INDIAN TACOS -- Sure-seller at Powwows

Indian tacos for powwows, school feasts

This is sauce recipes. Taco sauce is spread over a large flat frybread topped with shredded lettuce and cheese. 3 versions are given, one made with hamburger, one with chicken or turkey, one vegan (vegetarian).

Figure ingredients based on how many you will serve or think you will sell. As well as Indian tacos, you can sell fry breads by themselves, with a berry pudding-sauce (wojapi) over it, and if you sell a soup or stew, a small one with each bowl. This amount of taco sauce is about right for 8-10 flat fry breads, so multiply everything accordingly.

Burger taco sauce--enough for 8-10 frybreads

Hamburger version:
		1 lb hamburger
		1 large onion minced
		2 small cans tomato paste
		1 big can tomatoes
		1 tsp basil
		1/2 tsp oregano
		salt, pepper, chile powder to taste
:		1 head iceberg lettuce shredded
		1/2 lb cheese grated coarse
	On the counter:
		bowl of fine-chopped onion
		bowl of mild green chiles chopped up fine

Fry onion and hamburger broken up loose. Sprinkle some salt and chile powder over it. Add tomato paste and 4 cans of water and the canned tomatoes and their juice -- break up tomatoes and stir it around. Taste for seasoning. Simmer till meat and onions are done and sauce is thick, 30 - 40 minutes. Assembling: put the flat fry bread on a paper plate and spread sauce over it (don't be stingy). Put a handful of cheese on it and top with a handful of shredded lettuce. People add their own choices of chopped raw onion, chiles (and maybe some other favorites) from the bowls. In some areas, the culture favors the addition of hot chiles to this sauce (not in ours).

Chicken (or other bird) version: make it when you want broth and some meat for a wild rice soup-stew too. Roast or stew chickens, turkeys or ducks. Remove meat from bones. Boil bones, wings, backs with onions, carrots to make broth for wild rice soup/stew. Dice meat from fowl and use in place of hamburger to make taco sauce.

Vegan (vegetarian) taco sauce--enough for 8 -10 tacos

		1 large onion chopped
		1/4 lb chopped mushrooms
		1/8 cup soy grits
		1/2 cup sunflower seeds ground very coarse in blender with
		1/3 cup peanuts
		2 tbsp chopped parsley
		1 tsp basil	
		1/2 tsp oregano
		salt and pepper to taste
		2 small cans tomato paste, 2 cans water
		1 large can tomatoes and their juice
		4 tbsp fine-grated Parmesan cheese

Fry onions, garlic sprinkled with herbs until golden in oil. Add soy grits, ground seeds and nuts, fry 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, canned tomatoes, break up tomatoes with spoon. Cover and simmer over low heat 2--30 minutes. Stir in Paremesan before assembling tacos. Meat protein equivalent here to sauce made with 1 lb hamburger, 35% of day's protein need per taco (with about 1/4 cup grated cheese on it).

In reality, of course, you will always be making much more sauce than these recipes, using everyone's big frypans, etc. The basic procedure is to get young people to peel and chop the onions if possible! Other than that, just dump everything in until it tastes right. For sauce, unlike frybread, you can make big batches at once.

Prepare a big plastic bag full of cheese grated ahead of time and another of shredded lettuce. Some onions for the sauce can be peeled and chopped in advance too; if so use 1 1/2 cupos chopped onion proportional to the other amounts in each recipe.

At the booth: have plenty of paper towels, some cloth towels and potholders. If there is no sink, bring some milk bottles of cleanup water with detergent, and sponges to wipe up as you go along. Hairnets and discardable plastic gloves might be required by local food regs if they inspect the powwow food vendors. Hairnets can be improvised, but have a box of those gloves along, just in case. If there has been trouble about this before make sure everyone is wearing them all the time and a big box of the gloves is sitting right out where they can see it. Make booth crew arrangements so the same people aren't stuck there all day cooking.

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Copyright 1995, Paula Giese

Last Updated: Thursday, December 21, 1995 - 10:34:25 PM