Chef Bitsoie Recipes

Recipes from Chef Freddie Bitsoie

On February 19, 2020, Chef Freddie Bitsoie gave a cooking demonstration on Native American foodways and culinary traditions in the Wells Library Bookmark[et] Eatery. Below are a few of the recipes Chef Bitsoie shared with IU students and community members. 

Calabasas (6-8 servings)

I lived in New Mexico for about while. I was asked to do my first and only wedding at the time. It was in Santa Fe. I this was a special moment. I had made wonderful friends at this event. The bride, Olivia’s mom, Karen was talking about a dish she was going to take to a dinner party. She mentioned this one. I asked what is that, because at the time I never heard of it! She give me the recipe word of mouth and I took notes on my phone. I forgot about. When I upgraded my phone a year later this popped and I remembered where it came from. I made it and ever since then it had been a great side dish! It is very popular in the Southwest. By the way, she told me the recipe when I locked ourselves outside of her car at the Santa Fe farmers market and we waited for someone to bring us the spare key!

1lb Summer squash, sliced thin

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen

¼ cup onion, diced

1 cup sweet bell pepper

½ cup green chile

1 tomato, diced

¼ cup queso fresco



¼ cup parsley, chopped

2T canola oil

  1. In a cold sautee pan, pour the oil and onion. Turn on the heat and allow the onions to start sweating.
  2. Add the corn, and green chile, cook for about 5 mins.
  3. Add the squash and allow to cook for about 5 mins
  4. Add the cheese stir and allow all the flavors to come together and adjust the seasoning
  5. Add the tomato and parsley

Three-Bean Ragout (4-6 servings)

Ragout, the word should never be used in a Native American cook book. But I dare to use it. Bean are huge part of Native American diet. Ragout is culinary term for stewed. This is a stewed bean dish I created for a class in Idyllwild Native American Summer Program.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

½ of a carrot, finely diced

½ of a celery stalk, finely diced

1 cup cooked kidney beans

1 cup cooked cannellini beans

1 cup cooked black beans

½ cup diced tomatoes

2½ cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom medium pot. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, carrot, and celery. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and allow the ingredients to sweat. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
  2. Add the cooked beans, tomato, and stock and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; the stock will thicken. Adjust the seasoning and serve hot.
  3. To plate, slice the pork tenderloin. Spoon some ragout onto a plate and top with pork slices.

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin (4-6 Serving)

Pork was introduced to native people when the Spanish arrived in Seminole country, which is modern day Florida. Pigs started to run wild, while some conquistador was searching for youth. They were a pain to control, they would probably be the first of exotic animals dumped in Florida. At least they taste good when prepared right. Pork is used in many dishes that would be considered Native American. They would the example of how expanding the culinary culture when there was a chance. I created this recipes for a workshop on the Salt River Tribe Reservation near Scottsdale, AZ.

1 Pork Tenderloin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon dried sage

1 1-pound pork tenderloin

3 tablespoons oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Rub the spices on the pork. Heat a sauté pan or griddle to medium-high heat and add oil. Sear all sides of the pork until the spices form a crust.
  2. Place the pork on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until done. Set aside for the pork to rest for about 5 – 10 minutes.

Swamp Cabbage Salad (4-6 servings)

Swamp Cabbage is from Seminole tribe region. It comes from the Cabbage Palm Tree. It is rare and replenishable. It’s unique flavor will intrigue taste buds. It is known better as hearts of palm. Because of the name, many mistaken it as leaf cabbage. Furthermore, yes, the name is not is nice as hearts of palm. But the concept of colonization, is placed on this term, non native people would rather have the it called hearts of palm. This one way to take away and change culture’s language and remove it from its ancestry.

1lb Hearts of Palm, sliced into coins

1 Red Peppers, julienne

1 English cucumber, Sliced

2oz candied pecans

1oz queso fresco, shredded

Mixed Greens

lemon vinaigrette

  1. Combine all ingredients except for the cheese and vinaigrette.
  2. Pour in vinaigrette, only enough to coat the salad.
  3. Garnish with queso fresco cheese.


2t Lemon Juice

1 lemon zest

6t olive oil

1 small shallot, small dice

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together.
  2. Pour enough on the salad to coat every item, do not have the salad swimming in the vinaigrette.

Prickly Pear Cheese Mousse (10-12 Tarts)

Prickly pear is found many places in North America. However, in my experience the Tohono O'odham are the one culture that utilize cactus the most. Dessert is one part of Native American food culture that does not exist. It is hard every time someone ask me for some native desserts. This is one of my go to it is light and taste very good. If you can’t prickly pear puree, the syrup is a good alterative, just cut down on the added sugar.  

12 oz cream cheese, soft

1 cup prickly pear puree

4 oz sugar

Zest lemon

½ oz lemoncello

¼ oz vanilla

2 sheets gelatin

2 cups cream

4 ½ oz white chocolate

3 inch sweet tart shells

  1. Melt white chocolate over steam.  Allow to cool.
  2. Cream cheese and sugar slowly in a mixer.
  3. Add cooled white chocolate to sugar mixture.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl set over steam rehydrate the gelatin with the lemon zest, lemoncello and vanilla.
  5. Scrape over the chocolate mixture.
  6. Whip the cream and fold in.
  7. Pour into three inch tart shell