ful Medames
- 1/4 cup olive oil + more for garnish
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup minced white onion
- 1 teaspoon berbere (or 3/4 t. garam masala & 1/4 t. paprika)
- 6 cups cooked ful (or two cans)
- salt to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and fry the garlic and onion for 2 minutes. Add the berbere and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ful and 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat, mash the ful, adding water if needed to reach the texture of refried beans. Salt to taste. Return to the heat briefly.
- To serve, divide the mashed beans between four shallow bowls and garnish as you like. Green onions, crumbled cheese (feta), minced jalapeño or tomato, plain yogurt (with a little berbere), and hard boiled egg are all good garnishes. Serve with a baguette.
Berbere Spice Blend
Ingredients:2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
20 crumbled dried red peppers
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 tablespoons sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Put all the ingredients up to the salt in a frying pan and heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. add the salt and grind the spices in a spice grinder.