January 2015. I'm still in shock Oklahoma is still dreary and cloudy as when I left it last week. I know I know, it was a beautiful weekend while I was gone and its suppose to be beautiful again this weekend. A perfect Sunday for a picnic. Wait. Did I just say it was January 2015? Hmmm, maybe the POTUS was right about climate change in his State of the Union speech. I didn't see Boehner clapping about that, but he was probably drunk and cried himself to sleep after that speech. I just got back from Washington DC and had a wonderful time there with my sister and her closest friends a.k.a, her DC family. We ate a lot of foods with our fingers. We went to a Laotion, N.Eastern Thai place called Little Serow, an Ethiopian Restaurant, a Tapas brunch, Shake Shack burgers, hot wings, and made Ethiopian lentils. I don't recall using utensils on this trip. Maybe once or twice. Washington DC is a city you have to really know someone that lives there to really enjoy the city. My sister took me to all her local spots that she's been frequenting for years and they had that Cheers vibe to them. Neighborly, friendly, warm, and inviting with a lot of character. There's a lot of energy that surrounds that city and I LOVE how they just have a huge park, I believe called Rock Creek Park in the middle. It feels more like a national forest than it does a manicured park. Happy to get back there one last time before she moves to the west coast.
For my belated birthday we went to a place called Little Serow. They are a north eastern Thai restaurant with a rotating set menu. It was adventurous, spicy and delicious. Here's the menu just to give you an idea. It came with a basket of shiso, basil, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon radishes, cabbage and daikon root that would continue to refill. Definitely not boring food!
We had leftover duck that I sautéed up with some mushrooms, onions, and carrots. Then I stuffed it inside of a roasted poblano chili that we ate with broken rice. The magic of leftovers!
One night we went to a restaurant that didn't leave us feeling satisfied. So we went to Popeye's to get some spicy chicken strips. There were some strips leftover, so we had a childhood favorite. Fried chicken with rice. I sautéed up some scallions and cilantro, put it on top of broken rice with some soy sauce and sriracha. Leftover heaven strikes again.
Tina and I went to the grocery store near her place and I saw some handmade looking tortillas in the refrigerator section, so grabbed a bag to try it out. For breakfast I grilled the tortillas on the flame of the stove top, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes and tomatillo salsa together and poured it on top of the tortilla. Next came the poached egg and topped with cilantro and more salsa. I love Mexican breakfasts.
Tina, my sister, LOVES Ethiopian food. We both love anything wat. There's a stewed chicken dish called doro wat that I really like and the other dish I like is masr wat, Ethiopian lentils. Tina cooks Ethiopian food more than anyone I know. Actually, I don't know anyone that cooks it. She specializes in the lentil dish. Its actually very easy to make, prepping is the only thing time consuming.
1 cup lentils, soaked for about 30 minutes
equal parts onions and tomatoes, so depending on sizes use 8 large tomatoes finely chopped or processed and 5 large onions, finely chopped or processed
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 1/2 inch of ginger, minced fine
1 cup vegetable broth
4 tablespoons - 1/8 cup of berbere, depending how much of the spice mixture you'd like in it. I like a lot.
In a large pot, saute the onions until they have cooked down and are translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and let that cook in there for another 5 minutes. Add the berbers and heat that through for about a minute. Then add the rest of the ingredients. If it seems dry add more vegetable broth. Simmer on medium low, stirring frequently to now burn the bottom. Should cook in about 35-45 minutes. Add salt and maybe a little more berbere if you find it necessary. I love the stuff, so I think we used a ton of it. Berbere is a spice blend that you can buy which contains about 15 ingredients in it, which is why I prefer to just buy it. It contains things that most people don't keep in their homes. Such as, black cardamom seeds and fenugreek seeds. I have all the spices on the list, but I'm WAY too lazy and bought a bucket of it at the Ethiopian store.