It doesn’t matter if you celebrate the Fourth of July as it is intended. You can show off you culinary skills in a Native way with these Native grilled foods.

Photo by Andi Murphy

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate the Fourth of July as it is intended. You can show off you culinary skills in a Native way with these Native grilled foods.

Have a Native Grilled Food Feast this Fourth of July

When we think about grilling, we think about hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and chicken. How about grille Native food?

The Fourth of July is like the grilling championships. Whether or not you celebrate the “birth” of the United States, it’s a great three-day weekend to spend with family and show off your outdoor culinary skills.

When we think about grilling, we think about hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and chicken. Those are all well and tasty, but I wanted something a little different. I decided that my friends and I would cook Native foods on the grill. I don’t know why I call this “different” because it’s our, Native food.

“What are Native foods?” we pondered; trying to pull ourselves away from visions of hot dogs.

50-Must-See-Native-American-Movies-Perfomaces-Cover

Download Today! 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!


Corn. That’s a start.

Squash. Yes.

We live in the city, so we couldn’t get as Native and intricate as we wanted, but we came up with a pretty tasty menu with lots of vegetables.

Three Sister’s salad, wild rice, potato salad, salmon, bison burgers and frybread.

Grilled butternut squash can be enjoyed by itself or in a Three Sisters salad with corn and beans. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

Grilled butternut squash can be enjoyed by itself or in a Three Sisters salad with corn and beans.

Above is grilled butternut squash. We cut some of these slices up for the Three Sisters salad, which is squash, corn and beans.

I’m not a nutritionist, but I imagine this meal is a lot healthier than meats in sauce and salads with mayonnaise and whipped cream bases. We kept everything simple with olive oil, salt and pepper and a few fresh herbs from the garden.

This simple potato salad is perfect for a Native grilled cookout. It has grilled potato, scallion, olive oil, salt, and fresh sage. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

This simple potato salad is perfect for a Native grilled cookout. It has grilled potato, scallion, olive oil, salt, and fresh sage.

My dad put a potato on the grill a few years ago and it’s been on our family cookout menu ever since. Small- to medium-sized potatoes that are cut down the middle, lengthwise cook very well on the grill when the temperature is low.

I also had a potato salad at a Belgian restaurant once. And the simplicity of it (potato, green onion, olive oil and salt) really did the potato justice and I never forgot it. So I thought I’d keep it simple at this cookout too.

A little bit of fresh sage gives this potato salad an extra bit of earthiness.

Before grilling, squeeze some lemon on your salmon filet. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

Before grilling, squeeze some lemon on your salmon filet.

Before it went on the grill, we squeezed a lemon on a salmon filet. It sat for a few minutes before we drenched it with olive oil and laid it on the grill.

It took teamwork to flip that salmon over without breaking it. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

It took teamwork to flip that salmon over without breaking it.

I had never grilled salmon before, so I was nervous when it came time to flip it over. It took two of us and two spatulas to do the job and we executed perfectly.

50-Must-See-Native-American-Movies-Perfomaces-Cover

Download Today! 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances

Enjoy films for and about real Indians Natives when you download our special free report, 50 Must-See Modern Native Films and Performances!


Oh, don’t worry, I’m getting to the bison burgers.

Bison is leaner than hamburger meat, so be careful grilling it. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

Bison is leaner than hamburger meat, so be careful grilling it.

I had never grilled bison patties outside, but I figured they are just like hamburgers. Not really. Bison has so little fat, the patties stuck to the grill. At that point, all I could do was wait for them to develop a crust that would be strong enough to withstand vigorous scrapping. After a dash of oil, I could move them easily around the grill.

This dish was made using wild rice from the Fond du Lac reservation. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

This dish was made using wild rice from the Fond du Lac reservation.

For the wild rice or manoomin (from the Fond du Lac reservation) I added toasted pine nuts, plumped-up dried cranberries and some tasty butter. This is one of my favorite dishes since my friends and I ordered wild rice from a Fond Du Lac friend last year.

I served it in a grilled acorn squash.

While blue cheese and aioli are not Native, $30 of bison deserved something to make it pop, and it certainly was worth it. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

While blue cheese and aioli are not Native, $30 of bison deserved something to make it pop, and it certainly was worth it.

I thought the meatiness of the bison would go well with nutty arugula, garlic aioli and tangy blue cheese. And, boy, was I right. No, blue cheese and aioli are not Native, but $30 worth of ground bison needs something to make it pop.

The salmon was topped off with more lemon slices and some fresh rosemary. (Photo by Andi Murphy)

Photo by Andi Murphy

The salmon was topped off with more lemon slices and some fresh rosemary.

Our feast of grilled Native foods was satisfying and delicious. We weren’t familiar with how to cook all of the ingredients but with our collective culinary experience, we made this feast one for the books.

If you’re grilling this weekend, what Native foods are on planning to grill?

Andi Murphy, Navajo, is an associate producer for Native America Calling radio program, a photographer and a foodie. Her food blog is titled “Toasted Sister.” She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

This story was originally published on  Jul 2, 2016.

Comments

Comments are closed.

Credit Card Identification Number

This number is recorded as an additional security precaution.

americanexpress

American Express

4 digit, non-embossed number printed above your account number on the front of your card.
visa

Visa

3-digit, non-embossed number printed on the signature panel on the of the card immediately following the card account number.
mastercard

MasterCard

3-digit, non-embossed number printed on the signature panel on the back of the card.

Enter Your Log In Credentials

Send this to a friend

Hi,
I thought you might find this interesting:
Have a Native Grilled Food Feast this Fourth of July

URL: https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/native-recipes/have-a-native-grilled-food-feast-this-fourth-of-july/