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OKLAHOMA INDIAN TACO BURGER with CABERNET SALSA ON FRY BREAD

Oklahoma is home to thirty-eight federally recognized Indian tribes who's headquarters are in Oklahoma, and members of sixty-seven tribes reside here. Although not Native American myself, I wouldn't be a real Oklahoman if I couldn't cook some of the traditional foods that are prevalent here, including adding some buffalo into the mix. So, here is my version of the Indian Taco known nation-wide to all Native Americans. I think this could be a crowd pleaser at any Pow-Wow. My husband is Native American and it passed his taste test so I hope you enjoy it too!

Ingredients 

INDIAN TACO PATTIES
1-1/2 pounds lean organic ground beef
1/4 pound ground buffalo meat
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon TABASCO® brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

CABERNET SALSA
1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon
1 can (14.5 ounce) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup tomato paste
juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon sea salt

FRY BREAD
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 cups water, room temperature (more or less as needed)

TOPPINGS
1 and 1/2 cup finely shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese mix
12 leaves of loose-leaf lettuce, red or green, washed and dried

vegetable oil for frying and for grill grates
paper towels, spatula, tongs, paring knife
oil thermometer

Instructions 

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all salsa ingredients, mixing well. Cover and chill until needed.

In a large mixing bowl, blend flour, baking powder, salt and powdered milk. Add enough water to make a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead 10 or 12 times in the bowl. Cover and set aside.

Pre-heat grill on medium-high. Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet on the side burner and fill 3/4 inch deep with oil. Turn heat on high. Attach an oil thermometer to the side of the pan and heat oil to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all patty ingredients. Hand-mix thoroughly without compacting meat. Gently form into 6 equal-sized patties, place on a baking sheet with waxed paper and cover with plastic wrap.

Divide dough into 6 equal-sized pieces, and on a floured board, roll into circles just larger than the patties. Cut two slits in the center. Using a spatula, slide each into the hot oil and fry, one at a time, for approximately 1.5-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove with tongs to paper towels to drain. Cover with paper towels.

Brush grill grates with oil. Place patties on pre-heated grill. Cook, covered, for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked medium to medium-well, turning only once. During last 2 minutes of cooking, top each patty with 1/4 cup each of shredded cheese.

Assemble by placing 2 leaves of lettuce on each piece of fry bread, then spreading a layer of salsa on the lettuce, then a patty with cheese. Serves 6 open-faced Indian Taco Burgers.

Comments 

Be really careful when slipping the fry bread dough into the hot grease. One bad splatter of oil and you could have a serious fire going from the open flame. Better to use not only a spatula, but also tongs to guide them in. Also, if any large bubbles begin to form while frying, cut into them with a knife. And have a box of baking soda nearby to throw on a fire in case there are any flare-ups.