Gastronomista is a website that goes heavy on the cocktails and boozy concoctions, but let us not forget our other hedonistic needs - a girl's gotta eat after all. For those of you who don't know, I'm a Colorado girl, which means I grew up barefoot in my mother's garden, eating berries off the bushes, and loved a good bison steak even at a young age. Colorado instilled in me an appreciation for nature, the seasons, and the indigenous people who once dominated this country.
I was really excited to receive a preview copy of Modern Native Feasts by chef Andrew George JR, a member of the Wet'suwet'en Nation British Columbia, Canada, and have been incredibly inspired by so many of the recipes. I love all of the different colors and textures in this book, and many of the recipes speak to the local cuisine of the Pacific North West.
Chef George tells tales of harvesting wild foods native to British Columbia, and hunting for fresh fish and game as a young boy, which is as close to one's food source as one can possibly get. There are some amazing recipes in this book I'm dying to try, including Oysters Rockefeller (First Nations Style) with stinging nettles, dandelion greens, and Pernod liqueur, Hot Smoked Trout, and Buffalo with Bacon and Vegetables Braised in Dark Ale.
My favorite recipe so far is the Beet Root Gravlax, a variation on a traditional Salmon Gravlax recipe made with fresh dill and beets. The result is gorgeous the salmon takes on the dark magenta hue and the sweetness of the beets, and the fresh aromatics of the dill.
Beet Root Gravlax
1 Large Beet, peeled and grated
4 T Coarse Sea Salt
2 T Ground Black Pepper
2 T White Sugar
4 T Chopped Fresh Dill
2 Lb wild Pacific Salmon Fillet, skin on, pin bones removed (Tip: use tweezers)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for salmon. Rinse salmon under cold water and pat dry. Place salmon fillet, skin side down, on a long piece of plastic wrap. Spread salt mixture over surface of salmon. Wrap fish tightly and place ina deep baking dish. Place pie plate or baking sheet on top of salmon, and add a heavy weight (about 10 lbs) on tip. (Note: Clean, foil-wrapped bricks work well, as do large cans of vegetables). Place in refrigerator overnight (8 hours). drain liquid and return to refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
Remove plastic wrap and scrape off salt mixture (Gastronomista note: I save the beets and eat as a side salad). Rinse salmon under cold water and pat dry.
Tip: To make slicing salmon easy, wrap in plastic and place in freezer for about 45 minutes, or until semi-frozen. Remove plastic wrap, and thinly slice at an angle with a sharp knife without cutting through skin.
: : : THE GIVEAWAY : : :
Modern Native Feasts
Andrew George JR
Andrew George JR
: : : HOW TO ENTER : : :
1. Leave a comment on the post answering: Your favorite local food and where you live.
2. *Extra entry* “follow” @xxGastronomista on Twitter
3. *Extra entry* “add” us on G+
The contest closes Tuesday, May 27 (6 pm EST). Winner will be selected and will be emailed that day.
Note, this contest has a later closing time because I've been called for Jury Duty. Wah Wah.
Good luck, and many thanks to Modern Native Feasts for sponsoring this cookbook giveaway!