Thursday, February 07, 2008

Berbere, and This & That

My dad is still in the hospital :( I haven’t done a lot of cooking, so I just have a couple of recent meals to post and a couple of things I never got around to posting.

I’ve mentioned the fantastic Ethiopian restaurant near the hospital. On a recent visit, I purchased a container of their wonderfully aromatic berbere spice mix. I’m glad I decided to buy it, because I don’t think I could easily find these ingredients and make a batch myself.

The red pepper has just a slight amount of heat, mostly in an aftertaste. It was mild enough for me to make Berbere Broccoli, with a few greens thrown in.

I love that my spice cabinet smells of berbere every time I open it!

Under the category of “Still Trying to Love Eggplant,” here is an Indian spiced cauliflower and eggplant, with tomatoes and chickpeas.

I know there’s lots more cauliflower than eggplant, but at least I’m trying.

Veggie Girl recently posted a recipe for Banana Apricot Date Cookie Clusters that looked so good I made them the next day.

Do you know what this is?

It’s hominy. Hominy is not something I eat very often, probably because it comes in a can and I don’t shop the canned veggies aisle. But my cousin told me that one of her all-time favorite salads is Hominy Salad, so I made it for Chase and me awhile back. Here’s her recipe:

Hominy Salad

1 can yellow hominy
1 can white hominy
2-4 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2/3 c. mayonnaise
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of garlic salt

Drain the hominy well. Mix all ingredients and chill. Best made ahead to let the flavors blend.

I obviously used corn instead of yellow hominy and I only used 1/4 cup of mayo. This simple salad was really good and something different to enjoy. Thanks, cuz!

Finally, if you are celebrating Chinese New Year, here’s an idea for longevity noodles. I made this Baked Noodle Nest several months ago.

I cooked spaghetti noodles al dente, then spread them in the bottom and sides of six ounce prep cups.

I think I baked it at 425 for about 15 or 20 minutes. I filled mine with a veggie pasta sauce.

I can’t say the noodles were very tasty, and I wouldn’t serve it as a pasta dish again. I would say these are more for decoration, like for holding some steamed greens or a little bowl of dipping sauce.

I don’t think I’ll make a Chinese New Year dinner this year, but I’m definitely planning on cooking up something for our Sunday dinner.


Romina said...

I hope your father recovers soon. I know how stressful it can be, and I can imagine it's hard to cook.

I've never heard of berbere, but it sounds delicious from the ingredients.

I love eggplant, any which way, even just grilled with olive oil. But I used to hate it, I think it's an acquired taste because it's so bitter. But that's great that you keep trying. It's something I find is very easy to mix into a recipe you'll forget it's there. I had some risotto with it last night, but along with it there were mushrooms which overpowered the flavor, when I was eating it, I didn't realize that there was eggplant!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

looks like a noodle nest for your veggies. your berbere is quite interesting, and i'm wondering what it smells/tastes like, as some of those ingredients are completely unknown to me. i do enjoy ethiopian food. hope your father gets out of the hospital and recovered soon. take care!

springsandwells said...

Oh dear!
I've been off in India, and unable to surf my favorite blogs. I'm SO sorry to hear about your father. I'll be thinking of you! After my grandmother died in November, I have a very heightened sense of appreciation of life and the people I love.

I'm interested in your Berbere. A while back Sunset magazine had a recipe for making it (along with some other dishes) - and I made a bean dish with berbere - but I had to leave out some of the more unusual (and surely important) ingredients. But it was a while back and I'm a must more adventurous cook now, so I think the time is ripe for me to check it out again.

Good luck!

VeggieGirl said...

hominy and berbere... not familiar with either of those ingredients! haha. very intriguing!!

the cookies look fabulous, as does the pasta dish (sorry it didn't taste very good!)

sending well-wishes for your father's full recovery!! hang in there, Diann!!

Veg-a-Nut said...

I love the pasta bowls. Super cute. I have never been a fan of hominy. Maybe I will have to give this a try. sorry to hear your dad is still not home. Hugs to you and Chase!

Rachel said...

I hope your dad is up and about soon!

And I love hominy! It is one of my favorite foods. We buy pearl hominy.

bazu said...

Those longevity noodles are wonderful! And as you know, I am a huge fan of Ethiopian food, so your spice mix looks awesome to me.

Continued best wishes for your father's recovery. Hang in there, D!

Johanna3 said...

best wishes for your father's recovery.

that Broccoli looks awesome as all the other food!

urban vegan said...

Hope your dad is feeling better.

It's always fun to look at regional foods, like hominy. I've heard of it but have never tasted it.

Berbere? I'm sure that comes from the word "Berber." I've probably tasted it since I love Ethiopian food, but now I'll have to look it up. Enjoy your weekend.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

man, i hope yr dad gets well soon.
i love the noodle nest idea. i will be trying that soon.

Megan the Vegan said...

I love the idea of the noodle basket. I'm makes me want to try a chinese fried noodle topping.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Hope your dad is doing better. I know this has been a tough time for you... stay strong.

I love your "still trying to love eggplant" comment. I keep doing the same thing. It's the effort that counts.

And what a cute idea with the noodle nest. Enjoy your Sunday dinner... hopefully outside, it's so gorgeous here in Texas today!

Ashasarala said...

My thoughts continue to be with you and your family. I know how rough this kind of thing can be. Just keep faith that he'll get better very soon!

I love when spices can offer just a little bit of a hot after-taste and not have to burn your mouth off. That sounds really good.

What, exactly, is hominy? Is it a fruit? It looks very interesting.

The noodle basket has to be one of the coolest things I've seen yet. :)

Happy New Year. It's my year you know- the year of the rat!

Jennie said...

I found your site while searching for 'spaghetti nests' and want to say that there is a way to fix the noodle nests so they are edible as well as decorative...As i recall, i found one recipe at, and if you google angle hair pasta nests that may bring that and other info up..But you may have to use pasta coiled into nests aka fideo...check the hispanic section of your maintain the shape while the nests are fried and then simmered in broth.

benning said...

I was just surfing past, looking for information on Hominy. I noticed the lines about eggplant. I haven't eaten eggplant since I was a kid. My mom used to make it - along with other horrid veggies, because it was important for us kids to try everything! - but I never tasted it after leaving home.

The other day, watching PBS, I was watching some cooking show - Easy Meals, Simple cooking, whatever - and one of the dishes this fellow was making was an eggplant lasagna.

He sliced the eggplant lengthwise, creating lasagna noodles, drizzled them with olive oil and spices, then baked them. He had a mixture of Ricotta cheese, also a marininara suace. When the eggplant was done he layered it in a dish with the cheese and the marinara, then baked it.

Although I doubt I'll try it, it did look edible. Looked pretty nice, for a meatless lasagna.

Just adding my worthless two cents.