Monday 21 September 2015

Yes, Chef! Doro wat and injera

I first heard of Marcus Samuelsson from Joanne's blog - she was publishing some of her recipes on his blog. And shamefully I didn't pay very much attention. They were her usual healthy but delicious-sounding vegetarian dishes but I never looked into who this Marcus Samuelsson was. If I had a mental image of him I guess I imagined he was a vegetarian chef from Minnesota or something. Then I saw an episode of The Taste and realised that he was definitely not a vegetarian from Minnesota.

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
I meant to top them with crème fraiche, gravadlax and salmon roe, but laziness got the better of me and I couldn't be bothered making the gravadlax. I just went more lavishly with the salmon roe.

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.


Angie's Recipes said...

Those sourdough pancakes look fabulous! I would love mine with lots of fish roes.

Rachel said...

I love how you combined Ethiopian and Swedish flavors in one dish. Brava! And I thought you might like this book since it had such a short title. :)

James Pawson said...

Fantastic, I've been wanting to have a go at injera for a while and now I have the perfect excuse :) Thanks!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Angie - they were great!

Rachel - a short title is a big draw for me!

James - you should! It was much more manageable than I expected.

grace said...

ha! no, definitely not some random dude from minnesota!
i think this is great--it's different without being scary.

Debra Eliotseats said...

Wait until you see my attempts at Injera! You will laugh hysterically. Love this entire meal!

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Great minds and all that...however your mind is certainly greater because you went right to the source for your recipe. I should have done that as well because my first batch of injera went into the trash and I had to start over from scratch.

Vicki said...

I loved this book.

I was going to make Doro Wat, but I looked online for where to find Berbere and the closest store was in Tampa. That's an hour away from where I live and I didn't have time to go get it the last 2 weeks. Next time I go I'll pick up some.

Claudia said...

I love those little nouvelle Swedish-Ethiopian canapes! I bought some teff flour, but have not used it as yet. This gives me inspiration.

Camilla M. Mann said...

I still need to track down teff flour, but these look fantastic. Can't wait to try it.

Amy said...

Looks delicious! Great choice for this book!

Simona Carini said...

I love injera but my one attempt, some time ago, did not end well. I should give it another try.


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