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Jenise

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Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:26 pm

Me neither.

A preface: but for the fresh dungeness crabs we can catch ourselves (at least until Japanese radiation catches up with them),I don't live in a special place, food-wise. We're way behind other areas on most things be that restaurant or grocery: established norms in metro areas like Los Angeles where I came from are just trends here, if they've come at all. And where there are lots of small farmers to supply CSA's in Bellingham, whose downtown center is about 25 miles from my front door, none come as far as the rural edge of the county where I live.

I don't have a lot to crow about. But recently a new couple moved to Blaine with their four children. Debbie grew up in Napa Valley (went to the same school as some of the Mondavi kids) and Derek not far from there. But both craved a different existence and eventually they ended up here running a church camp, where recently Derek decided to indulge his newfound love: coffee. So they bought an Italian roasting machine and started roasting Fair Trade/Organic beans about the same time I started a facebook page called Birch Bay Wine and Food Enthusiasts.

Through my page they met a lot of new customers. You can order anything you want for, usually, next day service. She bills me online for pre-orders, but I can also pop in and help myself to any of the bags sitting there for spontaneous customers on an honor system. I've become a fan of Guatemalan as well as Bali Blue.

Recently they built a chicken coop and now sell eggs. A dozen get set aside for me every other week. I just couldn't be happier to have someone like this near by. It's just incredible to be able to buy superb quality stuff from someone just a ten minute drive from home.

Last week she contacted me presuming, rightly, that I'd know something about Berbere. A customer just brought her a five pound bag from Ethiopia and she had a jar for me if I wanted it. Hell yes! So we've been on a berbere kick all week, and this article just dropped into my lap.

https://www.tastecooking.com/ethiopian- ... y-lasagna/

Apparently Italy at some point colonized Ethiopia and a country-wide fondness for berbere-spiked lasagna is one of the lasting momentos. The article discusses that, and includes a recipe.

It's on my to-do list soon!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:33 am

Jenise wrote:Apparently Italy at some point colonized Ethiopia...


In 1936 Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and, in a short nasty (on both sides) war, conquered it. It was freed during WWII and formally reinstated as an independent nation in 1947.
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:38 am

The article hints, but does not come right out and say, that the sheet pasta used for lasagna broadly resembles injera, hence, I think, its widespread acceptance.
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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Dale Williams » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:47 am

Jeff Grossman wrote:
Jenise wrote:Apparently Italy at some point colonized Ethiopia...


In 1936 Mussolini invaded Ethiopia and, in a short nasty (on both sides) war, conquered it. It was freed during WWII and formally reinstated as an independent nation in 1947.


BEfore that I think Eritrea was already an Italian colony. Haile Selassie's (sp?) resistance to the Italians is part of what endeared him to the folks that started Rastafari movement.
Interesting article, thanks, Good point re injera's resemblence (structurally) to sheet pasta.
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Jenise

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:20 pm

Jeff Grossman wrote:The article hints, but does not come right out and say, that the sheet pasta used for lasagna broadly resembles injera, hence, I think, its widespread acceptance.


Yeah, made me wonder if their 'pasta' isn't more like lavash bread.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:13 am

Very nice article, and I want to make this as well. The only aspect of the recipe that really throws me is the cheddar. I'm not sure why that seems weirder than the berbere, but it does. I'll post results if I can get to it this weekend.
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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:08 am

I made this tonight for my wife, my daughter, and a couple we routinely have dinner with. Everyone loved it. It's pretty much what you'd expect - a denser and more spice-driven version of lasagna. I think ours would have been even better if I'd been able to simmer the sauce the full two hours that the recipe calls for, but I started the process too late to take that much time just for the sauce. Even with only a half hour or so of simmering time, the sauce was rich and extremely flavorful. The cheddar didn't really show up in any obvious way, so my concerns regarding it were not borne out.

The article mentions that some cooks put bechamel in it and that sounds like it would amp up the richness even more. It would probably be very good but I think you'd have to serve very small portions. It's pretty darn rich as it is.

As an aside, I went to a little spice store here in Sacramento to get the berbere. They asked me what I was going to use it for and when I said it was for Ethiopian lasagna, they said they're read that article and were planning on making it.

Thanks for posting the link, Jenise! This one's a winner.
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Jenise

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:50 am

Very, very cool!!!

Have you ever made any lasagna with bechamel? I love straight lasagna, but the first time I had one made with bechamel (a recipe of Mario Batali's who said this was the Emilia Romagna way), I was blown away. It's creamier, sure, but it's not richness overload like you'd think, it's just somehow more elegant because you also cut back on cheese. Did you use a standard storebought noodle?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:53 am

And a story: lasagna somehow was missing from my life. Mom never made it nor did anyone I ever knew--until one day I went to a church event where someone brought the most hopelessly Midwestern version you can imagine: hamburger meat, crushed tomatoes straight from the can, and cottage cheese. That was IT. After that I went many years thinking I hated lasagna.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Robin Garr

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Robin Garr » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:22 pm

Jenise wrote:... one made with bechamel (a recipe of Mario Batali's who said this was the Emilia Romagna way) ...

Just for the record, and because I loved her, long before it was Mario's way it was Marcella Hazan's way. It's in her first cookbook. :)
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Jenise

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:31 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Jenise wrote:... one made with bechamel (a recipe of Mario Batali's who said this was the Emilia Romagna way) ...

Just for the record, and because I loved her, long before it was Mario's way it was Marcella Hazan's way. It's in her first cookbook. :)


Didn't know that! And I recently bought the book. Will consult!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:03 pm

Jenise wrote:Very, very cool!!!

Have you ever made any lasagna with bechamel? I love straight lasagna, but the first time I had one made with bechamel (a recipe of Mario Batali's who said this was the Emilia Romagna way), I was blown away. It's creamier, sure, but it's not richness overload like you'd think, it's just somehow more elegant because you also cut back on cheese. Did you use a standard storebought noodle?


Yep - standard Ronzoni noodles.

I've eaten lasagna made with bechamel but never made it. For whatever reason, I've only made lasagna a few times. This recipe might get me making it more often - Ethiopian and otherwise.
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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Jenise » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:07 pm

I love Ronzoni. Best for lasagna, I think--unfortunately up here we don't see much Ronzoni and of what we do lasagna is rarely in the selection.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Ever had Ethiopian lasagna?

by Rahsaan » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:25 am

Interesting. My first reaction was that it sounded like crazy fusion, but then it does make sense. Afterall, plenty of tomato sauces add various spicy/flavorful elements. One of my good friends gave me some mitmita and berbere directly from Ethiopia, will have to try this out when I get back home.

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