Recipes courtesy of the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. Visit their Indigenous Café for a variety of First Nations fare.
In our Fall 2010 issue, writer David Leach and photographer Gary Fiegehen brought us the compelling story “A Little girl gets her name” about a traditional Lil’wat naming ceremony. To get another taste of Lil’wat culture, try one of these three tempting recipes courtesy of the Squamish Lilwat Cultural Centre in Whistler.
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup warm water
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cooking oil
Place ½ cup cooking oil in a deep frying pan, or enough to fill pan about half a centimetre deep, and heat to 350°F (medium-high heat).
Sift together dry ingredients until mixed fully.
Add 1 cup water and stir together to form a sticky dough.
On a flour dusted surface, make small patties of the dough without overworking it.
Fry patties in oil until golden brown on each side and puffed up.
Bannock can be eaten on its own or with peanut butter, jams, or butter.
Smoked salmon and bannock panini
1 large bannock
4 pieces of thin sliced smoked salmon
4 pieces of thinly sliced red onion
Small handful of fresh spinach
3 tbsp sour cream
3 tbsp cream cheese
½ tsp lemon juice
In a small mixing bowl make the crème fraiche by creaming together the sour cream, cream cheese, and lemon juice until smooth.
Cut bannock in half down the centre.
Spread the crème fraiche mixture evenly on both sides.
Fold four pieces of smoked salmon on bannock.
Place the pieces of thinly sliced red onion.
Place a small handful of fresh washed spinach on top and close sandwich.
Grill sandwich briefly in a panini press for about one minute. The objective is to warm the bannock, but not to cook the smoked salmon or wilt the spinach.
Candied wild salmon
1 large fresh wild salmon fillet – skin on, pin bones out
2/3 cup natural brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/3 tbsp ground pepper
1/3 tbsp unpasteurized honey
1/3 tbsp natural brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground pepper
With the salmon fillet, carefully make vertical slices about the width of your thumb through the meat, but do not cut through the skin. Once the slices are complete, grasp each end of the fillet and stretch the skin so that the portions of fish separate at each cut.
Place prepared salmon on a large cookie sheet.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, kosher salt, and ground pepper until uniformly distributed. Carefully and evenly pack the mixture over each fillet by hand, making sure to get between the gapped slices.
Place in refrigerator overnight to cure. The dry cure will begin to turn liquid as the salt removes moisture from the fillets.
Once cured (12-18 hours), rinse excess curing mixture off of the fillets and allow to air dry for an hour.
Smoke fillets for 30 minutes at 100°F. Use the top three racks of the smoker, placing two fillets on each rack. On the bottom rack, place an insert full of ice to ensure the heat stays cool for the cold smoke.
Create the finishing glaze by combining the remaining ingredients of honey, brown sugar, and pepper in a small bowl. Add a few tablespoons of boiling water to help melt the ingredients and stir into a sticky sauce.
Brush the sauce over the fillets once they are smoked.
Place the fillets in the oven on the “cooling” setting for two-to-three hours to dry the meat to the desired consistency.