Skip to main content

Native Cooking

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Thinking about both pow wows and corn at the same time? It's August, they
go together. A friend once needed to make money with a food stand at a
local pow wow. She came up with a really unique, yet simple idea,
corn-on-the-cob! Wow! No one else was selling it.

The silk was removed and husk pulled back and tied so it became a handle.
Then the ear was put on a large grill without letting the 'handle' get
cooked. After a turn or two for a few minutes, the corn was dipped into a
large can of melted butter and passed to the lucky customer who salted and
peppered to their heart's content. Condiments and napkins provided.

If you don't want to grill it, corn is also great boiled or steamed. If it
is young and sweet it will cook faster. Corn's natural sugars turn to
starch very quickly, so its keeping power as a fresh vegetable is not very
good, one to two days in the husk in the fridge is about it before the
flavor really fades.

Leftover corn is quite versatile. Add it to fritters, quiches, cornbread,
pancakes, chowder, soup or even chili. Lets face it, corn is good any way
at all, any time, any place!

Corn has different availability. In the south, Florida mainly, its peak
season is April to June. In New England, New York and New Jersey corn is in
from July to October, with peak times being August and September.

Corn Puffs

1/2 stick butter (or substitute)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

4 eggs (or substitute)

1 cup grated cheese, Swiss or Cheddar

1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil or parsley

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

2 cups corn kernels, fresh or canned

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, milk and salt and bring to
a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, adding the flour slowly to this
mixture. As you stir a ball of dough will form. Put the pan back over low
heat for about a minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let it
sit for a few minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then the rest of the
ingredients and stir well. Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet
two inches apart. Bake 25 minutes.

Baked Fish Fillets

2 pounds of any thick-fleshed white fish like cod or haddock

1/2 teaspoon paprika

3-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

White Sauce

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon dry mustard

Salt and pepper

1-1/4 cups milk

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Scroll to Continue

Read More

1 tablespoon parsley

1 teaspoon chive

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray a shallow baking dish. Cut the
fish into serving pieces and place in the dish and sprinkle with paprika
and lemon juice. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add flour, milk and dry
mustard and whisk quickly. Salt and pepper to taste and cook a minute or
two until thickened. Pour this sauce over the fish and sprinkle with bread
crumbs and herbs. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Homemade Corn Chips

6 cups flour

3 cups fine-ground corn meal

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cumin

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon adobo powder

3 cups water

Mix all the dry ingredients together very well. Add the water slowly to
form a dough. Wrap and chill the dough until ready to use. When ready,
preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll the dough out as thin as you can and
cut into the size you want. Put on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 8 -
10 minutes.

Grilled Buffalo or Elk Burgers

2 pounds ground buffalo or elk

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon ground horseradish

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or A-1

1/2 cup soft homemade breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Form into burgers and
chill covered for up to an hour to set before grilling. Grill until
thoroughly cooked through. These are great with blue cheese (or other)
sprinkled on top

Notes & Tips

After picking at least a half bushel of pole beans, I knew they had to be
washed, blanched and bagged for the freezer right away. I quickly sorted
them by size before blanching since small, medium and large beans cook for
different times. This actually made it easier to do the job and they looked
prettier, too!

When cooking corn-on-the-cob, add a pinch of sugar to the water.

I want to thank all of you who have sent in suggestions and ideas to I am always learning things. Please let me know what
YOU want to see for recipes in this column.

Dale Carson is the author of three books, "New Native American Cooking,"
(temporarily out of print) "Native New England Cooking" and "A Dreamcatcher

For ordering information write to Dale Carson, P.O. Box 13, Madison, CT
06443 or e-mail