January 31, 2010


January 31, 2010 - .  

breakfast burrito: amy’s traditional refried beans, fried potatoes, leftover roasted tomato salsa, spinach in a mission tortilla; grapefruit

coffee (beans from central market bulk)

leftover split pea soup and beer bread (see previous); heirloom navel orange

pirate’s booty veggie flavor

ethiopian-themed potluck: injera, mesir wat (red lentils), bamya alich’a (okra), yemiser wat (brown lentils), gomen (greens); dogfish head 60-minute ipa; independence austin amber ale; a friend’s home-brewed lager and vanilla porter; lindeman’s pinot noir. all the beers were vegan, but i just looked up the wine and found that it is not vegan. since the last two red wines i have had were not vegan, i think i’m going start trying to check before i drink!

the injera that we made started out terrible but got progressively better with various tweaks to the recipe and technique until it actually approximated the real thing! even though it’s a pretty big endeavor that maybe none of you are planning to undertake anytime soon, i’m going to share the recipe here primarily to record the improvisations that ended up working. (click here for recipe)

breadnotes: start fermentation three days before you want to cook and eat the bread. bob’s red mill makes teff flour (i’ve seen it in fiesta’s health foods aisle), but if you are in chicago or another city with an ethiopian population, it’s cheaper to buy it at an african grocery store (there are a couple near broadway and granville in chicago). this ended up being the perfect amount for 10 people, although we threw away quite a bit before achieving an edible outcome.mix 4 cups teff flour with 6 cups water, and stir in a packet of yeast. i used tap water at room temperature and rapid-rise yeast. cover with a towel and try not to disturb for three days.

three days later, the mixture should smell yeasty and should bubble when agitated; ours even had tiny yeast colonies floating on the surface. the flour and liquid will have separated, so stir them back together.

this is where the improvisations started. mix in 1-2 cups of whole wheat or whole spelt flour so that the bread will hold together. mix in about a tablespoon of baking soda for extra sponginess. let sit for a minute or two.

meanwhile, lightly oil a crepe pan or cast iron skillet, and find a pot lid of the same circumference, that fits the pan well enough to trap some steam. heat the pan over medium heat until a drop of water dances on the surface. ladle enough batter to thinly cover the surface of the pan. cover the pan with the lid and let the bread cook/steam for a couple minutes, until bubbles start to show up on its top side. don’t flip the bread, but remove it onto a plate and cover to keep warm.

it’s good to have a couple pans going at a time, or else this will take a while!

chocolove strong dark chocolate and crystallized ginger in dark chocolate

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