Native Cooking Column by Dale Carson

Dale Carson
3/26/03

Pretty soon we will all have to cope with the actual arrival of nice weather. Those of you in the south and southwest are probably dealing with it right now.

The recipes I present in this column are gathered from many, many sources. The other day I was going through some papers and letters from long ago and found some recipes that had been sent to me. Some sounded very good and I just had to make them right away.

When I went to the store for the ingredients I was struck by the overwhelming abundance of products offered to substitute for fats and sugars. It seems that to maintain a sense of nutritional correctness you have to read the labels, read the health books and carry a list that you stick to while shopping. There are so many distractions in the marketplace.

The produce department is where you should hang out the longest. People who eat the most fruits and vegetables have as much as 40 percent less chance of having a stroke among other disabling illnesses. The ancestors ate the right way naturally. There were no warning labels to read, chemical sprays, radiation or additives to make food prettier or last longer while they make you sick.

The fresher the product the better. The natural people ate natural food. They grew strong and healthy until the dreaded white sugar and white flour began to show its ugly face.

Zesty Stew

2 pounds of pork loin

4 fresh tomatoes

1-1/2 cups water

4 cups cubed potatoes (red or new)

2 medium onions, sliced

2 cups of carrots, sliced

1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds (or 1 tsp. dried)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Using a large Dutch oven, spray or coat the inside with oil or shortening. Place the pot over medium heat while you cut the pork loin into one-inch pieces. Add the meat to the hot pan and brown on all sides using a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes and water to the meat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, cook for 45 minutes to one hour at a simmer. Now add the potatoes and other ingredients, cover and simmer another 25 minutes. Check for tenderness and serve.

Interesting Salsa

2 oranges, seeded, peeled, chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1/2 small lemon, seeded, peeled, fine chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind

1/2 small lime, seeded, peeled, fine chopped

1/4 cup chopped green scallions

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, fine chopped

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill for two hours or more. This salsa is wonderful on grilled sirloin or grilled salmon.

Oven Roasted

Vegetables

2 ears of corn, cut in half

3 potatoes, quartered

1 yellow summer squash, cut 1-inch slices

1 red bell pepper, cut in lengthwise stripes, 1-inch wide

1 onion, peeled and cut in half

1 tablespoon corn oil

1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon cilantro

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix corn oil, butter, cilantro, cumin and salt together in a small bowl. Line a cookie sheet with foil and place the vegetables flat on the foil. Brush with the seasoning mixture and cover with more foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Check for tenderness of the vegetables, uncover top foil and bake another 15 minutes uncovered.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Dinner

3 skinless chicken breasts, cut in half to make 6 pieces

1 10-oz. package of fresh button mushrooms

2 large or 3 medium potatoes, all purpose, skins on, cut in 1/2 slices

4 carrots, peeled and sliced in large pieces

2 medium onions, quartered

1 cup of chicken broth

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup good olive oil

Set oven to 400 degrees. Coat a very large roasting pan with non-stick spray or rub with shortening. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, parsley, salt, pepper and oil. Put the onions, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms in the herb mixture to coat them and place the vegetables around the edge of the roasting pan. Place the chicken pieces in the remaining herb mixture to coat them. Put the chicken pieces in the center of the roasting pan and bake all for 45 minutes to one hour. Baste the chicken with some of the pan juices and add the chicken broth. Return all to the oven for 20-30 minutes more.

Easy Chocolate Moose

(Mouse -No - Mousse!)

1-1/2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar, or substitute

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until the mixture mounds softly. Spoon into serving glasses or dessert dishes and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Serves four.

Notes & Tips:

* One dish meals are very important especially during the week if you work out of the house. They are also great for people who come and go on different schedules for dinner. If you live alone, you can make a one dish meal and freeze it in individual portions.

* You might want to try a variation of the "Oven Roasted Vegetables" by putting chicken or another meat in the oven near them. Then you would have a whole meal. The vegetables are quite good on their own though.

* If you want your ship to come in, be sure you sent one out ...

Ultimately "takers" lose and "givers" win.

Look for opportunities, not guarantees.

The hardest years in life are those between 10 and 70. (Helen Hayes)

Its one thing to make a living, quite another to make a life.

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