Food & Game of Thrones

Note: This post may have a few spoilers.

I find joy in sharing my experiences on things that I love only because I have a vast friend circle that shares the same interests. It becomes easier to reach out to so many people at the same time. As a foodie and a GoT fan, I’m incessantly drawn to the description and depiction of food in its lore. When I first read the Song of Ice and Fire books I knew I had to write about the food references made in them. There were many instances where the author, R.R. Martin has described food more erotically than sex, which made it more desirable than the latter. From drinking milk of the poppy to Arya selling oysters, clams and cockles to the food at the red wedding, food has played an integral part of the show. There is a part in the book that talks about 77-course feast after Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding but we as an audience haven’t gotten a chance to experience it all. Since food has been the center point of most main events, here are a few recipes of dishes mentioned in the show/book that millions have come to love. 

Starks

stark.jpg

 

Breakfast at Winterfell mostly consists of bread, butter, honey and blackberry preserves, a thin slice of bacon and a soft-boiled egg, a wedge of cheese, a pot of mint tea. We see this reference when Catelyn Stark is at Bran’s bedside. During the feast thrown for Robert Baratheon  honey-roasted chicken, roast onions dripping with brown gravy and bread trenchers was served. With lots of wine.

Honey-roasted chicken-Baratheon’s welcome dinnerhoney chicken

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces   
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).Rub chicken pieces with garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat egg yolk with honey and butter or margarine, then brush this mixture over chicken pieces. Place chicken pieces, skin side down, in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish.Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 45 to 60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear, basting with remaining butter or margarine. Just before serving, turn chicken over and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes to cook the skin on the other side.

 

Lannisters 

lannisters.jpg

 

Dinner has begun at the Small hall in King’s Landing. Ned Stark enters looking upset. At the dinner table is Arya who notices her father’s worry. In this scene we see thick sweet soup made with pumpkins, platters of ribs, roasted in a crust of garlic and herbs set on the table. Food at the castle was sumptuous, however the people here most times ate a Bowl of brown which was a cheap, meager stew served in the slums of King’s Landing, particularly in Flea Bottom

Bowl of brown-Gendry’s daily meal stew

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
500 grams boneless beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large unpeeled potato, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or maida                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
In 12-inch skillet or 4-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes. Add beef; cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides. Add water, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes or until beef is almost tender. Stir in remaining ingredients except cold water and flour. Cover; cook about 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. In tightly covered jar or container, shake cold water and flour; gradually stir into beef mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute until.
Dothraki
dothraki.jpg
The first wedding in the show was between khal Drogo and Dany. The dothraki were horse flesh eating people and had a big appetite. During the wedding celebrations we see horseflesh roasted with honey and peppers, fermented mare’s milk, fine wines, steaming joints of meat and thick black sausage, fruits and sweetgrass stews and delicate pastries. Dany doesn’t eat much throughout the feast, however we see the dothraki devouring the lavish spread. R.R. Martin in most scenes has portrayed them to be mongolian set and of middle eastern-european ethnicity. I’ve recreated the Dothraki dried horse jerky using pork cause it’s just tastier ?

Dothraki dried pork jerky- Dany’s wedding feast pork jerky

1 kg ground pork with at least 20% fat (900g)
2 tbsp cooking wine
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp ground pepper
½ tsp five-spice powder
2/3 cup sugar (145g)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well with a sturdy serving spoon for about 2 minutes. Mixture will turn gooey. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.Prepare 5 to 6 sheets of parchment paper the size of a jelly roll pan (15.5in x 10.5in).Spread a thin layer of meat mixture with a butter knife onto parchment paper. The meat layer should be about 2mm to 2.5mm thick. Leave an inch around the perimeter of paper clear of meat for easy handling.Place a large piece of shrink wrap over the meat. Using a rolling pin, roll over meat to smoothen and even out the spread meat. Remove shrink wrap. Repeat until all meat is used up.Transfer sheets of meat to jelly roll pans and bake in a 250°F (120°C) oven for 15 minutes.The partially cooked meat should be nice and dry*. When it is cool enough to handle, cut each sheet of meat into 6 pieces.Increase oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Transfer meat and parchment paper to a broiler pan this time and grill for approximately 5 minutes. Meat burns easily at this stage. Adjust time accordingly.Remove from oven. Flip slices of meat over with a pair of tongs. Return pan to the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
Greyjoys
grape jam
Though the Iron Islands aren’t known for their food and hospitality, we see a wide spread laid out for Theon Greyjoy on his return to Pyke. There is salted fish and bread trenchers filled with creamy fish stew on the table and Asha his sister is indulging herself. 

Creamy fish stew- Theon’s home-coming meal chowder

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 celery sticks chopped
1 garlic clove crushed
175ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
1 tbsp cornflour mixed to a paste with 1 tbsp cold water
400g bag frozen seafood mix, defrosted
small bunch dill, chopped
5 tbsp half-fat cream
                                                                                                                                                                    Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion and celery until soft but not coloured, about 10 mins. Throw in the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Pour in the wine and simmer on a high heat until most has disappeared. Pour in the stock and cornflour mix and simmer for 5-10 mins, stirring often until thickened. Season, then add the seafood and most of the dill. Simmer for a few mins until piping hot, then stir in the cream. Meanwhile, cook the garlic bread following pack instructions. Divide the stew into warm bowls and scatter with the remaining dill. Serve with garlic bread.
In conclusion:
You could make any of these recipes at your next Game of Thrones theme party and be a hit among your guests.Make things like a cranberry pie and call it a the dothraki blood-pie or present fish fingers as Little finger. You can also play games that go with the shows storyline to keep your guests entertained. I hope you enjoy your next theme party. Happy cooking!
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