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.
Maple-sage Glazed Salmon with Wild Rice Pilaf and Roasted Poblano Salsa by chef Brian Yazzie (Diné)
Chef Yazzie, chef de cuisine from The Sioux Chef, told me this was one of his go-to dishes. No wonder. It’s such a delicious dish that mixes ingredients from the Midwest and Southwest. It’s also simple and easy to make. Folks from the Midwest will be familiar with the wonders of maple syrup on everything, but here in the Southwest, salmon with maple syrup was questionable, until I tried it. The two go so well together, the first bite surprised me. I’ve made maple syrup glazed salmon more than twice since I took that photo above. I think this is also my go-to dish.
Roasted Poblano salsa
4 poblanos (roasted in oven, outer silk peeled and remove stems)
½ cup white onions (slow sautéed to caramel color)
3 garlic cloves (slow sautéed to caramel color)
3 tablespoons sunflower oil or olive oil
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and blend in food processor or blender. Place in fridge.
Wild Rice Pilaf
½ cup wild rice (rinsed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes)
1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
½ cup carrots (half moon medium diced)
½ cup white onion (small diced)
½ cup corn kernels
Bring vegetable stock to a boil, add wild rice and boil for one minute. Add all vegetable ingredients, mix, cover and turn off stove (sit, covered for 7 minutes). Salt to taste before serving.
Maple-sage Glazed Salmon
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon sage
2 4 oz. salmon
Mix syrup and sage in a small bowl. Rub salmon with syrup-sage mix. Bring pan to medium heat, oil well. Cook salmon 1 minute on each side and place in oven for 4 minutes at 300 degrees.
Chanterelle Honey Seed Tart by Chef Karlos Baca (Diné, Ute, Tewa)
Chef Baca is a forager. So when I asked him to share a recipe with me, I knew it was going to include some ingredients that I probably never heard of before. Luckily, he lives a short, four-minute drive from me in Albuquerque and was kind enough to invite me over for chanterelle honey seed tarts with roasted yucca tips, cholla buds, cactus flower, desert parsley and red chile. It’s like an indigenous granola bar with all the roasted flavors of the Southwest desert I love so much. The ingredients make it a difficult dish to put together, but after that, it’s just a matter of shaping the seed mixture, glazing the yucca tips and taking a few minutes to sit back and admire the finished dish.
¼ cup each of piñon nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, popped amaranth and parched corn
1 cup squash puree (he used an acorn squash)
½ cup chanterelle infused honey (or to taste)
Mix all ingredients together (it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry, so you might not use all the infused honey. If you pick up the mixture with your hands, it should fall apart, not drip) and form into disks or squares. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes or more or until seed tarts are golden brown. Top with fruit.