A Game of Thrones Feast

I love Game of Thrones. First, my dad started watching it. Then my sister. When my sister tried to get me to watch it, I was like “You can’t get me to watch that stupid show! It’s stupid! Dragons! HA!”

Boy was I wrong.

Now it’s a full fledged addiction. Sundays are my new favorite day of the week. 9’o clock on Sundays are my happy place. Season six is giving me pure joy. After a full year of waiting, the premier is like being reunited with your long lost lover. Hopeful fans pray for Jon Snow’s resurrection. Utter despise for Ramsay is growing with every minute of his screen time.

But I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll keep quiet about the show. It’s time to talk about the food.

To get pumped for the season 6 premier, I decided to cook up a feast. My sister got a cookbook called The Feast of Ice and Fire, which holds recipes from the North, the South, the Wall, Dorne, and across the Narrow Sea. Basically this book is the key to good food. Since most of the recipes are meat heavy, I used a different recipe for the stew that I found in a vegetarian cookbook. The bread, onions, and ham come from The Feast of Ice and Fire.

I served the stew in homemade bread bowls. The bread bowls were crusty and filled to the brim with hot, hearty stew. The pearl onions were dripping with a sweet brown gravy. The ham… I don’t know. I’m vegetarian. But the way my sister was gushing over it made it clear that it will please each and every ham-eating omnivore out there. The salad sorta just sat there. Who needs salad when there are bread bowls? I’m fairly certain bread is healthier than leafy greens. My taste buds told me so.

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Stew, ham, and onions in gravy. 

Alright everyone, here comes a wave of recipes. Don’t be afraid to eat a ton. You need it. It’s cold in the North.

Winter is Coming.

 

For the bread:

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • cornmeal (for dusting the pan)

Directions:

  1. Add the yeast and honey to the warm water and stir.  Let sit for about five minutes before adding the flour and salt.
  2. Put the dough on a well-floured surface and knead it for about five minutes. If you poke the dough and it bounces back, it’s ready to go. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  3. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise in a warm area for about two hours. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it into thirds. If you want to make bread bowls, divide the dough further. Put the dough balls on a pan sprinkled with cornmeal and let them rise for an additional 40 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees F. Fill a baking dish with two cups water and place it underneath the rack where the bread will bake. This will help create a crusty crust. Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is dark golden brown. The loaves should should hollow when you tap them.

 

For the onions:

Ingredients: 

  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme (or any herb you desire)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3 cups veggie broth

Directions: 

  1. Cut seven of the onions into quarters. Put the honey, butter, herbs, and onions into a deep frying pan and cook at medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions turn golden brown, stirring to keep them from burning.
  2. Add the cider to the pan in 3 splashes. Let it heat between each splash. This helps the gravy taste sweet.
  3. Sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir well. Then add the veggie broth, and let simmer until it has reached your desired consistency. I usually add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. Serve hot.

For the Stew:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth, chopped (heh)
  • teaspoon of thyme, sage, or rosemary
  • 2 lbs white beans, about 4 cups, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz orecchiette or other pasta shapes, about 2 cups
  • pinch of hot red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, the add the onion, garlic, and potato and cook until golden, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Ladle stew into bowls (preferably made out of bread.)

 

For the ham:

Ingredients:

  • 1 spiral cut ham (we used a small cut of ham rather than an entire ham and it worked fine)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, stir together the honey, vinegar, and cider. Stew over medium heat for about ten minutes, then pour over them ham. Cook the ham according to package directions, and periodically baste the ham with the juices. Serve on a fancy platter.

 

Wow. Feast away. I can’t take credit for all these recipes, even though I did make modifications. I omitted ingredients we didn’t have on hand and made the ingredients vegetarian.

Here’s my works cited:

Monroe-Cassel, Chelsea, and Lehrer, Sariann. A Feast of Ice and Fire. New York: Random House. 2012. Print.

Bramley, Tessa. Easy Vegetarian. New York: Ryland Peteres and Small. 2007. Print.

 

 

Tofu and Pineapple Stir Fry

I’m going to warn you before you see the pictures, this stir-fry might look scary. But it’s not, I promise. It is sweet, salty, and soy-saucy, with a thick (not pathetic and watery) sauce. And here’s a big bonus: it’s easy to make. Oh, fast too. Wait, one more thing, it’s versatile. Throw in any vegetables you want, add some protein, and cook up a carb-y side to complete the meal. This recipe was originally made with shrimp, but my mom despises it, so in came the tofu. You could also use chicken, or fish, or hamburger DON’T use hamburger, that was a joke ahaa… Try jazzing this up with some spices! The options are endless. My family can’t complain about this recipe, they love it. If your family turns up their noses to something this good, I’m sorry. They must be hard to feed. I’d probably force feed them.

Here’s to a new meal for the weeknight menu.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (20 oz) can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
  • 1 big square of tofu, diced (or meat of choice)
  • 1 (1lb) bag frozen vegetables (Fresh can also be used. I threw in a mix of both.)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

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    Yum.

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Directions: 

  1. Drain pineapple, saving the juice. Take the pineapple juice and mix in the cornstarch and soy sauce.
  2. Cook the tofu until it is slightly golden, about 5-10 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Place the vegetables in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pineapple juice mixture and tofu, then stir until sauce thickens.
  4. Add pineapple chunks and cook until heated. Serve over your favorite type of rice or pasta. I used wild rice. This is a great dinner, and the leftovers make a great lunch, or breakfast. Just whip this up whenever you want something simple, but flavorful. Enjoy.
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The weird gray stuff is wild rice. try it, it’s darn amazing.

I clipped this out of a random magazine ages ago, so uhm, I don’t remember where it came from exactly. All I know is that I didn’t make this up, so I’m not gonna take the credit. Cheers to whoever made it up.

Homemade Pasta

I like love pasta. It makes a fast, easy, delicious meal that can satisfy vegetarians and meat lovers alike. For the longest time I never dared make my own pasta; it seemed far too daunting, and I was completely content just dumping boxed pasta into boiling water and heating up sauce from a can. But after a while, I got bored. My old favorite meal turned into a fear as my mom announced, “Spaghetti for dinner!” for the millionth time. So I decided to change things. On a free summer day I opened our battered old copy of The Joy of Cooking and flipped to pasta. The simple ingredient list shocked me; I believed that the list would be long, terrifying, and full of unknown ingredients.

I spent the afternoon mixing and rolling and cutting and thinking: “Wow this is so much easier than I thought it would be!” It may be a bit time consuming, but that’s mostly spent waiting, not working. And I promise you, it is worth it. The noodles are fast to cook to al dente perfection. They are tender, but have this perfect bite to them. Not a mushy gross ten minute dinner without any thought. This pasta is full of love (and deliciousness). On your next free weekend, make this. If you have kids that refuse to eat long evil worms, cut it into hearts. It’s so versatile. Make pink Alfredo sauce. Go wild. Or make plain old red sauce and be boring (me). Any way you have it, you’ll love it!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour  (Don’t pack it too hard!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (Optional)*

Directions: 

  1. Mound the flour onto your counter. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, oil, and salt. Beat the eggs well, then slowly start incorporating the flour. Be careful of eggs spilling out of your flour dam.
  2. Keep combing the ingredients until it forms into a ball. (It sticks to your fingers, I know.) If the dough is too goopey add some more flour. Once it is at an easy to knead consistency, knead it for about ten minutes or until the dough is very elastic.
  3. Divide the dough into four pieces, and let it rest at room temperature covered in plastic for 60 minutes.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and begin rolling it out until it is thin. (About 1/8 inch thick)
  5. Cut your pasta into desired shapes. (Pizza cutters work well! Or use a pasta machine, lucky duck.) Let it sit for another hour before putting it into boiling water.
  6. Boil your pasta 2-4 minutes. It really depends on how firm you want your pasta to be. Layer on your favorite sauce, or put a dab of butter and salt on them and enjoy them plain. They’re just that good.

* If you have these ingredients, put them in! They make the pasta taste even better!IMG_20150716_155028IMG_20150716_205617