Indian fry bread & green chili cornbreadPosted: Updated:
Indian Fry Bread
My dad has a long history of collecting fine American Indian art, and as a result, I have gained a great appreciation and respect for Native American cultures. As a young boy, I would drive to Flagstaff with my family every summer to celebrate the Pow-Wow and visit the Museum of Northern Arizona. Fry bread was always on the menu. Half the fun was watching the families hand stretch the dough, fry it, and serve it directly to the waiting customers. Almost nothing compares to fresh, hot fry bread with sticky warm honey and powdered sugar. You also may want to top this with ground beef, tomatoes, or chicken instead and serve it as a main dish.
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. salt
12/3 cups water
1 cup vegetable shortening
1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
2. Add the water, stirring until dough forms.
3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and kneed until it forms a soft, but not sticky, dough. Transfer to a bowl, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and set aside for 1 hour to allow the glutens to break down.
4. Pull off egg-size pieces of the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the pieces out on a clean, floured surface to about ¼-inch thickness and about 10-inches diameter. Poke a small hole (using your finger) through the center of each round so that they will fry evenly.
5. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the shortening over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.
6. Fry the rounds, one at a time, for 2 minutes on each side, or until they are golden. Transfer the fried bread to paper towels to drain.
7. Serve with powdered sugar and honey.
Green Chili Cornbread
This is one of the most requested side dishes for the breakfasts we cater. If possible, when making this dish, fire roast fresh corn on the cob as well as fresh mild green chile. Pan de Elote is very forgiving. Feel free to experiment; add chopped chipotle, a blend of cheeses, pine nuts, or fire-roasted jalapeños.
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup milk
6 Tbsp. melted butter
1 small can diced green chile or 4 fire-roasted Anaheim chiles, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small can baby yellow corn drained, or kernels from two fire-roasted whole corn cobs
1. In a large, stainless or glass bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
2. Add the milk and eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon or a hand mixer until there are no clumps.
3. Add the melted butter, chiles, and corn.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted into bread comes out clean. For a truly great presentation, bake in an 8-inch round iron skillet or a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish. Grease the pan and preheat it in the oven for 5 minutes; this will ensure a nice firm crust on the bottom of the bread.