It meant that I was delighted when his memoir, Yes, Chef!, was chosen as the latest Cook the Books Club selection. And the story of how an Ethiopian child was raised in Sweden and became a celebrity chef in New York is really quite something. In a Sliding Doors scenario there are so many little twists that could have changed everything - if his mother hadn't made it to Addis Ababa, if his grandmother hadn't taught him to cook - so many factors came into play, but Samuelsson's determination is the thing that shines through.
Having read Helen Graves' posts about visiting Ethiopia with World Vision, and the process of making injera, I was pretty keen to have that as part of my Cook the Books contribution. I discovered that Ocado sell teff flour in tiny quantities, but it was enough for me to have a go.
I followed this method, using 23g of teff flour and 60 ml water for a half quantity, every time it specified 1/3 and 1/2 cups. I did a seven day ferment, and it behaved perfectly. It bubbled when the recipe said it would bubble and had a fermented, grassy aroma when it was supposed to. I didn't do the bit with the food processor, because the flour was very finely milled and there wasn't any grainyness to get rid of.
The final addition of the self-raising flour was fascinating. This was my mixture when I added it - sitting just below the 400ml mark.
And this was the mixture a couple of hours later when I was ready to cook them. I guess the acid from the sourdough activated the raising agents in the flour and made it go nuts. Very satisfying.
I wanted to do something that would acknowledge both Samuelsson's Ethiopian and Swedish heritages, and I thought that little injera would be an outstanding base for very Scandi sour cream and cured fish. So leaving the batter a bit thick, I made canapé-sized bites.
|They look like little crumpets|
As a little snack these were perfect. The tang from the injera was the perfect thing with the salty salmon and creamy, sour crème fraiche. I might have to do these again, maybe for Christmas.
The main event, though, was the injera served with Samuelsson's own recipe for Doro Wat and a mustardy lentil salad. The lentil salad was not at all to my taste, but the firey Doro Wat was delicious.
I actually made this right at the beginning of August, but hadn't got around to posting. So now you only have about a week left if you want to join in! But it is definitely worth a read.