Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion (Douglas and McIntyre, 2017) by David Wolfman and Marlene Finn is a fusion of many things – not only bringing together classic cooking with Indigenous recipes, but combining personal reflections from the authors alongside diverse stories and practices of indigenous nations throughout the Americas.
Wolfman and Finn’s book has also been recently nominated for two awards: Finalist at the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the Cooking category, and Best Book of the Year category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Yantai, China.
The following excerpt is their recipe for Scalloped Rutabaga.
The prairie turnip is a root vegetable that prairie Lakota and Sioux harvested for cooking and for trading with nations to the south. It is also called prairie potato, tipsin, tipsinna and Indian breadroot, and is starchy enough to be dried and ground into a flour for making porridge or for thickening stew. Rutabagas are the next best thing to the prairie turnip and are much more readily available.
This dish is heavy and creamy and a little cheesy, but you can add more cheese if you want to, or leave it out altogether. To get the full benefit of the dish, you should not cut out the cream, however. When shopping for a rutabaga, choose one that is firm and heavy. It will probably have wax on the skin, which will be removed when you peel it.
Scalloped Rutabaga:• 3 1/2 cups (830 milliliters) sliced rutabaga (1/8 inch/0.5 centimeters thick)
• Pinch table salt
• 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) butter
• 1 cup (250 milliliters) sliced onion
Sauce:• 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) butter
• 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) all-purpose flour
• 2 cups (475 milliliters) 10 percent cream
• 2 cups (475 milliliters) homogenized milk
• 1/4 teaspoon (1 milliliters) ground allspice
• 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) kosher salt (or sea salt)
• 1/4 teaspoon (1 milliliters) ground black pepper
To Assemble:• 1 cup (250 milliliters) sliced potato (preferably Yukon Gold) (1/8 inch/0.5 centimeters thick)
• 1 cup (250 milliliters) shredded Gouda cheese (or Swiss)
1. Drop rutabaga into a pot of cold water with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) butter in a saucepan. Add onion and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove onion from pan and set aside.
3. For the sauce, add 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) butter to the saucepan and let melt over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a roux. Cook for 3 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from heat, gradually add the cream, and stir or whisk to remove lumps. Return the pan to the heat and let the sauce thicken for a minute, whisking a couple of times and making sure it doesn’t reach the boiling point.
5. Add the milk to the sauce and whisk until it becomes smooth. Stir in the allspice, salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
7. Ladle a third of the sauce onto the bottom of a greased 9-by-13 inch (23-by-33 centimeters) baking pan or casserole dish. Arrange about half of the rutabaga and half of the potatoes over the sauce, and top with a third of the cheese.
8. Pour half of the remaining sauce over the mixture. Add the rest of rutabaga and potatoes. Add half of the remaining cheese.
9. Pour the rest of the sauce into the pan, and top with the remaining cheese and cooked onion.
10. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius) for 1 hour.
11. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.
More from: Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion• Cooking Salt Alternative Recipe
• Celeriac and Apple Salad with Honey Vinaigrette Recipe
• Easy Deer Meat Lasagna Recipe
• Gluten-Free Potato and Corn Bread Recipe
From the book Cooking with the Wolfman: Indigenous Fusion, by Chef David Wolfman and Marlene Finn, © 2017. Published by Douglas & McIntyre. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.