The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen

Chef Sean Sherman's debut, The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen, written with cookbook veteran Beth Dooley (Savory Sweet), offers a fascinating and delicious foray into foods native to North America.

Born on the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation, Sherman has devoted his career to researching the history and traditions of pre-colonial, Indigenous foods. Sherman's recipes omit European dietary staples of dairy, sugar, wheat flour, pork and beef; rather, they rely on hyper-local, seasonal bounty. The results feel at once fresh and timeless. Animal-based meals often include duck, rabbit or bison, or eggs from duck or quail. Spices include smoked salt, sumac and seasonings like cedar, ramps and sage. Many of the recipes can be easily adapted to suit vegan or vegetarian diets, and all are naturally low glycemic, high protein and gluten-free--not to mention beautiful.

Standout starters include Spring Salad with Tamarack Honey Drizzle, Deviled Duck Eggs and Stuffed Squash Blossoms. Stellar larger meals designed for Sherman's food truck include the Tatanka Truck Fried Wild Rice Bowl and Sunflower-Crusted Trout. As for dessert? Sweet Corn Sorbet.

Sherman educates on how to cook, as well as the history of Indigenous cuisine and his connection to it as a member of the Oglala Lakota. For example, he omits fry bread, explaining that its origins reflect displacement and government-issued commodities devoid of nutritional value. He asks readers to try corn cakes instead, noting that "corn cakes are easier to make and far tastier than any fry bread." And, indeed, his are. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

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