Category Archives: Recipes

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen

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Cider-Braised Turkey Thighs

I first heard about the Sioux Chef about a year ago when I started following the Standing Rock posts in social media. For me, it’s been an awakening experience- seeing the world through the perception of the Indigenous Peoples of America. After following Standing Rock and the Tribes from North Dakota, I started seeing other Indigenous People from around the world differently. That missing element, the mysteries of the world’s peoples became clearer than I’ve ever known. I’ve always been drawn to different cuisines, native garments, languages, and travel- but for some odd reason I must confess, I’ve never liked American culture. America seemed to lack culture, despite it’s 200-year old history. It needed something beyond the surface.

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Sage and Rose-Hip Roasted Duck; Maple-Sage Roasted Vegetables; Wild Rice Pilaf with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Chestnuts, and Dried Cranberries; Cranberry Sauce.

I’ve been rebellious against everything I’ve been taught for a reason- something was awfully wrong with the big picture. I finally found that missing element last year when I learned Thanksgiving is actually a celebratory feast of ransacking Native villages. It used to be celebrated all the time, throughout the entire year until Abraham Lincoln dismissed all the little Thanksgivings and turned it into a national holiday. I haven’t looked back since discovering this little secret and can’t help not getting as excited about Thanksgiving anymore. Instead, I prefer to celebrate the beauty of the Native cultures which brings me to introduce to you, The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen cookbook authored by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley. Some of the ingredients were hard for me to source, so I remained to cooking the recipes with ingredients that are easier to find in my neck of the woods- Northern New Jersey. To my amazement, the recipes were easy, simple, and utilized a lot of the vegetables I’ve always used, except everything had an earthiness I haven’t sensed before. I can’t even begin to describe it- you can’t write it into words, it’s something you just sense. I recreated a Thanksgiving meal with a fresh killed duck ordered from Gofle Road Poultry Farm. The spices used include Juniper and Sage. Instead of cooking the traditional Colonial American Sweet Potatoes or Mashed Potatoes recipe, I made Wild Rice Pilaf. Here is where I started to recognize the Indigenous flavors of wilderness and fresh cranberries. The cranberry sauce from the cans and bottles seem rather profane compared to the fresh and natural hunters and gatherers version.

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Amaranth Crackers and a Bean dip I developed and made to accompany it.

At one point during this week long cookbook review process- I ventured outdoors to a nearby recreational park looking for acorns but to no luck, I was confronted by hissing squirrels and no acorn supply. I had amaranth in my pantry forever and never knew what to make with it. Here it is cooked (boiled) and then baked off in the oven for about an hour. The end result is a wholegrain cracker like you’ve never had before. I am seeing where the marriage of different cultures stems from after reading and cooking off some of these recipes. I envisioned the Indigenous tribes sharing the three sisters with the Colonists and enslaved Africans. I see the influence in Southern Cuisine, in Mexican cuisine, and throughout Latin American cuisines. It was an absolute delight to see the source of our cultural history and I can’t wait to discover more recipes in the future! You won’t find butter or cattle or even chicken recipes. You’ll find recipes based on the plants and animals that are Indigenous to America, just as they were before the mass immigration wave from Europe began. This cookbook will help you connect to where you’re living if you are here like I am, looking to find new ways of rediscovering your surroundings. For me this cookbook means more than a recipe collection. It’s a piece of America we’ve been longing for and missing. I’ve never felt more American than I do right now, embracing this Indigenous food with the native plants and wildlife that nourishes our bodies.

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Summer’s Vegetable Soup with Wild Greens

The Sioux Chef is cooking off an Indigenous Feast at the Sioux Chef at James Beard House on October 27th. Tickets cost $135 for members and $170 for the general public. You can get a copy of the Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen cookbook via Amazon here.

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Filed under Cookbook Reviews, Dinners at the James Beard House 2017, Recipes, Restaurants, Special Events, Spirit Cooking, Uncategorized

Food for Kids: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kale and Avocado Ice Pops

Kale and avocado ice pops

Kale and Avocado Ice pop

I’ve been waiting to deliver the official recipe for my healthy take on ice pops via the cookbook I’m authoring however given it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and some parents recently asked me for this recipe- I’ve decided to let everyone take a shot at making their own before the book comes out. Don’t worry- you’ll still get plenty of recipes in the actual cookbook and a few comical illustrations accompanying it.

My four year old is the star of my culinary dreams. He eats just about everything. Whether it’s spicy, creamy, fermented, raw, cooked, hot or cold- there isn’t a thing he’s not willing to try- at least once that is. Nothing can be too dangerous or ethnic enough. Discovering new vegetables are always welcomed by Daniel. Alex, his older six year old brother on the other hand- won’t even look at a vegetable, unless it’s part of a lesson plan in school. He’ll look at them, with oohs and aahs- but it ends there. They never eat any digestive play.

As a parent, and being named chef mommy by my kids- how do I explain to other parents about my battle with their veggie intake? I blame it partly to the American food culture, adding the endless commercials for unhealthy snacks and their father’s bad habit of eating junk food and drinking soda in front of them. I had to smarten up and figure out alternative ways to feed them the healthier things in life.

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

The Zoku Quick Pop Maker: make ice pops in 7 minutes

So last year, I figured out how to incorporate the greens into Alex’s diet by blending them into other familiar flavors- delivered into instant ice pops thanks to the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Within minutes, he devoured not one but three ice pops that I made with Kale, avocado, yogurt and honey.

We haven’t made these in a little while- but promise to get back into them before Memorial Day weekend. Until then…here ‘s my recipe for healthy kale and avocado ice pops you can try at home! You can also use the conventional ice pop molds.

Kale and Avocado Yogurt Ice Pops

Yields 6 Servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 avocado, peeled with seed removed

1 bunch of kale, stems removed

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup whole greek yogurt

Directions

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place kale leaves and blanche until leaves are very tender (about 8 minutes). Remove kale from water and place in an ice bath. Remove kale from ice bath after about a minute and place inside a food processor or blender. Pulse for about a minute on low, then blend with the avocado, honey and yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).

Spoon mixture into ice pop molds, place wooden sticks (if you’re using conventional molds) in the center and freeze overnight uncovered on a flat surface. Unmold and serve!

 

 

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Filed under Food for Kids, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, March 2013, Recipes

Oeufs en Cocotte with Cream and Fresh Strawberry Jam

I made this delicious breakfast for my little boys this morning along with my five-minute rice pudding recipe which I promise to post very soon! You can create your own version by adding herbs, vegetables, and substituting the cream if you dare! Some versions of the classic Oeufs en Cocotte require two eggs, however considering the unwanted calories for my gourmand readers, I opted to use only one.

For my little gourmand elves

Recipe: Rina Oh

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients

6 ramekins, buttered

6 whole eggs

1 1/2 cups heavy cream reduced by half

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/3 french baguette, thinly sliced diagonally

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Place an egg in each buttered ramekin, sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper and cover with two tablespoons of double heavy cream. Place in the oven at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes.
  2. On the stovetop in a medium saucepot, add strawberries, orange juice and sugar and mash to extract fruit juices. Stir frequently and reduce until sauce thickens on a simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside in a mixing bowl over an ice bath to cool if desired.
  3. Bake crustini in an oven at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes, remove and smear a teaspoon of butter on each slice, top with a tablespoon of fresh strawberry jam.

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Filed under Hot on the Blog, March 2011, Recipes

Roasted Chicken with Yama Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions

Recipe: Rina Oh

Yields 8 servings

Ingredients

2 2 ½ -3 lbs. whole chickens

1/4 cup grapeseed oil for cooking

1 tablespoon sea salt

fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

8 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 lb. yama sweet potatoes, mirepoix

2 large carrots, mirepoix

1 large white onion, mirapoix

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season Chicken skin and cavity with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan on the stovetop on medium-high (wait until the pan is very hot) and add two tablespoons of grapeseed oil. Reduce heat to medium and sear trussed chicken for about 2-3 minutes on each side  starting with the leg, back, leg, breast until skin is golden brown. The color of the final chicken will be determined during the initial searing. Make sure you get the color desired now! Repeat steps for the second chicken, add garlic and rosemary into cavity and grease chicken with butter. Set aside.
  3. On the stovetop heat a saute pan, add grapeseed oil and cook vegetables on medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes until they start to carmelize. Remove from pan and into a roasting pan. Make a well in the center and add chickens.
  4. Roast in the oven for about an hour and a half. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Quarter chicken, starting with the legs, then breasts.


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Filed under March 2011, Recipes