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nessa

eG Foodblog: nessa - Dallas, Texas... Feel the burn!

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A note on taking notes as you cook: once you develop the discipline to take those notes, do develop the discipline to organize them somehow while you're at it. It's all right that my cookbooks look and read like lab notebooks, complete with dates, reactions and suggestions. It's not all right that my refrigerator is covered with magnets holding scraps of paper with our recipes-in-progress, some a couple of years old. (Dear, do you remember which magnet has the oven-roasted pork recipe?) Beware! Take heed before it's too late! :laugh:

Hmmmmmm. Maybe I'll have to swipe a notebook from work.....

Nah. My handwriting is possible the worst there is, and its worse when I'm scurrying around the kitchen, throwing spices this way, knives that way...

But you are so right, I do need to organize. Right now I shove the slips of paper into a drawer. I can't find my lemon curd recipe at the moment so that will give me the incentive to get them all entered into the computer, and printed out and put into a little notebook. I've had that plan for a while.....

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Ok, I'm home now, and I'm seeing my better half off to work. Then its off to the Indian grocery store for a few items. Then I'll be back and post pics from today's lunch and I'll get started on dinner, and lunch for tomorrow!

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I've not tried to make injeera yet, teff can be hard to come by, but there are two Ethiopian shops within a mile or so of my house.

I am SO jealous.

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Great blog, nessa!

If you find your way to DC, let us folks on the DC/Delmarva board go. We'd be happy to engage you in a debate as to which Ethiopian spot is best/worst/on the upswing/on the decline/etc.

:wink:

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:angry::angry::angry::blink:

Update: Major storm hits Dallas, nessa loses all power for two hours, right in the middle of uploading pictures.

There will be a *slight* delay then you will be returned to your regularly scheduled blogram

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ok i'll say it-you've cooked up a storm :wink: guess you won't have to worry about supplies though!hope everything's back to normal soon.

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I'm planning on making injeera roll up/pinwheel things for a party in the not so near future.  I'm  still formulating what  the filling will be.  Something to fit its cultural background, I think.  Well,  close, anyway.  It will be fusion food, to be sure.  Maybe a yogurt cheese with mit-mit-a and  thyme?

Only time will tell  :rolleyes:

You might want to try using za'atar, which is a spice/herb mixture. It's more middle eastern than african, but it might add a nice flavor.

I think thats a good idea, since za'atar is chock full of thyme. Splendid!!! thanks!

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I am blessed. In the great metropolis, this is the view I get when I sit down at my desk for lunch.

i7729.jpg

Ok, lunch was smoked chicken and green chile soup.

This was inspired by a soup I had a Central Market. It tastes nothing like it, but its certainly quite delicious. I LOVE soups!

This has smoked chicken legs, roasted poblano chiles, chipotle :hmmm: (notice a theme?) half and half, serranos pecan bits, and a lovely blonde roux. Its rather... spicey.

i7716.jpg

For dessert, a brownie. I am not known for being subtle in my cooking. I don't think that a plain brownie is brownie enough, so I always add chocolate chips, just to get the message across that chocolate is truely a food of the gods. A few seconds in the microwave and its ooey gooey good!

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I needed to get some groceries, so I swung by my local vietnamese shop to gram some stray items for spring rolls. I think they are spring rolls anyway. The non-fried rolls in any case.

I also needed a few things from the Indian grocery. So off I headed. But I looked up and saw:

i7717.jpg

Hmmmmm. Best hurry.

So off I went. Its a good 20 min drive. By the time I got there, the radio was all but screaming "Storms a comin', storms a comin'!". So I hightailed it in, and silently was greatful that I knew my way around the store. I was in and out in 10 min flat. Truely a record for me for any store, much less Taj imports. That included time in front of the pastry case.

As I arrived home, this is how the sky looked:

i7718.jpg

So I went on about my business and started cooking.

It was getting a bit late, so I decided to forgo making spring rolls for tomorrow's lunch and move right on to making dinner.

Tonight its Aloo Gobi Mattar with saffron/cumin rice.

I was hungry and had this samosa and.... something for a snack before I got started. And its a good thing, too......

i7737.jpg

Here are most of the spices involved, before they hit the fryin' pan.

That bottle is asafoetida. Just a pinch........

i7720.jpg

Then here they are melding with softened onions

i7731.jpg

And here is the finished product.

i7730.jpg

The rice starts with being browned in some oil. I'm out of butter. :sad:

Then I added some cumin seeds.

i7732.jpg

Saffron steeps in hot water before being added to the rice.

i7736.jpg

Meanwhile, I lost power. Its a good thing I have a gas stove.

Two hours later....

And the rice is done. It smells like heaven. This is my first time cooking with saffron. It won't be the last.

i7733.jpg

During the rather lengthly blackout, I lit candles and treated myself to some tea and a sweet. I used one of the antique tea cups that I collect. I swear, tea tastes better in them. I know its just psychological but I'll take it. I had a lovely yerba mate' blend. I felt much restored, but really not much like eating. Well, eating more, anyway. :raz:

i7738.jpg

Thats it for the night, its past midnight :wacko:

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I'm glad your power is back on. Had you lost power for the rest of the day, we would have all worried about you. Sleep well.

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Thanks for such a wonderful blog. Those clouds looked bad -- glad you braved the weather so you could cook dinner. :wink:

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Oooops, I forgot to post this last night,

this is injeera:

i7735.jpg

Now, someone PLEASE turn the lights out.....

Off to work. :sad:

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Saffron rocks - it's one of the reasons that I'm always looking for an excuse to make paella or boullabaise.

What does "Diet Rockstar Energy Drink" taste like?

If you can find someone at the Ethiopian restaurant who speaks English, inquire if they will do the Ethiopian coffee ceremony for you. It usually runs about $12 - $16 for four people and is best done with a group. It's a cultural tradition and dictates a very specific way of roasting, grinding, brewing and serving the coffee. Do it when you have time to relax and enjoy as it's not for those who are in a hurry to get anywhere. The coffee is always delicious.

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What does "Diet Rockstar Energy Drink" taste like?

If you can find someone at the Ethiopian restaurant who speaks English, inquire if they will do the Ethiopian coffee ceremony for you. It usually runs about $12 - $16 for four people and is best done with a group. It's a cultural tradition and dictates a very specific way of roasting, grinding, brewing and serving the coffee. Do it when you have time to relax and enjoy as it's not for those who are in a hurry to get anywhere. The coffee is always delicious.

Well, it tastes a little like a liquid, carbonated flinstone vitamin, only better. but not by much. Its nice and tart and perhaps has some berry overtones.

One of the Ethiopian grocers carries green coffee beans, and the roasting equipment. I've been pondering giving that a shot sometime.....

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Before work, I had an iced coffee, topped decadently with whipped cream. I figured that on 4 hours of sleep, I was more than entitled.

i7766.jpg

I had a very interesting breakfast this morning.

While at the Vietnamese store yesterday, I picked up some fried tofu, and this bananna leaf wrapped bundle. I don’t know what they are called.

Actually I picked up two varieties of the bundle. This one has sweet rice wrapped around an adzuki bean and banana middle. Its mostly sweet with just a touch of savory, and a subtle hint of coconut. The fried tofu I marinated with some mushroom soy sauce overnight.

The inside of the tofu was a lovely custardy/scrambled egg texture. Quite nice, actually.

I nuked the two for about 45 seconds and devoured them.

Naturally, I had some coffee to go with. In hindsight, perhaps some green tea would have been better.

Here it is, in its banana leaf glory

i7767.jpg

Deglorified :biggrin: with a chunk of fried tofu.

i7768.jpg

And split open so you can see its inner light and goodness.

IMG]http://images.egullet.com/u13890/i7769.jpg

Last night I sent the SO off to work with more brisket and fixin’s

The rest I’ll probably freeze for later in the month.

I’m running low on frozen dinners and lunches. I like to make my own.

The SO and I have very different schedules most the time so the frozen meal has been a boon. I tend to bulk cook (as if you had not noticed) for a week or so and stock up on meals. Then I replenish by cooking a new dish a couple times a week, either to freeze or not. Gotta have variety!

Also, the SO and I have different tastes in food. This way I can have my Indian/etc. food all safely frozen for lunches or dinners when I have to spend them alone, or when I’m just sick to death of Mexican food.


Edited by nessa (log)

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As far as the weather goes, they are predicting worse storms tonight. And last night's was the worst in over a decade. Joy. I predict we will lose power, so I'll try to post as early as possible, just in case. If we do lose power, no worries, I can still post from work, though pictures will have to be edited later.

I might have a field trip or two lined up this week. I'm planning on going to Central Market with a friend of mine, and then perhaps to the Jasmine Market. I'll update as soon as things are solidified.

So stay tuned, and batten down the hatches!

And thanks so much to everyone for your kind comments and encouragment.

This blogging thing ain't half bad. Pays well too.... :laugh:

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Spring rolls are fried, Summer rolls are the salady kind. At least around my parts.

Regarding storms: we actually turned off the computers yesterday as it was thunderstorming with a tornado warning :shock: in our area of the country. This is very unusual. I don't ever remember a tornado warning this close to NYC before (NE Bergen County, NJ).

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Spring rolls are fried, Summer rolls are the salady kind. At least around my parts.

In my neck of the woods the Viet restaurants just call them spring rolls if they're uncooked and fried spring rolls if they're fried.

Hmmmm... Flintstoney vitamin taste - sounds like a watered down version of the "Can of Whup-Ass" beverage that I tried (just a sip - it was too disgusting to drink more than that).

Great blog 'Nessa. What's up with the "pays well"? I bet they've doubled or tripled that pay rate since I did mine (what's 3 X 0?).

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I believe that the Vietnamese refer to the unfried kind as Goi Cuon (sounds like, in my very bad vietnamese accent, Goy Kwan) and the fried spring rolls as Cha Gio (sounds like Chai Ya). At least, this is so in the region that my co-workers are from.

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Great blog, nessa! I'm incredibly jealous of all your convenient ethnic markets.

Here are most of the spices involved, before they hit the fryin' pan.

That bottle is asafoetida.  Just a pinch........

i7720.jpg

As to the asafoetida... I've been cooking tons of Indian food lately, but, try as I might, I just can't get past the smell of the asafoetida. Even though the dish ends up perfectly delicious, if it smells of stale cat pee it just lowers the enjoyment factor some. Does it bother you at all? Maybe the just a pinch is the key (although I don't think most recipes call for very much).

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Great blog, nessa! I'm incredibly jealous of all your convenient ethnic markets.

As to the asafoetida... I've been cooking tons of Indian food lately, but, try as I might, I just can't get past the smell of the asafoetida. Even though the dish ends up perfectly delicious, if it smells of stale cat pee it just lowers the enjoyment factor some. Does it bother you at all? Maybe the just a pinch is the key (although I don't think most recipes call for very much).

We are discussing this very thing here:

Asafoetida thread

The raw smell reminds me of onions just about to rot. But I swear as soon as it hits the oil, (and it needs to) the chemistry changes and the aroma simply enhances the dish. As I understand it, its exceedinly rare to just use raw asafoetida, it needs to be cooked in oil first. Or roasted on a hot pan, but I'm not entirely sure about that.

I only used a pinch in the aloo dish, and next time I will use more for sure.

Dallas is indeed culturally blessed. Not only is there the huge Taj imports, but there are a plethora of smaller mom and pop shops sprinkled around the area that often have things that Taj doesn't.

Dallas is a dream come true for me, I discover a new ethnic shop just about once a month, at least. Some months I hit the jackpot and find 3 or 4.

Now, I'm not using ethnic in any derogatory way, in case anyone is offended by its usage, just using it as an umbrella term for the diverse cultures that all coexist in the Dallas metroplex.

I'm truely becoming spoiled.

And to top it all off, we have two Central Markets! :wub::wub:

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Just wanted to say that nessa's Foodblog has been added to the eGullet Foodblog index, which you can find pinned to the top of this forum.

Regards,

Soba

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Tonight its Aloo Gobi Mattar with saffron/cumin rice.

Thanks for deciding what I'm going to have for dinner tonight! That looks real good. Yes, the asafoetida smells like something you might find on your shoe, but remember you usually only need a wee little bit. I don't find it affects the smell of the finished dish in any negative way.

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Its in a questionable part of town, but in the same complex as a cop shop so I think its pretty safe.

Cop shop must mean something different where you live.

Is that a mini-police station?

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