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June 28, 2011

Summertime and the Fooding is Easy (and delicious)

The new menu for Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe made it’s debut last week.   As always, this summer’s menu brings tastes from five distinct Native regions. Using traditional summer foods, the variety of dishes is truly inspired. 

SummerMenu 073(Fresno Chili, Coffee Rubbed Pork Loin, Coconut, Vanilla Bean Sauce)
(Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)

From the Northern Woodlands, Crawfish Gumbo serves as an appetizer followed by Chilled Tomato Soup, Fried Okra and Cucumber Dust.  Choose a hot dish of Stewed Summer Squash and Zucchini, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Oven Roasted Crab Apples and New Potatoes or a cold dish of Wild Rice and Watercress Salad for the main course and finish with one of this summer’s berry tarts.  YUM! 

Journey to South America for Pheasant Croquette dressed in an Olive Oil Puree, with Pimientos Rojas, Smoked Chili Sauce and Cilantro Oil.  Cool off with Conch ceviche, fresh papaya and chives.  As a main course the Fresno Chili Coffee Rubbed Pork Loin in a Coconut and Vanilla Bean Sauce or the Annatto Spiced Yucca and Chayote Salad provide an adventure for the taste buds. 

SummerMenu 019 (Pheasant Croquette, Olive Oil Puree, Pimientos Rojas, Smoked Chili Sauce, Cilantro)
(Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)

The Northwest Coast offers a delicious variety of seafood dishes starting with Baked Oysters with Yellow Potato and Corn Cream.  Feeling in the mood for the daily catch?  The Maple Juniper Glazed, Cedar Planked Fire-Roasted Salmon is the perfect choice.  Also on the summer menu is Hominy and Parched Corn Salad with grilled leeks and roasted garlic vinaigrette.  The Cornmeal Buck Skin Cake with Saskatoon berries  and whipped cream is a must. 

SummerMenu 007
(Baked Oysters, Yellow Potato, Corn Cream)
(Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)

Mesoamerica adds a little spice to the menu featuring Roasted Calabasas Squash and Plantain Burrito with a Red Chili Sauce and Beef Tongue, Pork Pibil and Fish Tacos. This is not your grandmother’s salsa:  Fried Plantain Salsa, Tomatillo and Raspberry Salsa and Salsa Quenmada, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

  SummerMenu 050
(Roasted Calabasas Squash and Plantain Burrito with a Red Chili Sauce)
(Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)

SummerMenu 031
(Fish Tacos)
(Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)

Buffalo is the focus of many of the dishes from the Great Plains beginning with Buffalo Chili. Buffalo burgers served with Green Chilies, Duck burgers, pulled Buffalo Sandwiches and Buffalo chili cheese fries bring a new spin on classic dishes. Tepary Bean Salad with caramelized onions, roasted fennel and agave offer an alternative to the many buffalo dishes.  I’m having memory flashes of the first time I saw herds of buffalo across the plains of Oklahoma, AMAZING! And of course delicious.  

Chef Richard Hetzler has created a cornucopia of dishes that highlight each unique region through the very best foods the summer has to offer.  There is something for every palette this season

SummerMenu 098
(The ladies of the Choctaw Nation sample Chef's dishes- Chef is explaining the dishes from just outside the frame. Photo by Brieahn DeMeo, NMAI)


 - Brieahn DeMeo (Osage), Public Affairs Intern


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What I find most impressive in this article is that the meals on the menu are quite varied, sound extremely appetizing, and are very healthy for the most part. I particularly like the fact that it tells the Native region that specializes and contributes each of the dishes.

nice food photos brie! can't wait to lunch with you at the nmai :)

The meals look delicious and amazing. It reminds of the risotto my mom used to cook. This is a subpar version of my mom's risotto but it brought back memories.

Sam, we wouldn't dream of doubting the wonderful quality of your mother's risotto. It may, however, be necessary for us to taste it, if you would post the recipe or, better still, invite us to dinner. . . .

Hello, thank you so much for the share recipes about vanilla bean. I am vanilla farmer from West Java, Indonesia

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