'New Native Kitchen' Cookbook
Podcast |
All Of It
Publisher |
WNYC Studios
Media Type |
Podknife tags |
Society & Culture
Categories Via RSS |
Music Interviews
Performing Arts
Publication Date |
Nov 23, 2021
Episode Duration |

Acclaimed chef Freddie Bitsoie, and James-Beard award-winning writer James O. Fraioli, join us to talk their new cookbook, New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian. The cookbook explores and celebrates Indigenous cuisine from across the country, providing modern interpretations of one hundred recipes that have been the basis of American cuisine for centuries.



This recipe works the opposite of many in this book—instead of modernizing a traditional recipe, I’m traditionalizing a modern recipe. Imagine your favorite burger, then swap out the beef patty for ground bison. Ground bison is one of the least expensive ways to try this Indigenous staple, and I give my preparation additional Native American ingredients, topping the burger with caramelized onions seasoned with fresh herbs and juniper berries. Serve bison burgers over wilted greens, alongside any of my salads, or on a fresh-baked brioche bun for a Native American-meets-modern-American classic.

Serves 4

1 pound (455 g) ground bison2 teaspoons salt2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper 1⁄2 cup (25 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley1⁄4 cup (25 g) grated queso fresco Caramelized Sweet Onions, recipe follows4 hamburger buns Condiments of choice

Prepare and preheat an outdoor grill to high heat.

In a large bowl, add the bison, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, parsley, and queso fresco. Mix well by hand, but do not overmix. Divide evenly and shape into quarter-pound burgers, about 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) thick. Arrange the burgers on the grill and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare (cook longer if you prefer medium-well). Do not touch or press the burgers during the grilling process. The key is to keep the juices inside. Otherwise, the burgers will be dry. Remove the burgers and let rest for a couple minutes. Top with the caramelized sweet onions and serve on buns with any condiments you like.


Makes approximately 1⁄2 cup (115 g)

2 teaspoons canola oil1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced1 sprig fresh thyme1 bay leaf2 teaspoons salt2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper 1⁄2 teaspoon ground juniper berries2 tablespoons agave nectar

In a medium sauté pan over low heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, thyme, bay leaf, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Allow the onion to sweat for about 10 minutes, at which time it will begin to caramelize. Deglaze the pan with 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) water and keep sautéing for 15 minutes. If the onions caramelize too quickly, deglaze with another 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) water to slow the cooking process. You want the onions soft and caramelized, not burnt. Add the juniper berries and agave nectar. Stir well to combine, remove from the heat, discard the thyme sprig and bay leaf, and set aside and keep warm.


Reprinted from 'New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian' by Freddie Bitsoie and James O. Fraioli. Photography by Quentin Bacon. Illustrations by Gabriella Trujillo. Published by Abrams.

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