Thursday, February 24, 2011
We are nearing the end of my Oscar Noms series, and I have been looking forward to making this recipe ever since I got my copy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz's awesomely titled Appetite for Reduction. I am really enjoying this cookbook for all its light yet flavorful, healthy recipes that avoid processed foods and hard to find ingredients. You can find pretty much everything you need for these recipes at any normal grocery store, nothing takes too long to make, and the recipes are just perfect for everyday-style cooking. I can't recommend it enough, especially if you (like me) are trying to cut back on the processed foods and maybe even lose a few pounds in the process.
I am a HUGE fan of Ethiopian food, so I was really intrigued to see these recipes for Ethiopian Millet and Mushroom Tibs in Isa's book. Although Ethiopian cuisine is generally very vegan-friendly, I had never seen or tried mushroom tibs before, but the concept made perfect sense and sounded delicious. Although Isa also includes a recipe for Ye'abesha Gomen (Stewed & Sauteed Collards), I didn't make this one but instead simply steamed some collard greens and added only a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to accompany these very spicy dishes.
If you are unfamiliar with millet, it is a gluten-free type of grain high in protein and especially rich in B vitamins. It cooks pretty much the same way you would cook rice - you bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. For Isa's recipe, the cooked millet is then combined with a heady mixture that includes onion, garlic, ginger, cooked tomatoes, and a homemade berebere-type spice blend made up of red pepper flakes, curry powder, Hungarian paprika, cumin, cardamom, and cloves.
The mushroom tibs contain nearly all the same spices that have been mixed into a thick paste together with oil, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. This paste is used to coat the mushrooms before they are baked in the oven, resulting in very intensely flavored, meaty mushrooms. As you might be able to tell, these recipes are not for the faint of heart or palate. These are not subtle spices, but if you're a fan of spicy food, then this should be right up your alley.
Apparently in The Kids Are Alright, Annette Bening's character goes on a rant about heirloom tomatoes. So maybe she doesn't like tomatoes or organic food snobs, but I think she might be willing to concede that these tibs are all right.