Usually with green tomatoes, most people probably think FGT…fried green tomatoes. I had four divas sitting on my kitchen counter. They stared at me and seemed to be talking to me…’Please don’t fry us…we’re tired of sizzling in a skillet…’ So, I said, ‘So, Ms. Smarty Pants, what do you suggest?’ In unison, they screamed ‘Roast Roast Roast…make us into a choowwwwdahh!’ Ok, don’t think I’m hallucinating, although the succulent distinct spice aroma in this chowder could make you ‘see things’…I just like to give even my ingredients personality, plus have more fun in the kitchen!
I’ve also been collaborating with Trish who owns ‘The Mystic Blue Spice Company’ in Arizona. She’s got some unique spice combinations, and, of course, my Bohemian culinary spirit adores incorporating other ethnic cuisine, ingredients, spices, techniques, etc., into my everyday recipes. So, I got some ‘Berbere’ spice from Trish…know anything about it? No? Read on…
Berbere (Amharic: በርበሬ berberē, Tigrinya: በርበረ berbere) is a spice mixture, whose ingredients usually include chili peppers, garlic, ginger, dried basil, korarima, rue, white and black pepper and fenugreek. It is a key ingredient in the cuisines of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Berberé is made from a cupboard-full of herbs and spices, fresh-ground, pan-roasted, and then packed into jars for storage. Among Ethiopian cooks there are many variations of which spices and what amounts. (In the recipe below, ingredients marked “optional” seem to be the least common.) Basic berberé is made by combining roughly equal amounts of allspice, cardamom, cloves, fenugreek, ginger, black pepper, and salt with a much larger amount of hot red (cayenne) pepper. The combination of fenugreek and red pepper is essential to berberé; while one or two of the other ingredients may be left out, the fenugreek and red pepper are must-haves. Milder berberé can be made by substituting paprika for some or most of the red pepper. Berberé is sometimes made as a dry spice mix, and is sometimes made with oil or water to form a paste.
Source: Congo Cookbook
What you need:
5 slices of bacon fried, bacon removed from skillet and crumbled & set aside (for garnish)
2 tbl minced garlic
½ cup sliced green onions and tops
4 large green tomatoes, quartered and oven roasted at 450 for about 25 minutes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chicken broth
1 ½ tsp Berbere spice
2 cups silver queen fresh corn cut off the cob (you can used frozen corn)
4 medium potatoes peeled and diced
2 lb large raw shrimp deveined, shells & tails off
½ cup heavy cream
¾ tsp sea salt
¾ tsp coarse ground pepper
1 ½ cups sliced celery with leaves
What you do:
In a large deep skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and green onions in bacon drippings. Puree for about 90 seconds in a food processor the roasted tomatoes drizzling in the EVOO. Add to the garlic/onion in the skillet. Increase heat to medium high, add chicken broth and Berbere spice, blend and stir cooking for about 3 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add corn and potatoes and cook covered for about 15-20 minutes. Add shrimp and mix in cooking about 5 minutes. Drizzle in heavy cream and blend. Add salt and pepper. Add celery (blending in) about 10 minutes before serving so it will stay somewhat crisp and green. Garnish with crumbled bacon when serving.
©2012 Alice D’Antoni Phillips Ally’s Kitchen