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Native Cooking Column by Dale Carson

Dear readers, I get many letters and e-mails which I try to answer as quickly as possible. Sometimes it backs up and this is one of those times. I want to give you recipes for specific things that have been requested. The only thing I was not able to find in my extensive resources was "steamed meat pies." If anyone has a recipe for this, would you please share it via my e-mail address at the end of this column?

Someone requested recipes for buffalo tongue and buffalo heart. Fortunately, there is a bison ranch in my state and I called the owner. She sent me several recipes which I am passing along now.

Most tongue is between two and three pounds and is often salted during their smoking. To remove all the salt, parboil for 10 minutes or soak overnight in cold water.

Buffalo Tongue

1 buffalo tongue

1 tablespoon pickling spices

2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 large onion

Salt, pepper and water

Cover the tongue with water in a large cooking pot. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for two to three hours until tender. Serve hot or cold. If serving cold, refrigerate before slicing and serving. Cut diagonally.

Buffalo Tongue Appetizer

Cooked tongue, plain, not pickled, sliced very thin

1 3-oz package of cream cheese

1 teaspoon horseradish

1 tablespoon of chopped nuts

(walnuts or pine nuts are good)

Mix the horseradish and cream cheese together and spread on the tongue. Add the chopped nuts sparingly. Roll the slices of tongue from the root end. Chill and cut into bite-sized pieces. Serve with crackers, olives and/or marinated red peppers.

Crock-pot Tongue

1 buffalo tongue

1-1/2 cup water

1/3 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons salt

2 bay leaves

8 peppercorns

Wash tongue and place in crock-pot. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on low overnight. Serve plain, hot or cold.

Crock-pot

Buffalo Heart

1 buffalo heart sliced

1 package stovetop dressing

Prepare dressing as on box. Place layers of dressing and sliced heart in the crock-pot. Cook for six hours on lowest setting.

Buffalo Chili

3 pounds ground buffalo

2 large onions, chopped

1 pound can of diced tomatoes in sauce

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 25 oz. can of chili beans

1 25 oz. can of light red kidney beans

1 teaspoon cayenne

2 cups ketchup

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons cilantro

1 teaspoon thyme

2 small cans of chopped jalapenos

Saut? the ground buffalo in a fry pan. When browned, add it and the rest of the ingredients to a large soup pot OR your crock-pot. Simmer at least one hour, more is better, and serve. This chili is good on baked potatoes, or plain with a bit of grated cheese.

Dried Corn Soup

2 cups of dried corn

1 teaspoon salt

2 medium onions, chopped fine

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

Water to cover

Soak the dried corn in just enough salted water to cover it overnight. In the morning simmer corn in this water until corn is tender. Now add the chopped onions and a dash of pepper and the chicken broth. Simmer until the onions are translucent. Now add the milk and stir just to heat milk, do not let it boil. Serve hot.

Corn Meal Dumplings

1 cup cornmeal, white or yellow

1 teaspoon salt

1-1/3 cups of boiling water

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon minced onion

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or mace

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, beaten

Flour for dredging

Using a metal bowl, add salt to the corn meal. Pour boiling water over it, stirring constantly. When it becomes smooth and thick, put bowl aside to cool. When cooled, add onion, parsley, nutmeg or mace, pepper and beaten eggs. Mix well and form into dumplings. A heaping tablespoon is a recommended size, but it's your call. Roll each dumpling in flour and drop onto a stew while it is boiling. Cover tightly and let steam for 10 to 15 minutes. This is especially good on meat stews, but I've also made them on bean and vegetable stews, very good.

Wild Rice Johnny Cakes

3 cups of cooked wild rice

1 cup white corn meal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup vegetable or corn oil

In a large bowl, gently combine the rice, cornmeal, egg and salt. Heat the oil in a heavy or cast iron frying pan. Let the oil heat up while you shape flat cakes with your hands. Most should be about three inches across. Brown well on both sides. Take care when turning them over. Drain on paper towels and devour.

Notes & Tips

*When working outside of the house, I found weekends to be great 'batch-cooking' extravaganzas. I made lasagna, quiches, stews and other one-dish meals that could be frozen, and/or divided. Soups, casseroles, pies, anything that would be quick to grab and bake on a late work night.(Also good to have in the freezer for unexpected company.)

*Someone named Steven Wright is credited with some of the funniest statements like...

If you want the rainbow, then you've gotta put up with the rain.

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

What happens if you get scared to death twice?