Trout with Fresh Herbs Wrapped in Corn Husks and Baked in Clay

Trout with Fresh Herbs Wrapped in Corn Husks and Baked in Clay

This is a series of 4 recipes from the lunch I had last month at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.  The menu was done by Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater. The food was just incredible! These recipes are published with Lois’s permission. Please scroll down the pages on our Blog to see all 4 recipes:  Please enjoy!

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Southwestern Peoples have worked with clay for thousands and thousands of years. Using the archaeological record of the past, it is known that plain wares were first made millennia ago. Clay is found in beds that are formed from the physical and chemical alteration of minerals usually found in igneous rocks such as granite. Some of the most extensive clay sources in the Southwest are uplifted beds that were once marine deposits. More than one kind of clay is available in almost every part of the
Southwest, and only experience in the selections of materials yields a desired product. Pottery has been a part of life in the Southwest for generations and pottery artistry has received much attention as both objects of beauty and of study. According to Native potters today, working with clay has always been an act of creation and a part of Native life.
This recipe utilizes the use of New Mexican clay that is molded around fresh trout. The trout is stuffed with fresh herbs, wrapped in moistened corn husks and then it is baked in an oven.

But Walter Whitewater, a traditional Navajo and contemporary chef, remembers stories he was told of food being baked in clay in open fires until the clay split open and the food was then eaten. He recommends that you prepare trout this way before going on a camping trip and then placing it in the embers of your camp fire and cooking it until the clay dries and then cracks open. The clay keeps the trout moist and seals in the flavor of the herbs and bacon. It is one of the best, baked fish dishes, I have ever eaten.
Check in your area to see what types of clay are available that are non-toxic and safe to cook with.

Ingredients:

6 whole fresh trout
12 large sprigs of fresh thyme
12 whole sage leaves
12 green onions, grilled
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
8 pounds terracotta non-toxic clay (1 1/2 pounds per trout)
12-16 dried corn husks

Directions:

Soak the corn husks in warm water for approximately 10 minutes until pliable. Remove from the water and set aside.

Divide the clay into six equal size portions. Take one portion of the clay and with a rolling pin, roll out the clay like a dough approximately 1/4-inch thick. Make sure it is the length of the trout plus 1-inch to ensure that the trout will fit into the clay covering.

Stuff 2 sprigs of the thyme and 2 sage leaves inside each trout. Place the grilled green onions on top of the herbs. Using 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper, salt and pepper the inside and exterior of each trout.
Place the corn husks with the narrow side out, or lengthwise, and completely wrap them around each trout. Overlap the corn husks so that no part of the trout is exposed. You will need approximately 2 to 3 corn husks per trout depending on their size.


The purpose of the corn husks is to cover the trout completely with the corn husks so that the fish does not stick to the clay.
Cut the clay in half lengthwise with a knife. Place the wrapped trout on top of one of the pieces of clay. Cover with the second piece of clay and seal the edges with your fingers, by pressing down around the outer edges. Make 3 air vents (small slits)
with a knife on the top of each clay-covered trout.


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place the clay-covered trout on a baking sheet and bake them for 20 to 30 minutes or until the clay is completely dry depending on your oven and the altitude. Remove from the oven and let cool. When the clay-
covered trout is cool enough to handle, crack is open with a kitchen mallet or press down near the air vent slits with your hands. The clay will peel off the fish with ease and can then be discarded. Serve the whole trout immediately.

Serves 6

Original recipe “Used with Permission. Excerpted from Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, Published by Ten Speed Press, © By Lois Ellen Frank” pg 179.

© By Lois Ellen Frank

Guajillo Chile Sauce

Guajillo Chile Sauce

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Ingredients:

12 Guajillo Chiles, toasted, seeds and stem removed and broken into pieces.
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, (pepitas)
1 ½ cups water
Salt to taste

Directions:

Toast the guajillo chiles in a 350-degree oven for approximately 3 minutes until the chiles are completely dry. Do not over toast or they will burn.
Place the toasted guajillo chiles and the toasted pumpkin seeds in a powerful blender and blend on high for 2 to 3 minutes until completely blended and smooth.
Pass through a strainer to remove any unblended chiles and/or seeds.
Return to a saucepan and heat on low until the sauce has reduced to your desired consistency.

Makes approximately 2 cups of sauce

Original recipe “Used with Permission”. © By Lois Ellen Frank”

Hand Harvested American Indian Wild Rice Sauté

Hand Harvested American Indian Wild Rice Sauté

© By Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D.

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
6 shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 cups cooked wild rice (see note)
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
fresh chives for garnish

Directions:

In a cast iron pan over medium to high heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring to prevent burning for 4 minutes. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2 more minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the corn kernels and stir for another minute. Add the cooked rice, salt and pepper. Stir for 2 more minutes or until completely hot stirring constantly. Remove from heat, garnish with fresh chives, and serve immediately.

Note: Manoomin, or wild rice, is a Native American grain that is part of the Ojibwe communities in Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Canada. This heirloom rice is hand-harvested as it has been for generations and grows naturally in the lakes of these areas. Commercially sold black wild rice is actually a patty-grown commercial rice that is cultivated as true wild rice. True wild rice can only be harvested by hand and canoes using traditional methods and following the traditions of ancestors. Hand-harvested wild rice is the true indigenous wild rice of the Native tribes of the lake region of the United States and Canada.
It can be purchased from Native Harvest, 607 Main Avenue, Callaway, MN 56521 Phone: 218-375-4602 Web: www.nativeharvest.com

Original recipe Used with Permission. © By Lois Ellen Frank”

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil
6 leaves rainbow chard, coarsely chopped, veins removed
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chard and garlic to the pan and stir.
Saute for 2 minutes or until greens are soft. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Add the salt, stir again and serve immediately.
serves 6

Original recipe “Used with Permission”. © By Lois Ellen Frank”

The Definitive Red Chile Sauce Recipe!

(photo courtesy of SouthwestDiscovered.com)

The Definitive Red Chile Sauce Recipe!

You can use Beef or Chicken stock in place of water in this recipe. My wife the chef most often does this and it makes everything taste that much better. Also one of our customers does the same thing with her recipes, thanks Vivian! Please enjoy!

We get a lot of calls & emails simply asking “How do I make Red Chile Sauce?” or “What should I do with the Red Chile powder I ordered?’
We’ve talked to expert New Mexico Chefs from Taos, Santa Fe, and Hatch who have given us the “secret” to making the perfect Red Chile sauce.
When it gets close to boiling turn the heat down. Boiling or over heating will make your sauce taste bitter. Also when re-constituting dried Chile pods, never use the water you used to soften them up as that will also taste bitter. Hope this helps!

Red Chile Sauce, Chile Colorado, Chile Rojo

Ingredients:
3 Tbl Spoons Olive Oil or Shortening
1/2 Cup Red Chile Powder
2 Tbl Spoons Flour
2 Cups water (beef or chicken stock)
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cumin
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt

Directions:
Use olive oil or melt shortening in a sauce pan, blend in flour and cook flour until light brown – approximately 4 minutes. Have your Red Chile powder already mixed with water. Add it to the flour over a low to medium heat. Chile powder burns easily so be careful with the heat levels. Cook to your desired consistency. Add salt, pepper,cumin, garlic salt & other spices according to taste.

Click here to go to our Red Chile Powder page

Click Here for the Red Chile Pods page

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