Monday, December 5, 2011

Eats Ethiopian Style

Near the Wilshire District's Miracle Mile, there is a street called "Fairfax." This was always traditionally a Jewish neighborhood with delis and kosher meat shops up and down it. Today there are seven Ethiopian restaurants crowding in to stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

Our friend Tony was invited by his niece Kim to have dinner at Meals by Genet, 1053 S. Fairfax, Los Angeles, CA 90019 323-938-9304

Tony reported back that guests eat with their fingers. "The bread was served, and resembled a napkin -- so not knowing that, I started wiping my fingers with it -- hey, it felt like a damp chamois! Kin said, 'Unk, that's the bread!"

What did it taste like? "Kind of had a 'wheat' taste to it. But I couldn't get over how that bread felt!"

I googled the menu and the mainstay seasonings on your choice of lamb, chicken, beef and some fishes were quite clearly: onion, green chiles and "Ethiopian butter." Prices for entrees ranged from $14 to $21.

All of the Ethiiopian restaurants offered "Ethiopian butter." What could it be? So I found a recipe.

1 lb. sweet butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 - 3 pieces of 1/4 in. thick ginger root
3 - 4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamin stick, whole
3 - 4 cloves
1 teas. fenugreek seeds
1/2 teas. turmeric (probably for color)

Melt the butter gently and add all of the above. Simmer on the lowest heat possible for one hour. Pour the golden liquid carefully into a container, leaving all of the solids in the pan bottom. Strain it trhough cheesecloth if you have to and refrigerate it.

Now, I would like to see what that tastes like. Tony couldn't remember and I'm too bone-idle lazy to go to the supermarket for cardamom pods and fenugreek seeds. I wonder if you could get a pot of it to go at Meals by Genet?

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