Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Navajo Tacos

These are the most amazing things in the world. It's all the regular taco fixings (ground beef, beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese...) but instead of a tortilla or taco shell you put the ingredients on frybread. What is frybread you ask? Well, besides being one of the most yummy things I have ever had, it's flat fried dough that came into existense in the 1800s when the Native Americans were forced onto reservations and given rations of flour and lard. The Native Americans did what they could with what they had and so now the world is blessed with frybread.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things that really does not have a recipe to go along with it! It gets passed down through generations and is usually learned hands on. My sweetie is Navajo and I have been lucky enough to watch my soon to be mom (in law) make this on a few occasions and even attend a workshop with my him on how to make it. I did, however, find this recipe online and it sounds as if it would work. I use self-rising flour and so therefore do not use baking powder. After making golf ball size balls of dough, be sure to let them sit (I leave it on the counter covered by a damp cloth) for about 10-15 minutes so the dough can rise. It is important to put a hole in the dough not just for spiritual reasons but it has a practical purpose too - it keeps the dough from bubbling up in the middle. Cook the bread until golden brown and flip to cook other side.

Add your toppings or serve with your favorite soup, stew, chili or just eat by itself. Some add powder sugar, honey and/ or strawberries for a sweet treat - reminds me of funnel cake. Needless to say, this isn't one of those really healthy recipes but I use heart healthy oil to fry the dough instead of regular vegetable oil.

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