Yea! The BFM (Boise Farmers Market) opened today for it’s 2019 season at their new location at Shoreline Drive and Americana in Boise. It was cold. No rain, though. And it was crowded. They did have treats for everyone as pictured here – Ham and Cheese Croissant – and other “goodies”. Dignitaries were there – Head of the Boise Chamber of Commerce, the BFM President and Mayor Dave Bieter. Great to have them all at the Grand Opening. Thank-You!
Kibrom’s Ethiopian and Eritrean Restaurant at 3506 W State St, Ste 100, Boise, Idaho. (208) 703-0564. Eritrea, “Eritrea (/ˌɛrᵻˈtreɪ.ə/ or /ˌɛrᵻˈtriːə/;, officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the East Africa. With its capital at Asmara, it is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast.” [Wikipedia] We were pleasantly surprised by this totally different cuisine. “Ethiopian cuisine (Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ምግብ?) characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes. This is usually in the form of wat (also w’et or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is about 50 centimeters (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. Ethiopians eat exclusively with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. Utensils are optional…The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting (tsom, Ge’ez: ጾም ṣōm) periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season, so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan… typical dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, lamb, vegetables and various types of legumes, such as lentils. Gurage cuisine also makes use of the false banana plant (enset, Ge’ez: እንሰት inset), a type of ensete. The plant is pulverized and fermented to make a bread-like food called qocho or kocho (Ge’ez: ቆጮ ḳōč̣ō), which is eaten with kitfo. The root of this plant may be powdered and prepared as a hot drink called bulla (Ge’ez: ቡላ būlā), which is often given to those who are tired or ill. Another typical Gurage preparation is coffee with butter (kebbeh). Kita herb bread is also baked. Pasta is frequently available throughout Ethiopia, including rural areas. Coffee is also a large part of Ethiopian culture and cuisine. After every meal, a coffee ceremony is enacted and espresso coffee is served. Ajwain or radhuni, korarima, nigella and fenugreek (clockwise, from top) are used with chilies and salt to make berbere, a basic ingredient in many Ethiopian dishes.
Berbere, a combination of powdered chili pepper and other spices (somewhat analogous to Southwestern American chili powder), is an important ingredient used in many dishes. Also essential is niter kibbeh, a clarified butter infused with ginger, garlic, and several spices.
Mitmita (Amharic: ሚጥሚጣ?, IPA: [mitʼmitʼa]) is a powdered seasoning mix used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It is orange-red in color and contains ground birdseye chili peppers (piri piri), cardamom seed, cloves and salt. It occasionally has other spices including cinnamon, cumin and ginger…In their adherence to strict fasting, Ethiopian cooks have developed a rich array of cooking oil sources—besides sesame and safflower—for use as a substitute for animal fats which is forbidden during fasting periods. Ethiopian cuisine also uses nug (also spelled noog, also known as “niger seed”).
Alcohol – Tej is a potent honey wine. It is similar to mead, which is frequently served in bars (in particular, in a tej bet or “tej house”). Katikala and araqe are inexpensive local spirits that are very strong.
Tella is a home-brewed beer served in tella bet (“tella houses”) which specialize in serving tella only. Tella is the most common beverage made and served in households during holidays.” [Wikipedia]
We saw no alcoholic beverages listed on the house menu. I hope this attempt at demystifying the Ethiopian cuisine helps. It is good and the restaurant can be a fun place. I would suggest going with friends or a small group. Here are some photos of our meal. Enjoy!
Please note: The bread like addition to the next two plates is as common as Wonder Bread and is known as, “Injera (Amharic: ənǧära እንጀራ [ɨndʒəra]; sometimes transliterated as enjera; Oromo: bidenaa; Somali: canjeero) or taita (Tigrinya: ጣይታ) is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is a national dish in Ethiopia and Eritrea. A similar variant is eaten in Somalia and Djibouti (where it is called canjeero or lahooh), as well as Yemen (where it is known as lahoh) and Sudan (where it is known as kisra).” [Wikipedia]
We had a great experience and meal last night at the Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Nouveau, 780 W Idaho Street, Boise; (208) 367-1111 and they do take reservations. Really a superb meal. Good to meet our friend, Patty Dorr there and to have a meal with her. Good ambiance in the restaurant; good service without being “pushy”. Here is their website. Just Click This Link. There are downloadable menus on their website for you to printout or just look at. You will get a good idea of what they offer. Weather permitting, they do have a patio for your use. The parking garage is right across the street. Here is what we had and it was all good. Cheers! We will return to Pho Nouveau! On TripAdvisor I rated this restaurant 5-Stars. Which was the best appetizer or entree? Actually, they were all good – I would have any of them again!
Oh! Such a treat! Our daughter Marnie and her husband Mac were in Virginia for several days and she texted me, “Do you want some soft shelled crabs?” Silly girl! Of course! Was there ever a question? Nope! So when they arrived back in Boise at 12 midnight, she brought the crabs to us. Still 98% frozen in dry ice. Straight to the refrigerator to hold for 24 hours. And were they ever yummy! Add to the sandwiches a glass of 2009 Cold Springs phren/ology Riesling and we had an awesomely good meal!! A super good wine and a super good sandwich! Just look at what we did.
Scrapple is an acquired taste. It has been described as “everything from the pig except the oink!” We have our scrapple shipped in from Ralph and Paul Adams, Rapa Brand Scrapple in Philadelphia. I’m a purist. I like the original scrapple and will probably leave the turkey scrapple alone. Wikipedia says,
Scrapple, also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name panhaas or “pan rabbit,” is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal and wheat flour, often buckwheat flour, and spices. The mush is formed into a semi-solid congealed loaf, and slices of the scrapple are then pan-fried before serving. Scraps of meat left over from butchering, not used or sold elsewhere, were made into scrapple to avoid waste. Scrapple is best known as a rural American food of the Mid-Atlantic states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Scrapple and panhaas are commonly considered an ethnic food of the Pennsylvania Dutch, including the Mennonites and Amish. Scrapple is found in supermarkets throughout the region in both fresh and frozen refrigerated cases.
Scrapple is typically cut into quarter-inch to three-quarter-inch slices and pan-fried until brown to form a crust. It is sometimes first coated with flour. It may be fried in butter or oil and is sometimes deep-fried. Scrapple can also be broiled; this is a good cooking method for those who like their scrapple crisp. Scrapple is usually eaten as a breakfast side dish. It can be served plain or with either sweet or savory condiments: apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, or mustard. The state of Maryland is particularly in favor of scrapple topped with grape jelly. In some regions, such as New England, scrapple is mixed with scrambled eggs and served with toast. In the Philadelphia area, scrapple is sometimes fried and then mashed with fried eggs, horseradish, and ketchup.
History and regional popularity
The roots of the culinary traditions that led to the development of scrapple in America have been traced back to pre-Roman Europe. The more immediate culinary ancestor of scrapple was the Low German dish called panhas, which was adapted to make use of locally available ingredients, and it is still called “Pannhaas,” “panhoss,” “ponhoss,” or “pannhas” in parts of Pennsylvania. The first recipes were created by German colonists who settled near Philadelphia and Chester County, Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. As a result, scrapple is strongly associated with rural areas surrounding Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, eastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula. Its popularity on the Delmarva Peninsula is celebrated the second weekend of October during the annual “Apple Scrapple Festival” in Bridgeville, Delaware. In composition, preparation, and taste, scrapple is similar to the white pudding popular in Ireland, Scotland, and parts of England and the spicier Hog’s pudding of the West Country of England.
Why do I like it? Because I come from Delaware, about 15 miles south of Philadelphia, and my Dad was Pennsylvania Dutch. Here is how I make it. Remember – Use a good, non-stick pan to cook the scrapple and over high heat and about 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, Crisco. Form a brown crust before trying to turn the scrapple over. If not, it may all fall apart. Here are some photos of scrapple preparation. Cheers!
Yes! Even at 12 degrees here in Boise, we still have an outlet for those wonderful locally produced foods. Get to know your local farmers, and they will probably be able to get you some of their product that is not available in the stores. For instance, Ed Wilsey, Homestead Natural Foods, is looking into 1 1/2″ bone-in pork chops for me so I can stuff them. Yum! Here is a link to the Winter Boise Farmers Market Newsletter. Great information resource for places that sell local foods. Enjoy!
Do you like tea? Speciality teas? Here is a great site to purchase some of those “out-of-the ordinary” teas. Look at LusTea for these teas. Owned and operated by Christine Lusty, married to Robin’s cousin, LusTea Cafe is located in Livermore, CA. Here is a brief description from the website. There is also a permanent link to LusTea in the sidebar. Look for their business card. Cheers! Christine’s updated EMail is Christine@LusTeaCo.com. The one here on the graphic is not correct.
LusTea prides itself on it’s simply elegant flavors, perfect for the refined palette that enjoys a distinct essence in their cup. Even those who profess they are not tea drinks have found a blend to invigorate their senses.
Excellent hot or iced down to sooth you on those sweltering afternoons, and with new teas being added regularly, LusTea is sure to have a something to seduce your senses.
We look forward to serving you soon!
For some reason when I was watching one of the Foodnetwork or Cookingchannel programs, I got “hung up on” sofrito. Almost every cuisine has their own variation on mirepoix. French, probably the best known, is a mixture of carrot, celery and onion that is lightly braised, or sweated. In Cajun cuisine, it is called the Holy Trinity and made up of onion, bell pepper and celery. It can also have garlic, parsley and a variety of other herbs in it.
The Puerto Rican sofrito, also called recaito,
Recaito is a green aromatic puree of onions, culantro (recao) leaves, garlic, green peppers and ajies dulces (small sweet chile peppers).
In Puerto Rico, recaito is used as the base seasoning known as sofrito. When preparing Puerto Rican cuisines, you may notice it called by either name.
Notice the absence of tomatoes. Typically, Puerto Ricans do not add tomatoes to their recaito. Sofrito recipes that do include tomatoes or tomato paste, sauce or juice are generally for Dominican, Cuban, Spanish, Italian, and other Mediterranean cuisines … What is Sofrito?: Simply put, sofrito is a fragrant blend of herbs and spices used throughout the Caribbean, especially Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. It’s used to season countless dishes of stews, beans, rice, and occasionally meat. In most cases, it is the foundation upon which the rest of the recipe is built. Sofrito mixtures range in color from green to orange to bright red. They also range in flavor from mild to pungent to spicy.
Hundreds of recipes from the Latin Caribbean and other Latin American countries begin by instructing the cook to “make a sofrito”. It’s the first thing to go into the pot and establishes the flavor and seasoning of what’s to come. It is integral to Latin cuisine, which makes it difficult to believe that sofrito did not originate in, nor is it exclusive to Caribbean or Latin American cookery. [AboutdotCom- Latin Caribbean Food]
2 medium green bell or Cubanelle peppers, seeds removed
2 medium onions, peeled
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 bunch culantro leaves
6 ajies dulces (small sweet chile peppers)
1. Chop and blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Ingredients: Cubanelle Peppers are also called Italian frying peppers. Removing seeds from the ajies dulces is optional.
How to Use It: Recaito is normally used as the starting base of soups, stews, beans and rice dishes. It is first sautéed in annatto oil or lard, and then the other recipe ingredients are added. However, there are other recipes where the recaito can be added toward the end of cooking time to add a finishing touch to the recipe. [AboutdotCom- Latin Caribbean Food]
The recipe calls for culantro leaves which are like a strong cilantro. It is suggested that if you can not find these leaves to use cilantro. It will be milder. There is a lot of information here. I hope you enjoy it. Cheers!
Yes, Hot! And probably one of the hottest is the Bhut Jolokia from India. I lived in India – in the state of Rajasthan in a town called Pilani – for a year in 1955 and don’t remember this spice. There might be a reason for that. Left-Click this graphic to see the Scoville Scale. And look for the Trinidad Scorpion. It is THE hottest pepper known to Chiliheads!
The hottest pepper on the planet, ‘Bhut Jolokia’ measures a breath-robbing 1,001,304 SHU! Hailing from India, the “ghost chile” is tough to grow. “‘Bhut Jolokia’ peppers are stubborn and not for the novice grower,” says Coon. “They are an interspecific hybrid—meaning they are a cross between two different species, which doesn’t happen very often. That’s what makes this one unique and probably contributes to its crazy hotness.” Joe Arditi says, “This is the pepper than can send you to the emergency room.” [Organic Gardening]
The bhut jolokia is a hundred and fifty times hotter than a jalapeño. Gastromasochists have likened it to molten lava, burning needles, and “the tip of my tongue being branded by a fine point of heated steel.” Yet, at more than a million Scoville heat units—the Scoville scale, developed by the pharmacist Wilbur Scoville in 1912, measures the pungency of foods—the bhut jolokia is at least 462,400 SHU short of being the world’s hottest chili pepper. [The New Yorker]
There are several good sources for information on hot, spicy peppers, Organic Gardening as quoted above, and The New Yorker and an article called Dept. of Agriculture Fire-Eaters The search for the hottest chilli in the November 2013 issue. But before we go much further, just where did the chilli pepper come from?
“Chili pepper” is a confusing term, another of Christopher Columbus’s deathless misnomers. (Columbus and his men classified the spicy plant they had heard being referred to in Hispaniola as aji—farther north, in Mexico, it was known by the Nahuatl word chilli—as a relative of black pepper.) Chilis belong to Capsicum, a genus of the nightshade family. Horticulturists consider them fruits, and grocers stock them near the limes and cilantro. Most chilis contain capsaicin, an alkaloid compound that binds to pain receptors on the tongue, producing a sensation of burning. Sweet banana peppers are usually neutral. Pepperoncini (approximately 300 SHU) produce just a flicker of heat, while cayennes (40,000) are to Scotch bonnets (200,000) as matches are to blowtorches. Capsaicin is meant to deter predators, but for humans it can be too little of a bad thing. Because capsaicin causes the body to release endorphins, acting as a sort of neural fire hose, many people experience chilis as the ideal fulcrum of pain and pleasure.
In February of 2011, Guinness confirmed that the Infinity chili, grown in Lincolnshire, England, by a former R.A.F. security guard, had surpassed the bhut jolokia by more than sixty-five thousand SHU. Only two weeks later, a Cumbrian farmer named Gerald Fowler introduced the Naga Viper. At 1,382,118 SHU, it was, Fowler said, “hot enough to strip paint.” He told reporters, “We’re absolutely, absolutely chuffed. Everyone complains about the weather and rain here in Cumbria, but we think it helped us breed the hottest chili.” He posed for the Daily Mail wearing a sombrero. [The New Yorker]
There is more about the “lowly” chilli. Lots more! Read the entire article in The New Yorker about Fire-Eaters the search for the hottest chili. You will be surprised. Maybe Flying Pie Pizza here in Boise will extinguish their Habanero Pizza and have an Indian Bhut Jolokia Pizza or for the brave, maybe a Trinidad Scorpion Pizza. Maybe. I won’t eat it. Guaranteed! But I bet there are some here in town that may want to try.
It was a nice morning at the market today. Slightly cool though, compared to the 90’s we have been getting. I think the temperature was about 58. But clear and the crowds were there – well attended. Here is what I came home with. Enjoy! Left-Click to see the photo enlarged and please VOTE. Thanks.