The love of good food is universal.
If you want to break the ice quickly with a room full of strangers, just ask what they like to eat or cook. Ask what foods they ate as a child. Ask what foods come from their culture.
My husband, born and raised right here in southeastern South Dakota, talks with the most amazing far-away look in his eye of “tater-tot hot dish.” : )
I grew up in Florida, with grandparents and cousins in Mississippi, so for me, that look comes when someone mentions “cornbread and butter beans” in the same sentence.
Here in the education office at LSS, we are lucky to occasionally get food gifts from our students who hail from all over the world. There is a special place on a bookshelf where all food gifts are placed, and we all check it daily. : )
Imagine our collective thrill when we walk into the office to see a plate of hot roti, fried bread from Bhutan, or a bowl of spicy vegetables from Ethiopia, complete with injera, the fermented teff flour flatbread Ethiopians use to perfectly sop up the sauce and vegetables.
In Sioux Falls, you probably know there are a number of ethnic grocery stores including: Mekong Asian Market, Mogadisho Grocery Store, La Tapatia Mexican Store, Global Foods, Phillipine Oriental Store, and Thanh Mai to name a few.
I have found all sorts of interesting food at these stores, including fermented bamboo shoots and curry sauces that make your Thai soup taste just like something from the finest restaurant. Stop in these places and look around when you get a chance. It’s well worth the extra effort.
Every year, when Spring arrives, I find myself more willing to try new foods. Change is in the air, I suppose. And maybe some curry! : )
If you’re like me, and the change in weather makes you want to try your hand at some new dishes, here are two recipes to try courtesy of students in Heather Glidewell’s Level 2 English class:
Momo is a specialty dish from Bhutan and Nepal. You can make it at home in 45 minutes.
Bhutanese Momo Recipe
¼ t salt
2 cups chopped cabbage
½ chopped onion
2 t powdered ginger
Coriander, garlic, turmeric, cumin to your taste
1 lb of ground beef or chicken
Chop the cabbage and onion very small. Add the ginger and all the other spices and salt. Mix together and add the meat. Place the mixture in the wonton wraps and pinch close with water. Do this until all the wraps are full. Place in a steamer pot on the stove and cook for 40 minutes. Enjoy!
Ethiopian Chicken Stew
3 lbs. of chicken
½ cup butter
6 cloves garlic
2 T Berbere sauce (a spice mixture of chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, and fenugreek)
2 t sugar
2 t salt
6 hard-boiled eggs
Ethiopian Chicken Stew is infused with a unique blend of spice called Berbere sauce. You can find it at local ethnic grocery stores.
Peel and chop the onion and garlic, and fry together in a pan for 10 minutes. Add the Berbere sauce. Chop the tomatoes and add to the pan with the sugar and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken, cut into pieces, and a bit of water if necessary. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Add the eggs, peeled, and cover until the chicken is done. Serve with injera.
Change is in the air. Happy Spring! What new food will you try today? : )
Posted by Julie Boutwell-Peterson