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Sunday Night Food Thread (SNiFT)

Join us for yet another Sunday Night Food Thread, wherein I explain how my dinner last night was way, way better than yours.

This man knows where to find injera.
This man knows where to find injera.
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

If you were in last night's SNOT, you might've seen a little old comment by little old me about a little old place that I was little old going to for dinner little old last night.

If you missed it, here is the steakhouse I went to last night.

We started with crab cakes and onion rings and a round of Moscow mules.  The crab cakes were light and crispy and packed with dungeness and king crab, and those onion rings were easily the largest I've ever seen, and the first I've ever had to use a knife and fork on (because I'm classy as hell).  The mules had plenty of bite to them due to the house-brewed ginger beer used to make them; and came in bright copper mugs.

Then came the French onion soup (with another Moscow mule).  I'd never had French onion soup that didn't come from a box with the word "Lipton" on it.  The house-made beef broth was so rich and unctuous and the onions, caramelized and near to the point of disintegrating, it paired beautifully with the gooey emmentaler melted over the top; and, again, because I'm classy as hell, I resisted the temptation to stretch the cheese across the table (even though it probably could do that).

Then came the main event.  I ordered a trio of 4 ounce beef tenderloins and a 12 ounce lobster tail to go with it.  The tenderloins were 4 ounces of their prime beef tenderloin, 4 ounces of their American Wagyu beef tenderloin, and 4 ounces of something called Ohmi beef tenderloin, which has higher marbling then either of the other two tenderloins and is, as the menu said, "graded on the Japanese scale for marbling."

You could literally tell the difference between the three fillets just by the taste and texture.  The Ohmi beef, in particular, you almost didn't even have to chew it, it was so tender.

We also ordered a bottle of pinot noir (Mrs. UT's choice, since she knows stuff about fermented grape juice) from Oregon, which paired nicely with the steak and the broiled Brussels sprouts with Kurobuta bacon.

Then there was dessert.  We ordered bananas foster (and I ordered a glass of port to go with it; again, classy as hell), which they prepared tableside.  And, you know what?  Words can't do this part justice, and, since this is the only part of the meal I have visual evidence of, here's video of them making dessert.

Bananas Foster

And here's a look at tonight's dinner.  I don't know how many of you have ever eaten Ethiopian food, but this is a great dish that I fell in love with when I was visiting Portland a few months back.  It's called siga wot, which is referred to often as Ethiopian beef stew, but really bears more of a resemblance to chili, due to the spices used to make it.

Recipe follows:

3 large onions, minced
3 Tbsp. niter kibbeh (unsalted butter works too)
3 Tbsp. berbere (recipe below)
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
Salt (to taste)
2 c. water (or beef broth works too)
2 lbs. cubed chuck beef

Berbere recipe:

2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
1/4 tsp. whole allspice
6 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. dried onion flakes
5 dried chiles de arbol, stemmed, seeded, and broken into small pieces
3 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

In a dry pan, add the onions and stir fry for 5-6 minutes until reduced, stirring constantly.

Add the niter kibbeh (or unsalted butter) to the pan and stir fry the onions for another minute.

Add the berbere and tomato paste and continue to fry until the mixture becomes dark.

Then add the salt and 1/2 cup of water (or beef broth), stir well, and bring to a boil.

Once it's at a boil, add the rest of the water (or broth) and beef.

Cook for 45 minutes until the beef is tender.  There should be a good amount of sauce generated from this.  If it appears too dry, add more water (or broth) until it's just moist.

Siga wot is best served with a spongy flatbread called injera, but unless you know where an Ethiopian food store is, or have a grocery store with a really well stocked international foods section, your best bet is to just use good bread to serve with it.

Okay, your turn, what kind of food things (or non-food things) are on your mind right now?