Saturday, July 15, 2017

Winter is Coming or GOT Theme Dinner

Recently I did a post about a prison in homage to the Netflix new season of Orange is the New Black.Well, folks, right now we begin the countdown to Game of Thrones season premier and I felt compelled to do the same. (Actually Son1 asked me to create a meal for a pre viewing feast)

If you watch GOT but have not seen season 5 stop now because there will be some spoiler alerts.
Last season saw a lot of changes, and of course, more dead people (I will miss Hodor, but what a great plot development). We also got to see a few new things like a fleet of ships with Daeneryis flying above while riding her dragon, Cersei blowing up a few people, and Arya serving pie to Walder Frey.

I used this past seasons revelations to act as a guide for the following theme meal. There are 7 kingdoms in the Game of Thrones world but right now five major regions house the main characters and each region has a European counterpart. The North is supposed to be similar to Scotland,  The Iron Islands resemble Norway, Westeros is very much like London during the Middle Ages, The Reach can be compared to France, and finally there is Dorne which is almost a dead ringer for Spain. I decided to cook somewhat regional dishes based on the story line provided with each area with one caveat, the food had to be made with things I would keep around the house on a regular basis, so no heading out to the store for some pickled herring or Spanish olives.

I had the most trouble with the Iron Islands, mainly because it's place in the tale is most likely going to be fleshed out this season. Last season ended with Yara and Theion leading a mutiny against Euron, their uncle, who had just been declared king after murdering his brother, the king. I am pretty sure the action is going to increase rapidly.  Since the Iron Islanders are a sea faring bunch I decided to start the meal with a fishy appetizer. Now I live no where near a cold sea, so there was no way I would have anything from there in my kitchen, however I am a reasonably decent punter sometimes.
Instead of a cold water fish, we started with a faux smoked tuna spread on toasted baguette slices. The real thing is one of our favorite treats when we are on the Gulf coast, but I have made this bastardized version several times when we are not at the beach and get a hankering for it.

Faux Smoked Tuna Spread

2 ounces creamed cheese
1 can albacore tuna, drained and flaked
1'2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 scallions minced finely
3 or 4 drops tobasco (optional)
Mix all ingredients well with a fork.  Stick it in the fridge to chill and serve on cracker or toast.

I thought since there is a battle for the throne, it would only be appropriate for me to serve our app on my plate that has the image of The King.

For our salad course I took a little (very little) inspiration from Spain. The Sand Snake gals are in a difficult situation right now but they are clever, skilled and dangerous. Luckily for TheHub I did not coat the blade of my dagger (knife ) with poison while I was slicing onions.

Somewhat Spanish Inspired Salad

1/2 cup torn lettuce leaves per person
1 clementine, sections and pith removed
4  very thin rings of raw onion (I should have used Spanish onions but I had Vadilias
lemon juice
olive oil,
salt and pepper
Put the lettuce on a plate, top with the clementines and the onion slices. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper.

The main meal was served on the same plate, therefore there is only one photo, but I am going to say a tad about each dish.

In the North last season Arya Stark had a little surprise for Walder Frey the elder. She served him a hearty meat pie, but she went all Sweeny Todd on him and served him his sons, literally. For my dish I made a variation of the Frey Pie, but I promise, no sons or daughters were harmed in the making of this dish. Yeah, it wasn't  a real pie either. I made a meat roll, which is a pastry crust with meat filling that is rolled jellyroll style and baked.

Frey Pie

1/2 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 carton mushrooms, chopped finely
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
2 teaspoons parsley
2 tablespoons of any condiment you wish (ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, A-1, gravy, your choice) I have this wonderful smoked bell pepper sauce that pours almost like ketchup. It has a fabulous flavor we love so that is what I used. You need something cohesive to pull everything together and add a little moisture to the final beef mixture.
1 single pastry crust, rolled in a rectangle. (I used a ready made Pillsbury crust and simply re-rolled it into a rectangle.)

Brown the ground beef and wilt the onions and mushrooms at the same time, in the same pan. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the mixture is almost dry. Spread over your rectangular pie crust, leaving about a 1/2 inch pastry crust perimeter all around the edges.  Slowly roll along the long side like a jelly roll and place on an aluminum foil lined cookie sheet. (Spray the foil with cooking spray before putting the pastry on it) Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Meanwhile back in Westeros, Cersei was busy causing an explosion to kill 3 of her enemies along with hundreds of collateral casualties. The things some people won't stop at to be queen. When we were in London, every single place we ate had carrots on the menu, so I knew I wanted to have carrots, but was unsure what I was going to do to/with them. I actually searched for an explosive carrot recipe and instead found one promising explosive flavor. Since I made this recipe just like she said (with the exception of adding some hot red pepper paste) am simply posting a link to The Green Creator and her recipe for Carrot Cashew Pate. We ate it on cucumber rounds and though it was not the best thing I have ever eaten it was OK. I will probably never make it again but I am going to stick the leftovers in the fridge and see if overnight in the cold improves it.

And finally, Daeneryis has been busy flying around on her hot breath dragon, so naturally I needed to have something to put a little heat is our mouths, right?

Dragon Potatoes

12 new small new potatoes, scrubbed and boiled to fork tender
2 tablespoons butter
1 very small clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced

Cook the potatoes until soft, drain, put them in a serving bowl and cut an X in the top of each potato. Mash the sides of the potato to open the X mark.
Melt the butter in a small pan until it is bubbling. Toss in the garlic and the jalapeno and stir continually over medium heat until the veggies are wilted and the butter has turned a caramel color. Pour over the open space in the potatoes and serve immediately.  (serves 2 or 3 depending on the size of the potatoes) These were really good with just a tad of heat,

And last but not least we head to The Reach, where Oleanna (Granny) Tyrell (Remember Emma Peel from the Avengers in the 60's.) is plotting some super sweet revenge against Cersei. It seems that Cersei is the reason her granddaughter, Margaery, her grandson, Loras, and her son, Mace will not be coming home for dinner_ever. We already know Oleanna has a very quick hand when it comes to poisoning food. Again TheHub is lucky I am not emulating the lady.

Seriously Lame Cheesecake Parfait (Sugar Free)

1 box Jello instant Sugar Free Cheesecake Pudding
1 cup kefir (can use milk instead, but the kefir gives it a tarter taste)
1 cup milk
Prepare according to package directions, chill
Spoon the pudding into a parfait glass
Sprinkle raspberries over it to make another layer
Add Sugar free Cool Whip for the third and final layer
Garnish with a raspberry or two.

And yes I know how seriously lame the dessert was. I just have not been eating sugars, and needed something Frenchy and dessertish to complete the menu. And it was pretty tasty, especially if you have been eating no sweets.

Also, following Cersei's beverage of choice, everything was served with a nice cabernet.

Now I have to go get my geek on because in less than 24 hours "Winter is Coming"!


  1. Love your ingenuity and creativity. And am a tad ashamed to say I have never read nor seen GOT.

    1. I have seen all the episodes and read all the books. Personally I wish George R.R. Martin would invest a little more time writing his sequel and less time screen writing because his books are so much richer.

  2. I am glad you did not eliminate your enemies or your children to concoct this meal. I have never seen GOT and have no desire to see it. It does sound interesting, action-packed.

    1. I love it, but liked the books much better.

  3. Yet another person here who has not read or seen GOT, but enjoyed hearing about your meal creations.

    1. Ditto but love the themed meal. I have a free month of HBO but don't know if I want to invest time in a TV series.

    2. It seems I have spent most of my life getting my nerd on.

    3. If we did not have HBO I would never have watched the shows, even after reading the books, but I am seriously hooked now.

  4. Yet another person who has not watched the show or read the books! Thank you for explaining the reason behind each dish, though. It all sounds very delicious and I am so impressed with your creativity! I must tell my daughter about your themed meals - she and her friends recently put together a "Friends" themed party complete with a meal featuring foods eaten in the show. :)

    1. I would have done a meal like the show but I just didn't want to eat ground sons or pigeon pie.

    2. Ha, ha, I have a recipe for pigeon pie, if you ever want one! It is in one of my mother's old recipe books. The recipe directions end with, "The pigeon's feet may be stuck through the hole in the pastry for decoration".

  5. AHH! I will have to return after I GOT. I'm only on Season 3.

  6. I am seriously in awe of your ingenuity! Goodness. I have also not seen GOT but I hear people rave about it. Conversely after your last foray into themed cooking for Orange is the New Black, I realized that my colleague had the book. She said she couldn't finish it as it was so boring so I started reading it. Got about 15 chapters in and put it down too as life is just too short to read a bad book. Which begs the question, I guess, how do they make what is apparently a really great series from a less than stellar book? (I haven't seen the series either though). Anna

  7. The GOT series starts slow then goes nuts. I never read OITNB because every review said it was crap.

  8. I love this, Anne! I read the first two GOT books and then got SO MAD about everybody dying that I had to take a break. And have not yet built up the resolve to go back to them. They are very well written and the world-building is superb.

    I am going to try that tuna appetizer and also the meat roll. We often order a smoked fish spread when we're on vacation, too, but I've never thought to try and recreate it!

  9. It is not the real thing but it is a pretty decent tasting copy.

  10. You folks have so much fun don't you? :) I think all of your dishes have the potential to become "bit hits"; I especially like the idea of jalapenos and garlic in the new little potatoes! Great creativity Anne - you make mealtime fun again! Now THERE is an idea for a baseball cap!! "Make Mealtime Fun Again!"

  11. I actually like to cook and I like to play with theme meals, but we had our GOT theme meal the day before the show. I'm very glad we did since we worked in the yard Sunday until about 6:30 leaving just enough time for a shower and a take out meal before showtime.

  12. Well there! I am going to start following you based solely on your intense devotion to GOT. (I share your affliction.) Good little blog.