Sunday, October 16, 2011

Snacking State-by-State: Minnesota III - More things to do with wild rice (or My second attempt at frybread)

Continuing with the wild rice recipes from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, I next tackle the fine art of that most classic of modern Native American foods: the frybread.

Official Name: State of Minnesota
State Nicknames: The Gopher State; The Land of 10,000 Lakes; North Star State
Admission to the US: May 11, 1858 (#32)
Capital: St. Paul (2nd largest)
Other Important Cities: Minneapolis (largest); Duluth (4th largest); St. Cloud (8th largest)
 Midwest; Great Lakes; West North Central (US Census)
RAFT NationsWild RiceBison
Bordered by:
 Manitoba & Ontario (Canada) (north); Lake Superior (northeast); Wisconsin (east); Iowa (south); North & South Dakota (west)
Official State Foods and Edible Things: milk (drink); walleye (fish); honeycrisp apple (fruit); Northern wild rice (grain); blueberry muffin (muffin); morel (mushroom)
Some Famous & Typical Foods: Eastern and Northern European - especially Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, etc) - foods, especially lutefisk; Native American (Dakota, Ojibwe/Chippewa, etc) food traditions; dairy products

I tried to make frybread once before, a few years ago.  It didn't go so well.  Far from being light and lush, it was dense and a bit hard.  I must have done something wrong.  And I was offered help by one commenter, though I didn't make it again until now.  I only hope that Cassie sees this new post, to see that I got much closer to doing it right.  At least right enough for me.

The recipe: Wild Rice Frybread (from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa)

For this frybread, the recipe for which comes from the Nett Lake Wild Rice website, you will need a few ingredients that are probably lying around, plus the already-cooked wild rice.

* wild rice (of course)
* flour (had it)
* baking powder (same)
* cornmeal (the recipe does not suggest white or yellow.  I used white in this case)
* water and salt
* oil for frying

Combine the dry ingredients and the wild rice.

Add some of the cornmeal - see the Nett Lake website for exact amounts.

Add the water and stir until thick and kneadable.  If too sticky, add some more flour and cornmeal.

Still adding the water.

This is what the dough should look like.

Divide the dough into equal parts, depending on how much you make (I did a half recipe).  Sprinkle generously with flour and the rest of the cornmeal to keep from sticking to the rolling pin.

Or in this case, the parchment paper I put between the rolling pin and the dough.  You should roll it out to about a 10 inch thickness, and either fry the whole flattened round or tear into pieces.

I did the latter, getting something kind of naan-shaped.  Fry in oil that has reached the smoking point for about 45 seconds on a side.

Transfer each piece to a towel to absorb the oil - all that oil!  Serve with butter and/or powdered sugar.

I must say my second attempt at making frybread worked out very well.  This tastes best fresh out of the pan, not reheated, though heating it up in the toaster oven will likely work better than in the microwave.  The wild rice adds a nice texture and a slightly nutty flavor.  It's a great way to use up some extra wild rice.

We are done for now with the Great White North that is the Upper Midwest.  We next head down to the opposite end of the Mississippi River, and explore some of the very Southern dishes of Mississippi.


Adams, Marcia. Heartland: The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens. Clarkson Potter: New York, 1991.

All Things Considered.  "Best Holiday Food: Tried Some of That Lutefisk?" Reported by Audie Cornish for National Public Radio. Original airdate: December 31, 2010.

Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.  "History".  From the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa website.  Copyright 2011.

Chiu, Michael.  "Gravlax".  From the Cooking for Engineers website.  Published September 2, 2005.

Dooley, Beth, and Lucia Watson.  Savoring Seasons of the Northern Heartland.  Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 1994.

Gates, Stefan.  "Homemade Gravlax".  From the Gastronaut website and the BBC Book Gastronaut, copyright 2006.

Henderson, Helene.  The Swedish Table.  University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis, 2005.

Nett Lake Wild Rice.  "Recipes".  Copyright Bois Forte Band of Chippewa.

Seafood from Norway. "Norwegian Gravlax with Whole Grain Mustard Dill Sauce".  From the Seafood from Norway website.  Published 2005.  Copyright Eksportutvalget for fisk (Norwegian Seafood Export Council), 2005.

Some information also obtained from Wikipedia's "Minnesota" page and other pages, and the Food Timeline State Foods link to "Minnesota".