So welcome back to round two of Thronesgiving 2016!
I hope you enjoyed your lemon cakes last week from Westeros’s bread box in Highgarden. This week we’ll be heading to the North with some Butternut Squash and Apple Soup, and some Stark Stout Bread Pudding.
I’ll go ahead and say right now that the dishes for this year’s Thronesgiving are not actually from show or books, but rather inspired by the era and cultures from the source material. Got that but still want something delicious that could very well grace King Robert’s table? Good, continue on.
For both of these, and most of the other recipes from the feast, I threw together a medieval spice blend known as “Poudre Forte”. This “strong powder” was blend of various warming spices such as cinnamon, black pepper, mace, ginger, clove, and grains of paradise. I’ve adapted my recipe from Inn at the Crossroad‘s Official Game of Thrones Cookbook to better suit my wallet and resources. I’m currently lucky to have Dekalb Farmers’ Market nearby to support my spice addiction as I was using tablespoons to mix up a good amount to experiment with for Thronesgiving.
2 parts ground black pepper
1 part ground cinnamon
1 part ground nutmeg
1 part ground ginger
1 part ground cloves
The Soup of the North
So first for some soup. I decided I wanted to use autumn and winter fruits and vegetables to better represent the areas around Winterfell. Butternut squash and green apple are a great sweet and tart flavor combination.
I’ll be bringing this back down to earth with some turnip, onion, and garlic — as well as mixing in some herbs and poudre forte.
This feast was the perfect time to test out my new Epica Heavy Duty Immersion Blender and holy crap, the name is an understatement. This thing liquefied a double recipe of this soup in less than a minute and only needed my one, unburnt hand to operate.
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Equipment: Stovetop, large pot, immersion blender
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1.5 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 3 small green apples, cored and diced
- 1 turnip, peeled and diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 3/4 teaspoon poudre fort
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Melt two tablespoons butter in the pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the later has softened.
- Stir in the apples, squash, and turnips and cook for about five minutes.
Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar, seasonings, and herbs, cover, and let simmer another 10 minutes.
- Turn off the stove and remove the pot from heat. Blend the soup until smooth with the immersion blender.
- Finally stir in the remaining butter until fully melted. Serve.
Time to Take the Black….Bread.
Now onto our next dish, Stark Stout Bread Pudding. I know you remember the black bread the Night’s Watch ate in the books. It seemed to me the easiest way to get a good amount of bread baked up every day for that many starving, sworn brothers in a frozen climate was to use beer to help leaven it.
That said, any stale or leftover bread can be made into beer and the circle of food life continues, or they could also vary things up a bit and make bread pudding.
So what better beer to use than a good dark brew, darker than a Stormcrow’s cloak, from Atlanta’s Reformation Brewery? Feel free to use any dark stout you can get your hands on since I know distribution hasn’t quite reached all corners of the country, much less the planet.
To this bread, we’ll be adding some fresh rosemary for a piney flavor of the frozen forest, ground sage for scent of earth under the snow, and poudre forte to warm the spirit where the sun cannot.
And then cubing that up, mixing it with a custard with brown sugar, fresh sage, and orange zest for some southern flavor reminiscent of home.
Top this with some orange slices and you’ve got something to sustain you on the long treks north of the Wall.
Stay tuned next week when we head to Dorne for another side dish!
Spiced Stark Stout Bread Pudding with Orange
Equipment: Oven, standard loaf pan, flour sifter, 11×13 casserole dish.
- 3 cups all purpose flour, sifted
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 tablespoon poudre forte
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 12 oz stout beer
- Zest of one orange
- 1/2 tablespoon of sage leaves, chiffonade
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- pinch salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups cream
- 1 cup milk
- At least one day before when you plan to serve this dish, start making the bread by preheating the oven to 375 F. Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and let sit.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour in beer and butter and stir thoroughly into a thick batter.
- Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for an hour. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
- When ready to make the bread pudding, cut the bread into one-inch cubes and place into a large bowl.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs and then whisk in the rest of the custard ingredients. Pour the custard over the bread, stir to coat and let sit while preheating the oven to 350 F.
- Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Transfer the bread cube mix to the dish, top with orange slices if you wish to use them as a garnish,
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and serve.