We just had our annual Espanola Valley Opera Guild tailgate party. Santa Fe Opera goers have a tradition of tailgating in the parking lot. It can be quite festive. People bring awnings, umbrellas, tables and chairs and some bring very elaborate dinners. You can even have your tailgate party catered. EVOG’s event was a potluck and we all brought some of our best dishes. (We’re compiling a cookbook for the guild.)The spread was incredible. Jolanta is a marvelous baker and she brought a dark bread with two herbed butters AND the Polish equivalent of sopapillas, a name I cannot pronounce much less spell. But let’s face it – any fried bread sprinkled with powdered sugar is going to be sinfully wonderful.
Susan brought a delicious white sauce vegetarian lasagna. Zena brought a meat casserole that she had made up on the spot. The list goes on and on, summer salads straight from the garden being a favorite. Who brought those great lettuce cups?
And the pumpkin bread? I guess I’ll have to wait for the cookbook.
I could barely breathe by the time I sat down for The Marriage of Figaro. What a great night!
I made an Ethiopian style beef stew served over basmati rice. It was colorful and delicious with some heat to it. I used mitmita and berbere, traditional Ethiopian spice blends. Both have red chili powder so they are hot. Mitmita has cardamom and salt and usually a few other ingredients. I think it can have a dried basil in it but I couldn’t find my Ethiopian spice book to verify that. Berberehas many more spices and fenugreek. Recipes for the blends vary from region to region and probably from cook to cook but these are the basic ingredients. You can find recipes on line to make your own blends or you can get them at www.ethiopianspices.com.
Here’s the recipe:
Ethiopian style beef stew
6 medium carrots, cut into ½ inch rounds
1 bag multi colored baby potatoes
1 large onion, chopped course
6 cloves garlic, peeled, 2 sliced very thin, 4 left whole
2 cups green and purple long beans, cut into 2 inch lengths
1 cup celery, leaves and stalks, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tsp salt
2 tsp mitmita
½ tsp berbere
¼ tsp cumin
¾ cup spelt
1 ½ lb beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch thick pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mitmita
½ tsp berbere
¼ tsp cumin
3 cups vegetable broth
3 cups red wine
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. honey
About 1 cup olive oil
Add spices to spelt flour in flat dish. Dredge meat in flour mixture. Heat 2 T. olive oil in large skillet over medium to medium high heat. In two or 3 batches, brown meat on all sides. Keep heat as high as you can to brown the meat but WITHOUT burning the flour. Do not crowd the meat. Make as many batches as you have to adding more olive oil as needed. Remove each batch and keep warm in oven until next step.
After the meat is browned, heat 2 T olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat . Add carrots and potatoes, cover and sweat the vegetables for 8 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure they are sweating but not sticking or frying!
After 8 minutes, add the celery, onion and the garlic. Stir and cover for about 3 minutes.
Add the spices, sprinkling over the whole dish so they don’t clump. Stir and then add the wine and broth. Bring to boil, turn down and simmer until vegetables are soft and meat is tender about 1 ¼ hours. Check frequently and add more wine or vegetable broth if it dries out too much before it’s done.
Serve over basmati rice.