I spent part of the afternoon sitting in a coffee shop next to three young women
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talking excitedly in Australian accents, sharing one on of the largest pieces of chocolate cake I've ever seen
“Hold steady. They'll be finished with it soon. Your Strawberry/Banana/Almond Milk Smoothie is just fine.”
My attention diverted back to the task at hand, deciding which blogs would get my vote in Saveur's 5th Annual Best Food Blog Awards. I tell you what, if you're ever looking for inspiration, my goodness, they're nothing short of beautiful
As the trio planned for an upcoming event somewhere in France (!) their excitement was contagious. What to wear, what time to get there “Now, their website says no drugs. Duuuhhh, of course. But what about alcohol? Do you think that would count?”
Pause, quiet, hummmm
“Women, focus. Forget the booze. The cake, let's finish the cake.”
In honor of my giggly world-traveling friends, who brought great smiles to my day, it seems an international recipe is in order.
Kai Wot, a dish Aunt Kathie brought to January's food swap. Truth be told, this is a family recipe and Ethiopian cuisine holding a special place in our family's tradition. My grandparents, for the majority of their lives, traveled the world as missionaries., living sixteen years in Ethiopia. My step-mom and her siblings were all born during that time.
If one came to a family gathering, you'd walk in to find big pots of colorful Ethiopian dishes on the stove. Conversation during dinner would include spice induced tears, and big belly laughs in between scoops of injera filled with a variation of wot.
There's nothing shy or subtle about Ethiopian. It's bold, in your face flavor, if there ever was one. All variations seem to begin with what seems like a ridiculous amount of onion for a base
It reminds me a bit of Indian food, in that the ingredient list is short and the final product is nothing short of incredible
Kai Wot (Ethiopian Beef Stew) Spicy!
- 8 - 10 purple onions, finely chopped
- 1 - 4 Tbsp Berberi (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 lb stew beef, cut into bite-size pieces
- ½ cup water + more as needed
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 - 4 Tbsp minced garlic
- Wash the cubed beef well, pat them dry with a towel, and set aside in the fridge (please don’t skip this step because it will help tenderize the beef)
- Finely chop the onions in a blender or food processor, until almost pureed.
- Transfer the onions to a heavy pot and cook on medium heat until they are dry and have turned a reddish-brown color. Add the water and berberi. Cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring periodically, adding more water if needed, so the sauce doesn't get dry (this process allows for the berberi to become less bitter)
- Add the meat to the sauce and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, adding a little water, if needed, to prevent the onions and meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- After an hour or so of simmering, add the butter, salt, and more water if the sauce is getting dry. Simmer another hour.
- Just before serving, stir the freshly minced garlic into the sauce. Serve with Injera