5 Delicious Recipes Inspired by ‘Game of Thrones’

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The world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire might not seem like the place to go for fine dining — unless you’ve got a hankering for some raw horse heart, that is. But you might be surprised — delicious treats abound in Alan Kistler’s The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook , all inspired by food found in the epic fantasy series, from deadly cocktails to castle feasts to girlish delicacies. And yes, the book includes a recipe for “Khaleesi’s Heart” — cooked, thank goodness, but spicy (and strange) enough to make eating it a feat even so. We’ve pulled five recipes from the cookbook to inspire the feast you’re doubtless preparing for tonight’s Game of Thrones Season 2 premiere. After all, if you’re trying to woo a fellow nerd, there’s nothing better than some authentic lemon cakes to sweeten the evening — and hey, if they still refuse you, you can always just slip them a little poison.

Arya’s Lemon Cakes

Despite her youth, Arya is one of the most strong-willed and determined characters when we first meet her. But as her sister Sansa is aware, the youngest Stark girl does have one weakness: lemon cakes. Just a mention of them can distract the free-spirited Arya from her impulse to defy orders and conventions—if only for a few moments. To Arya, the cakes represent happy times at home, something worth selling street-caught pigeons for when times are tough. (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 15 — Sansa)

Makes 10–12 small cakes 1 1/2 cups warm milk 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package) 1 egg 1/4 teaspoon lemon verbena oil or lemon extract 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons dried lemon verbena, crushed

1. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for about 10 minutes, until foamy. 2. Mix in egg, lemon verbena oil, 1 tablespoon of the butter, salt, flour, and dried lemon verbena. Beat together 5 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. 3. Cover with plastic wrap and rise in a warm spot for about 11/2 hours (until doubled in volume). 4. Heat griddle over high heat. Test by sprinkling on a little water. If griddle sizzles and water evaporates, it’s ready. 5. Lower heat to medium-low. Melt remaining tablespoon of butter on the griddle. Place muffin rings on griddle and fill halfway with batter. Cover loosely with foil and cook until cakes are browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. 6. Using spatula or tongs, flip over each small cake and ring. Cover and cook another 5 minutes. Serve warm.

A Word of Wisdom: Muffin or crumpet rings will keep your cakes thicker and compact. If you don’t have any handy, you can cut open both ends of short, metal food cans—like those used to pack tuna. Remove the labels and wash them very thoroughly. When you’re ready to make lemon cakes, flour the inside well then use them instead of muffin rings.

Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler

Tears of Lys

The deadliest and stealthiest of all poisons, tears of Lys is as rare as it is untraceable—the perfect choice for the discerning assassin. This cocktail isn’t quite as lethal as its namesake, but is doubtless a poison worth picking. Cachaça is the perfect spirit for the job: not only is it made from fermented sugarcane juice; home distillers can formulate blindingly strong batches that are more potent than whiskeys and vodkas. The lime hints at its exotic and mysterious origins, and simple syrup further belies this drink’s dark purpose. One sip can erase any lingering doubts about why it so easily catches its victims off-guard… (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 30 — Eddard)

Makes 1 lethal serving 1 lime, quartered 1 teaspoon simple syrup, purchased or made by dissolving 1 part sugar in 1 part warm water and cooling 2 ounces cachaça or white rum

1. Place a lime wedge and the simple syrup in an old-fashioned glass and muddle well. 2. Add the cachaça and stir well. 3. Fill the glass with ice and stir again.

A Word of Wisdom: Not every drink is best served with muddled fruit and ice. If you prefer a clear, unadulterated cocktail, mix the whole drink in a Boston shaker, shake to combine, and strain the liquid out into your glass. Purists may argue that shaking “bruises” the spirit, but what’s a little bruising between poisoners?

Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler

Bran Stark’s Pigeon Pie

Though forced to endure a drastic change in his life, Bran Stark can still enjoy a hot pigeon pie while he watches direwolves fight over a bone in the corner. Pigeon is present in many other moments of uncertainty in Westeros, too: a homeless girl sells them in the streets, a king feasts on them moments before his demise, and several curious bannermen eat them while their young lord tries to prove his strength. Despite these somber settings, pigeons seem to represent something hopeful and light—even when fate would cast the future otherwise. (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 24 — Bran)

Makes 4 pies 1 1/2 pounds pigeon breast 1/2 pound porcini mushrooms 1 bunch green onions 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons flour 2 cups heavy cream 4 ounces Boursin cheese Kosher salt and seasoned pepper to taste 1 roll phyllo dough (4 sheets) 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1. Chop the breast meat, mushrooms, and green onions. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a pan. Sautee the chopped mixture over medium high heat for several minutes until meat is cooked. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add cream and cheese and blend well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. 2. Lay out 4 sheets of phyllo on a damp cloth and cover with another damp cloth. 3. Preheat oven to 425°F. 4. Place one sheet of phyllo on a work surface and brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Place one-fourth of the chilled meat mixture on the upper center of the dough. Fold over the sides and roll up. Butter outside of dough heavily. Repeat three times to make remaining pies. 5. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and serve hot.

A Word of Wisdom: This dish may be better for feasts than for an everyday dinner, since it needs to partially cook a day ahead. You could also make it, bake it, and freeze it so it is ready to pop in a hot oven when guests are coming. Any game bird can be substituted for the pigeon.

Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler

Baratheon Boar Ribs with Apple

A king has the luxury of being able to order what he wishes, and after a vigorous hunt it’s understandable that he would want a fine boar to consume. While he rides alongside the son he can’t quite relate to, King Robert makes sure to demand that such a meal will be ready for him and his knights upon their return. The poor boar, however, is not unlike the rotund king who has seen better days before seeming so tempting of a target for his enemies. (A Game of Thrones, Chapter 8 — Bran)

Serves 4 1 fennel bulb, core and brown parts removed, chopped 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and chopped 1/2 cup white wine 1 tablespoon butter 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup sour cream (optional) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1/2 cup finely chopped celery 2 tablespoons minced onion 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped 2 teaspoons dried rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or stuffing mix 4 double-thick boar or pork rib chops (7–8 ounces each) 8 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 1/2 hour

1. Cook the fennel and apple in the wine, covered, for about 20 minutes. Be sure to keep it wet by adding liquid as needed. Don’t let it dry out. 2. When the fennel and apple are very soft, add the butter, caraway seeds, salt and pepper, and sour cream. Stir lightly; then remove from heat. Set aside. 3. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, apple, and rosemary. Cook about 2 minutes; then mix in the bread crumbs or stuffing mix. 4. Fill the pockets of the chops with the breadcrumb mixture, securing openings with toothpicks. 5. Set the grill to medium and brown chops over direct heat. 6. Place on indirect heat, cover, and grill for about 15 minutes per side. Internal temperature should reach 145°F. Spoon some fennel sauce onto each chop before serving.

A Word of Wisdom: You can either parboil the ribs for 20 minutes, or grill them over indirect heat for about 35 minutes before adding the sauce. Make extra and it will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler

Weasel’s Oatcakes

The girl known as Weasel at Harrenhal has always been strong and smart for her age, but the ease with which she accepts a simple existence may be the thing that keeps her out of harm’s way. Oatcakes fuel her long days of hard, physical work, and the little dash of dried apricots in this recipe would be a true treat on a dull morning, especially for someone just trying to blend in. (A Clash of Kings, Chapter 38 — Arya)

Serves 8 3 cups rolled oats 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda or powder 1 egg white ⅓ cup plain yogurt 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease the sheet. 2. Pulse the oats in a food processor 10 times, then add the flour and baking soda or powder and pulse to mix. 3. In a bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy, then add the yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Add the oat mixture and dried apricots to the yogurt mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon. 4. Roll the mixture into 8 balls and flatten them into thick, cylindrical patties. 5. Place the oatcakes on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15–20 minutes. Let cool and then refrigerate unless eating right away.

A Word of Wisdom: For a crunchier treat, replace the apricot with 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Or, just trade 1/4 cup of apricots for 1/4 cup of nuts to enjoy both. You can serve your oatcakes cold and any time of the day, but they’re lovely hot with a pat of butter and syrup.

Recipe and image courtesy The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew – More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond (F+W Media, April 2012) by Alan Kistler