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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


July 13, 2002 - Issue 65


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State Recipes

Americans are a hungry bunch. The wild turkey that was served at first Thanksgiving prompted its designation as Massachusetts' official game bird.

Other states have noted the importance of food that staved off starvation in years past, fare that rarely finds its way onto dinner tables in the 21st century: Indian rice grass in Nevada and Utah, the bowhead whale in Alaska, the saguaro cactus blossom in Arizona, the gray squirrel in Kentucky and North Carolina, the sego lily in Utah.

In acknowledging this legacy of long ago, legislatures have embedded into their statutes the American love of food.

Besides sharing some state recipes, we've included a quiz to test your knowledge of food and the states and a page of fun food facts.

Food Quiz

Did You Know?

New Mexico's Fresh Green Chile Sauce


In New Mexico restaurants, patrons are asked whether they want their chile sauce red or green, and natives opt for green. In fact, this is an official question for the state. If fresh green chiles are unavailable, you can substitute green bell peppers and add some fresh or canned hot green chiles, such as jalepeños. This sauce is good as a dip for corn chips, or as a sauce for enchiladas or tacos, or in fresh salads, guacamoles and gazpachos. From "I Hear America Cooking," by Betty Fussell.

• 10 to 12 fresh green chiles, or 3 to 4 green bell peppers plus 1 jalepeño pepper
• 1/4 c. minced onion or green onions
• 2 cloves garlic, minced<
• 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• Black pepper, to taste
• 4 sprigs fresh cilantro


Roast the chiles over a gas flame or under a broiler until the skin is blistered and blackened. Place chiles in a paper bag, closed, for about 10 minutes to loosen the skins. Rub the skins off the chiles and remove the stems. Discard seeds and veins if you want mild sauce. Coarsely chop chiles and mix with onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper and cilantro.

Yield: 3 to 4 cups.

Georgia's Peach Cobbler


Peach is the state fruit. From the Georgia Peach Council.

• 1 tbsp. cornstarch
• 2 tbsp. plus 1 1/2 c. unsweetened apple juice, divided
• 3 c. sliced, peeled fresh peaches
• 1 c. sliced strawberries
• 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg, divided
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1/2 c. flour
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 2 tbsp. butter-flavored vegetable shortening
• 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. cold water
• Vegetable cooking spray


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons apple juice, mixing well. Set aside.

Combine peaches, strawberries, 1/2 cup apple juice, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until clear and thickened. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Cool.

Combine flour, salt and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg; cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water over surface; stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Shape into a ball.

Roll pastry to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface; cut into 8 1/2-inch strips.

Spoon cooled peach mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange pastry strips over peaches and strawberries. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serves 6 to 9

Maryland Marinated Crab Meat


Blue crab is the state crustacean. From the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

• 1 lb. crab meat, fresh or pasteurized, cooked
• 1/3 c. onion, finely chopped
• 1/4 c. vegetable oil
• 1/4 c. water
• 1/2 c. cider vinegar
• 1 tbsp. seafood seasoning
• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley


Carefully pick over crab meat to remove any cartilage. Gently mix onion into the crab meat.

Make a vinaigrette by combining the vegetable oil, water, cider vinegar, seafood seasoning and parsley. Pour over the crab meat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Drain off marinade and serve with crackers as an appetizer.

Makes 2 cups.

Southern Barbecue Catfish


Two states (Missouri and Tennessee) have given the channel catfish official designation. This is a terrific barbecue sauce; it's from "The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook," edited by Susan Westmoreland (Hearst Books). Serve with coleslaw and corn-on-the-cob.

• 1/4 c. ketchup
• 2 tbsp. light molasses
• 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
• 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 4 (6-oz. each) catfish fillets


Preheat broiler or grill. In small bowl, combine ketchup, molasses, vinegar and Worcestershire. Place catfish fillets, skinned side up, on rack in broiling pan or grill. Brush half of sauce on catfish.

Broil or grill catfish for 4 minutes. Brush remaining sauce on fillets (do not turn) and broil until fish is just opaque throughout, about 4 minutes longer.
Serves 4


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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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