Jun 16 2008
Cooking Aboriginal Style
For more than 4,000 years, we have cultivated many different kinds of corn! For example, by the 1500s, the Iroquois were already growing 150 varieties of corn, which were used for food and trade. This grain that we find so frequently on our plates was the very basis of the First Nations diet for a very long time. Pumpkins, squash and beans have also been grown for a very long time in our country. We also collect small fruits like raspberries, blueberries and wild cherries.
All these foodstuffs enabled Aboriginal people to prepare some delicious dishes. On June 21, why not celebrate National Aboriginal Day by enjoying a traditional meal?With an adult’s help, you could try to prepare a complete meal, or maybe just your favourite recipe.
A Métis recipe
- 3 cups (750 ml) sifted flour
- 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
- 1–2 tbsp (15–30 ml) baking powder
- Vegetable oil or lard
Gigo-kiniginige (Salmon chowder)
A Sechelt recipe
Six to eight servings
- 4 big cattail roots diced, and cooked in butter (The cattail roots may be replaced by 2 cups [500 ml] of chopped leeks sauteed in a bit of butter and vegetable oil and then simmered for 15 minutes.)
- 5 cups (1.25 L) of water
- 1 1/4 lb (675 g) of fresh salmon cut into large pieces
- 1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) pepper
- 2 tsp (9 ml) sea salt
Method: Simmer the cattail roots in water for 40 minutes. Add the other ingredients and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
Bassitagan (Sunshine Soup)
A Tuscarora recipe
- 2 1/2 cups (625 ml) hulled sunflower seeds
- 6 shallots or 4 heads of wild garlic (with tails)
- 48 oz. (1.4 L) chicken broth
- 1 tsp (4.5 ml) sea salt
Method: Put all the ingredients in a pot and simmer for an hour. Serve hot.
Coureur de Bois Casserole
A recipe of the North Shore Métis
Four to six servings
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs (700 g – 1 kg) of wild game suitable for roasting — caribou, moose, deer or hare. (Beef may be substituted for game meat.)
- 1/4 lb (125 g) salted fatty lard
- 2 medium onions cut in pieces
- 2 cups (500 ml) of cold water
Make some grandfather’s dough based on the bannock recipe.
Method: Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). On the stove, in an ovenproof casserole:
- melt thin slices of the salted lard;
- add the pieces of onion and brown them slightly;
- add the piece of meat;
- add the water — it should be very cold so that the meat retains its juice.
Cover the casserole and put in the oven. Cook at 325°F (165°C) for half an hour, then lower the temperature to 225°F (110°C) and cook for between 3 to 6 hours, depending on the meat chosen. Half an hour before the end of the cooking time, add some sliced potatoes and spoonfuls of dough (see the bannock recipe) to the cooking broth all around the meat.
Omakaki (Frogs’ legs)
- 6 hen’s eggs or 3 duck eggs
- 1 cup (250 ml) corn flour or wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp (2.25 ml) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2.25 ml) freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/4 lb (1.2 kg) frogs’ legs (or chicken wings)
- 1 cup of sunflower oil or corn oil or melted animal fat
- 10 to 15 heads of wild garlic. (You could substitute green onions or ordinary garlic for the wild garlic.)
Method: Mix the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs and add them to the dry ingredients, then mix to make a batter. Add the crushed garlic heads. Dip the frogs’ legs in the mixture. Heat the oil and put the legs in it. Fry them until they are crispy.
Mishimini-Okonass (Apple sauce)
A Mohawk recipe
6 to 8 servings
- 4 lb (1.8 kg) of washed, scrubbed apples
- 1/2 lb (225 g) maple sugar or 10 oz. maple syrup
- 4 cups (1 L) water
Method: Peel the apples and take out the cores. Put all the ingredients together in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 50 minutes while stirring frequently. Serve on bannock.
Enjoy these recipes and celebrate national aboriginal day everyday!