Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yummy and Traditional

     Today I've been in the mood for something completely from scratch and totally yummy. So, we're turning more to our Native American roots for dinner tonight. This is a recipe my grandmother used to make, she is Cherokee and Apache, this recipe came from the Apache side and I believe was originally a Navajo recipe. We make a sort of taco using this recipe for the shell, but it is VERY versatile.

Indian Fry Bread

Yields: 4 servings 
Prep time: 15 min 
Cook time: 8 min


1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon powdered milk

1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands


Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump. 

Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about it being round.

In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. You can check if you oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large cast-iron skillet or other large heavy pot.

Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Indian Fry Bread can be kept warm in a 200 degree F. oven for up to 1 hour. They refrigerate well and can be reheated in a 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Imbolc a Celebration of Brighid

This is the season of Brighid,
She who protects our hearth and home.
We honor her and thank her,
for keeping us warm as we eat this meal.
Great Lady, bless us and this food,
and protect us in your name.

 This is a prayer said at nearly every meal in our home in honor of Lady Brighid. Considering Imbolc is the celebration of Brighid it seems suitable to share. Also, a traditional Irish Soda Bread recipe, a featured dish at our Imbolc Feast (and most other meals).

White Soda Bread

4 cups (16 oz) of all purpose flour.
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon salt
14 oz of buttermilk


Preheat the oven to 425 F. degrees.  Lightly crease and flour a cake pan.

In a large bowl sieve and combine all the dry ingredients.

Add the buttermilk to form a sticky dough.  Place on floured surface and lightly knead (too much allows the gas to escape)

Shape into a round flat shape in a round cake pan and cut a cross in the top of the dough.

Cover the pan with another pan and bake for 30 minutes (this simulates the bastible pot).  Remove cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

The bottom of the bread will have a hollow sound when tapped so show it is done.

Cover the bread in a tea towel and lightly sprinkle water on the cloth to keep the bread moist.


Friday, January 4, 2013

With the approach of Imbolc we're cooking Irish and since we are reduced to stove top only as our oven has died. Tonight we made a classic Irish Potato Soup. It's the same soup my grandfather made, a recipe that has been in our family for generations with only minor alteration. Also one of the most popular soups in my house.

Irish Potato Soup


1 lb bacon
1 chopped onion
5 stalks chopped celery
6 large cubed potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans evaporated milk


1. Cook off the bacon, crumble and set aside on paper towel-lined plate.

2. Cook and stir onion and celery in the remaining bacon grease until the onion is translucent and tender.

3. Drain grease and stir in potatoes.

4. Add water to cover potatoes (about 1/2 inch above).

5. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low, simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring often.

6. Stir in bacon and evaporated milk, continue cooking until warmed through.

7. Add salt and pepper to taste.


This recipe feeds my family and we usually serve it with a nice warm Irish loaf with last summers canned jam.