The very first time I visited Columbus, Ohio I took notice of the places in the campus area to eat. After all, I would soon be moving to that very area - knowing what there is to eat is always key to me.
One of the top two that jumped out at me and had me excited to try it was a restaurant called Blue Nile. Ethiopian food in central Ohio wasn't exactly what this Virginia girl was exactly expecting. My husband is the very definition of a picky eater so there was no chance that he would ever eat there so I would just have to wait for my opportunity.
While I waited for my moment to pounce I did actually hear someone's opinion of the restaurant. A neighbor of ours that can only be described as a pompous, pushy, annoyingly, know-it-all told me it was disgusting. I don't remember him even being able to tell me what he ate while he was there. Knowing this fella', there was a very real chance that he was just blowing more of the hot air we'd come to associate with him.
My chance finally arose. Two women I knew from a local yarn shop (or LYS to those of you in the fiber community and knitting-know) wanted to meet for lunch. I don't remember whose idea it was to meet at the Blue Nile and I really don't care. I was just ecstatic to finally be going.
One of the other women had also never tried the food there but the other had been going for years and was able to offer us some gentle guidance about what certain words on the menu meant.
Four or five years later and I still jump at an opportunity to eat at Blue Nile. I've moved further away though so the food isn't as quickly accessible as it once was.
For today's kitchen test I will be attempting to make a dish similar to one of my favorites at Blue Nile. Brought on by a desire to go as well as a little girl decidedly becoming fussy about eating vegetables (she's never been picky before) - now seemed like a good time to find an Ethiopian recipe to test out at home.
I only had one large carrot left from making yet another bath of Vietnamese pickled vegetables to try to add to the amount of veggies my little lamb is eating.
Shred a head of cabbage and wash thoroughly.
Dice five potatoes. I like to let mine soak after I rinse them a couple of times to rid them of as much excess starch as possible.
I probably didn't slice it as thinly as the recipe really wanted but I was happy with the thickness.
Cook your carrots for about five minutes on medium heat until they are nice and hot. I didn't have any onions :(
Add cabbage and spices. Allow this to cook for around fifteen to twenty minutes.
By the time you are ready to add the potatoes you should have the wonderful smell of your spices wafting in the air.
Cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are soft.
Serve and eat.
Was it exactly like Blue Nile? Well, no - it wasn't going to be because they don't include carrot and potato. The dish was however, very good. It's just really, really too bad I didn't have onions because that would have made it just about perfect.
Did the decidedly picky eater decide to join in on the Ethiopian noms for the evening? She had seconds!