The Seminole Maroons of Texas (Negros Mascogos) and Mexico (Seminole Maroons)
The people speak Afro-Seminole Creole, Spanish (Mexico), and English (USA).
They escaped from British plantations in South Carolina and Georgia and fled to Spanish Florida, beginning in the late 17th century.
As part of the Seminole Indian community, they were transferred to Oklahoma after the Seminole Wars of the 19th century. To avoid slave catchers, they fled to Mexico in the mid 19th century, some returning to the United States in the early 20th century.
Our special thanks to Fieldworker Ian Hancock, Seminole Leader, Charles Emily Wilson, and our dear, skillful Foodways Demonstrators from Del Rio, Texas, Ethel Warrior, and Alice Fay Lozano from Nacimiento, Mexico.
makes 4 to 6 servings
Combine all the ingredients but the oil and
let stand about 15 minutes to marinate, or refrigerate overnight. Meanwhile,
coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with oil and place over medium high heat.
Sautée the meat until done, about 5 minutes, adding beaten eggs or diced cooked
potatoes with sliced onions, and serve hot as a breakfast dish. This breakfast
sausage is also formed into patties and sautéed.
makes 6 tortillas
Combine the cornmeal with the water, forming a soft, pliable dough. Heat a heavy skillet over a high flame. Pinch off 6 balls of dough and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Take a piece of plastic wrap and place one of the balls of dough on it and overlap the other half of the plastic wrap over the dough. Press with the tortilla press or with the bottom of a heavy pan. Cook on the hot skillet about 1 minute, turn again for another few seconds, and again until the tortilla is completely cooked and still pliable.
Repeat procedure with remaining balls of dough. Stack under a moist kitchen towel until ready to serve.
Tortillas can be assembled, wrapped in
aluminum foil and refrigerate for several days or frozen for several months,
reheating them only for a few seconds on a hot skillet or 30 seconds in a
makes 6 servings
Preheat oven to 350oF
Sauce: In and iron skillet, salt 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. In a jar, shake the flour and 2 tablespoons chili powder with 1 cup water until thoroughly combined. Add this to the boiling water, lower the heat, and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Grease the bottom of a baking pan with the shortening using a wadded paper towel or kitchen brush. Spread 2 tablespoons of cheese and 1 tablespoon on onion in a column centered on each tortilla. Roll one side of the tortilla over the center and overlap with the other side of the tortilla, forming a cylinder enclosing the cheese/onion mixture: an enchilada.
Layer the enchiladas, folded side down, in
the baking pan, top with remaining cheese and onions, cover with the chili
sauce, and bake for 10 minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese.
makes 6 to 8 servings
Pour the cooking oil to a depth of 2" to 3" in a heavy bottomed saucepan or deep fryer. Heat over a medium flame
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the shortening, milk and egg, and work the mixture into a soft dough. Either roll our the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten with your hands to pieces that are about 1/2" thick and 2" square.
Test the oil temperature by pinching off a 1/2" ball of dough and dropping it into the hot oil. If it begins to cook immediately, the oil is ready. Drop the pieces one by one into the hot oil and watch them attentively. When they rise to the surface and become golden (about 2 or 4 minutes), turn them over and fry for another minute or two. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain in a single layer on newspaper or paper towels before serving.
makes 2 dozen
Simmer 1/2 cup cornmeal with the sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups water. Pour into the remaining cornmeal and water. Cover the bowl and let stand overnight in a dark, warm, draft free place to begin fermentation. The following day, add 2 1/2 cups wheat flour and mix well. Cover the bowl again, and continue to ferment the dough. The next day, sift in the baking powder, baking soda and remaining 1 1/2 cups wheat flour, kneading to form a soft, pliable dough.
Meanwhile, begin heating cooking oil in a deep, heavy skillet over high heat. When 1/2" piece of dough fries immediately, the temperature of the oil is high enough for frying. Pinch off 2" balls of dough, turning once. Remove each patty to drain on newspaper or paper towels. Serve warm.
makes 6 to 8 servings
Bake the pork and beef roasts in a preheated oven at 350oF, uncovered, for at least 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is no longer pink at the center. Cut into 1" cubes and grind the meats very fine, almost to a paste. Season with the salt, peppers, cumin, and garlic powder and refrigerate for at least 3 or 4 hours.
Combine the masa harina with the shortening and enough warm water to form a creamy spreadable paste. Spread about 2 heaping tablespoons at one end of a cleaned, moist corn husk, forming a 2" by 4" rectangle about 1/2" thick. Spread on a topping of about 1 teaspoon meat mixture. Fold the long edges of the corn husk over each other, enclosing the filling and forming long cylinders.
With white string, tie into bundles of 6 or 12 tamales. Add enough water in the bottom of a steamer pot to reach 1" below the steamer basket. Layer the bundles of tamales in upright bundles in the steamer basket. Close the lid tightly and simmer slowly on a medium flame for about an hour .
These small tamales are a celebration dish. Three tamales are considered one serving, and they are often served with rice and pinto beans, or alone, perhaps topped with additional chili powder, according to taste.
*Traditionally, a hog's head and equal amount of beef roast are used, increasing all the ingredients accordingly.
** Masa harina is finely ground cornmeal, locally available in Hispanic markets
*** An improvised steamer assembly can be made b using a heavy pot and a 4" layer of cleaned, sterilized garden rocks, topped with a folded kitchen towel. Water is added almost to the top of the rocks and the upright layers of tamale bundles are placed on the towel.
Tamales can be cooked and frozen, then steamed about half an hour before serving. They can be frozen before cooking, as well, in which case they must be cooked 1 1/2 hours before serving.
1 lb. pinto beans
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and boil gently over moderately high heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary
Serve as an accompaniment to beef, pork,
rabbit, goat, armadillo, raccoon, or any meat dish.
makes 6 to 8 servings
In a medium sized saucepan, cover the corn kernels with water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. The following day, boil over a medium flame for about 10 minutes, drain and remove to a large wooden bowl. Mash the kernels with a metate or pestle until a coarse purée is formed, the husks are separated from the kernels, and the centers of the kernels (hominy) are exposed.
Serve hot as a breakfast dish, side dish, or snack with sugar and cinnamon on top.
In early times, a mortar and pestle was used.
Today, Afro-Seminoles use a metate to crush the cooked kernels.
makes about 2 dozen slices
Preheat oven to 350oF. Combine
yams, allspice, cumin, vanilla, sugar, butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Grease a 9" X 13" baking pan and spread the yam mixture evenly in pan.
Bake uncovered for about half an hour, or until a knife blade inserted in the
center comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool, and serve in slices as a desert.
makes 6 servings
Follow the same directions as for the Texas Terra Poon
This recipe is according to ancestral tradition. Adding the eggs and milk is a modern modification. Both versions are delicious and served in the same manner on the same occasions.
It is the grating of the sweet potato raw with
the skin which gives an interesting texture to both versions of this spicy,
delicious Potato Pudding, 'Tato Pud'n, 'Tetta Poon.
makes 3 servings
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Lower heat to medium high and add the masa harina in a steady stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until the mixture forms a thick, loose porridge. Serve hot topped with honey.
Toile is an easily digestible pudding often used during recovery from the flu and its intestinal symptoms.
Another type of toile is made from wheat
flour and milk: