It’s an exciting time to be alive and eating because Native cuisine is booming.
When flipping through indigenous Instagram and Facebook, I see delicious dishes from Native chefs and it makes my mouth water; corn stews, roast duck, quinoa crusted salmon and buffalo meatballs. I don’t know about you, but food photos make my mind go wild. Like fireworks, I can see movement in the kitchen and ingredients working together.
I wanted a piece of that action. So, I asked.
I asked Native chefs if they could share a recipe, not only with me, but with Indian Country Today readers.
So, here are two Native cuisine options to try from Native chefs.
If you like corn, you’re going to like this pudding. It takes the sweetest part of a simple cob of corn and combines it with the beady texture and grainy flavor of amaranth. It was a little expensive for me to make because I don’t regularly keep amaranth and amaranth flour ($8 for a small bag) in the pantry, but it was worth it. By adding a few fresh berries and some nuts, you have a pretty good breakfast.
1 ¼ cup corn stock
½ cup coconut milk
⅓ cup amaranth
4 ½ tablespoons amaranth flour
2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
¼ teaspoon lime juice or to taste
Sea salt to taste
4 corn cobs, roasted with kernels cut off
6 cups water
Cover corn cobs with water and simmer over low flame for one hour. Cover and simmer for another hour.
Bring corn stock and coconut milk to a simmer. Whisk in amaranth and amaranth flour. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens and the amaranth grains tenderize. Whisk from time to time to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the pot from heat and stir in maple syrup or agave nectar, lime juice and salt.
Imagine the savory smells of bison and herbs in the oven mingling with the spicy and sweet aroma of berries and cinnamon. It was one of the best smells I’ve ever had coming out of my kitchen. I had to use dried blueberries, because I couldn’t find elderberries in Albuquerque. I turned 6 cups of water into less than 1 cup of a dark, slightly thick syrup. That’s how much flavor was packed in this glaze. I also sucked on the paper towels that I used to strain the glaze from the berries and spices. That glaze is no joke. And the finished product? Scrumptious. Rustic flavors combined with a sweet reduction of the glaze will have you sharing this recipe with everyone.
½ cup bone broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teasponns garlic powder
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon sage, dried
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¾ cup yellow onion, diced
¼ cup celery, diced
Salt and pepper
¾ cup rolled oats
1 ½ lbs. ground bison
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine all spices, onion and celery. Then add oats, egg and bison. Try not to overmix, but combine well. Add salt and pepper. Spray a loaf pan with oil and press mixture into the pan. Apply elderberry glaze on top and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
1 cup elderberries, dried (or any dried berry)
6 cups water
2 tablespoons rose hips
1 teaspoons orange peel, dried
3-4 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons ginger, ground
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
In a pot, bring elderberries, rose hips and water almost to a boil. Keep it low for 30 minutes. Add cinnamon, ginger, orange peel and simmer for 1 hour, stirring frequently to keep from boiling. Then strain with a cheese cloth. Place liquid in saucepan, add honey and balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and place in glass container and let thicken up.
*Waste not! I didn’t throw out the rehydrated berries, they’re so full of flavor that I added them back to the dish and ate them all.