Hello from The Gluttonous Geek!
Today I’m really excited to introduce one of my favorite podcasts as the inspiration for this recipe post: Hello from The Magic Tavern.
Hello from The Magic Tavern follows the adventures of Arnie Niekamp, Chicago-based comedian and game writer, who has fallen through an interdimensional portal behind a Burger King into a magical fantasy land named Foon. Since there is a slight WiFi signal coming through the portal, and since he still has his recording equipment with him, he decides to host a weekly podcast at the tavern the Vermillion Minotaur, in the town of Hogsface, in the land Foon, interviewing various creatures and people he meets there.
Because every podcaster needs regular co-hosts, he befriends Chunt, a wisecracking shapeshifter in the form of a badger…
and Usidore the Blue, a wizard of many names on a quest to defeat the Dark Lord…
Each episode details the wacky and raunchy shenanigans of these boon (and Foon) companions as they meet short-tempered flowers, dancing pigs with wings, extortionist insurance-selling unicorns, money-pooping imps, and even sometimes the magically cursed turducken.
One thing is for certain, though, in these fantastical accounts of Foonish culture. The people and creatures of Foon love food beyond just basic sustenance. The town of Hogsface alone is known to be a culinary destination featuring “desserts that will cause your heart to blister.” The former greatest swordsman of Foon, Jak Vorpal, has even chosen to hang up his singing sword (much to her consternation) there to open a pie shop (boysenberry is his favorite, btw). The Vermillion Minotaur itself is known to house a fair number of epicurean delights such as Rainbow Bowls, Rooster’s Feet, and most notably: Spiced Potatoes.
Usidore describes that to make this dish, you must take potatoes just pulled from the ground, coat them in oil and spices of cumin, coriander, chilies, mustard seed, and clove, then just bite into them. You really want to get a good crunch with a Spiced Potato, apparently.
Now here on Earth, you are likely to get sick from eating a raw potato. So to make this recipe human-friendly (and bite sized), I decided to take some golden baby potatoes and microwave them before deep frying them on the stovetop. Microwave, of course, is the term used for when a wizard waves his hands over food rapidly in barely discernable movements to create friction and cook it. This is probably how you’re able to eat spiced potatoes in Foon without getting sick (and probably why Usidore is the Chef at Chunt’s restaurant “Choo Choo’s Chow“). Our microwave appliances on Earth simulate those movements, so we don’t have to hire a kitchen wizard of our own. There’s only so many of them to go around, you know!
The crazy thing I discovered when developing the recipe (or at least it was very surprising to me) was not only how well the spices Usidore described went with each other, but how well they worked in equal portions. I took some liberties in replacing the chilies mentioned with smoked paprika, I suggest you try the same, Usidore and Chunt. The bacon-like flavor you get from it is worth it.
Yes, I am aware that the spice embargo on Migas is still in effect (or it is at least where I’m still listening). Keep checking the opening of the dimensional portal over the next few weeks, though. I may just happen to send my favorite wizard and shapeshifter something I know will delight them.
That said, I believe those reading also noticed how today’s post header includes the word “waffles.” That’s right! You can totally mash up any non-sentient/screaming spiced potatoes you have left over and make waffles. Why waffles? Well in case you meet any dragons as referenced in the Foonish favorite song: “Seven Dragons and a Baby”:
Seven dragons and a baby, marching on the town
Seven dragons and a baby, sitting on their thrones
The dragons kill the townsman, and the baby makes them waffles
Drizzle some boysenberry syrup on those delicious morsels and serve them up with some Roosters’ Feet for a recipe of Chicken and Waffles fitting of the town of Hogsface and the Vermillion Minotaur.
So to close, I want to play a game of Dragon’s Talon — a game in Foon where you become closer to the folks around you by paying them each a compliment.
Chunt, I think it’s ambitious and remarkable that you started your own restaurant. As a shapeshifter, you must be one of the few creatures who can enjoy the flavors of every possible ingredient and you just want to share that love with the world.
Usidore, you are one of the most compassionate, loyal, and polite individuals I’ve ever had the fortune of listening to. Jyn’Leeviyah the Red is a very lucky woman/plate of croissants/rack of barbecue ribs to have your heart, even when she eats it because you have turned yourself into a stack of pancakes for her approval. If I were not already happily married, I would challenge her to a Wizard duel for your affections.
Arnie… you DO process air somewhat efficiently! You’ve processed it to make this podcast, the friendships you have with your boon companions, and the joy your fans get from listening to you every week. Keep up the good work, and for the love of “Foo, Oo, and Oon,” I will shove a thesaurus through the magical portal behind the Burger King, myself, if it will get you to start using a different word than “excited” every once in awhile.
I am thrilled, exhilarated, animated, enlivened, electrified, and perhaps even eager to see what you come up with, who you will meet, and where you will go in the future.
*Hello from the Magic Tavern logo by Allard Laban
The Vermillion Minotaur's Spiced Potatoes
- 1 – 1.75 lb baby Dutch yellow potatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- canola or vegetable oil
- Pour the canola or vegetable oil into the pot so that it’s about 1/ 4 or 1/3 full and heat on the stovetop until it reaches about 375° F.
- While the oil is heating, stab each potato a few times with a fork and place into mixing bowl. Microwave the potatoes on high for two and half minutes.
- Slowly lower the potatoes into the hot oil with either a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs. Make sure the exhaust fan is on and feel free to use a splatter screen if the oil is sputtering too much.
- Remove potatoes with tongs when they float to the top or are fork-tender, and place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Mix up the salt in spices in a jar. Close the jar with its lid and shake to thoroughly mix them.
- Add a few teaspoons of the spice blend to the mixing bowl. Drop in a few potatoes and swirl them around to coat with spices. Repeat until all potatoes are coated and serve.
- Store any leftover spices in the jar.
Spiced Potato Waffles
- 2 batches spiced potatoes, or four cups of mashed potatoes mixed with a tablespoon of spiced potato spice blend.
- 1 egg, beaten
- cooking spray
- boysenberry syrup
- Mash potatoes thoroughly in a mixing bowl with the potato masher. Stir in egg. Add more of the spice blend if you’d like.
- Heat the waffle iron until hot and spray with cooking spray. Spread half of the mashed potatoes on the iron and close to cook.
- Cook about 3-5 minutes until the outside is crispy and the waffles are easy to remove. Divide waffles between serving plates and smother with butter and boysenberry syrup before serving.