As a kid, instead of vacationing at beaches like most other families, we would drive a long 3 day trip from West Virginia to South Dakota. We would stay in a very small town with what I remember to have a gas station called Bob’s Bait shop, that we would buy our worms and leaches at, and a restaurant called Bobs Steak House- Bob must have owned the town…. Although I had dreams of laying beside the ocean, like I heard all my friends describe when we would start the new school year, we had our own kind of fun!
This very small setting where we would stay was surrounded by Lake Oahe, and it was absolutely beautiful! We had a big boat that we would uncover, polish, and clean every summer, to spend what felt like endless hours on. We all had our own special fishing poles. We would walk down to the little gas station and stalk up on worms and leeches for a long day on the lake. We would eat snacks, swim, and stop and fish for walleye, bass, and northern pike.
After a long day on the boat, we would come in and swim at the dock, then filet our fish, and fry them up. When I think of these times, my memory is flooded long, relaxing, fun-filled vacations.
There were more reasons than the beautiful Lake Oahe that my grandparents chose this small town to spend our summers. Many years earlier, in the ’50s, my grandparents along with their 3-year-old son, and 5-year-old daughter moved there and taught on the Indian Reservation at Cheyenne Agency. My grandpa taught Industrial Arts, and my grandma taught first grade. I grew up hearing many stories about those times, and all that they learned about the culture of the Sioux tribe.
One tradition that I remember that they carried into our family was Indian tacos. This was one of our favorite dinners growing up. I can still remember the smell of the Navajo Indian fry bread frying up in the skillet, and topped with our favorite taco toppings-delicious!
This dinner holds great memories for me, a lot of history for my grandparents, and tons of deliciousness for my family. Nothing brings people together like some good food!
For other taco recipes check out Slow Cooked Beef Tinga!
Indian Tacos (Navajo Fry Bread)
- 4 cups unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 tsp pink salt or sea salt
- 2 tbsp baking powder non-aluminum
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp soft refined coconut oil and extra for frying
- 1 1/2 cup hot water plus and extra 2-3 tbsp if needed
- In a large mixing bowl, with a whisk, mix together all the dry ingredients.
- Measure in 3 Tbsp coconut oil and mix into flour. (I use my fingers work it in.)
- Pour in your hot water and mix it in. I use my hands to work the hot water into the dough.
- If you still have some dry ingredients that you can't get worked in, add 1 tbsp of water at a time until all the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough (I do it right in the bowl for less mess) a couple minutes until a smooth dough forms.
- Transfer the dough to a bag and place on the counter for the dough to rest for a least 15-20 minutes, but up to an hour.
- In an Iron skillet heat 3 tbsp REFINED coconut oil over medium-high heat (you can use other oil, but coconut has a high smoke point, and is best for frying)
- You will know when oil is hot enough when you take a small piece of dough and place it into the oil, if it sizzles and bubbles, it's ready.
- Pull off a tennis ball size of dough. Stretch dough out about 5 inches long and 4 inches wide (this doesn't need to be exact) while stretching rotate the dough so you're stretching it on all sides making it circular.
- Place dough in oil and fry 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Lay on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
Use chopped lettuce, tomato, jalapeños, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, black olives, avocado, fresh limes, cilantro, etc....
For protein, you could also use seasoned ground beef, chicken, refried beans.
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