Welcome, Dragonlance nerds!
Today’s recipe comes at the request of my current DM @StrykRedkite, who wanted to see what I would do with The Inn of the Last Home‘s favorite spiced spuds. I admit I have not read the Dragonlance series yet — waiting for either a sale or it to show up at my local used bookstore. However, after reviewing the Leaves of the Inn of the Last Home and several Wiki articles, I think I figured out something that fits Dragonlance’s diverse setting.
Click here to skip to the recipe for Otik’s Spiced Potatoes.
A Dragonlance Delicacy
For those familiar with Dungeons & Dragons, but not Dragonlance, let me give you a little history. Developed primarily by Tracy and Laura Hickman, and then Margaret Weiss, the Dragonlance campaign setting made up for D&D’s lack of dragons in the early ’80s. It started as 12 modules. In each one, players set out to defeat a different dragon. It soon exploded, though, into an overarching franchise involving board games, figurines, and for the first time in D&D’s history, novels.
You know how I say that we create stories with tabletop roleplaying games? These folks did just that. Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weiss created a collection of characters, the Heroes of the Lance, and then invited their friends to play and flesh them out during game sessions. They then documented these adventures in a novel trilogy starting with Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
So, where am I going with this? Like most adventures in the D&D world, it all starts in a tavern. In the Dragonlance world, though, the most famous drinking hole lives lofted in the treetop village of Solace. The Inn of the Last Home, owned by Otik Sandeth, is known for its homebrewed ale and spiced potatoes.
Dinner of Autumn Twilight
There are recipes out there already Otik’s Spiced Potatoes — the first being from Dragonlance’s creators in the Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home sourcebook. My DM had a pdf and graciously donated it for my review. The second comes from Heroes’ Feast, Wizards’ of the Coast’s Official D&D Cookbook.
The first involves cubed potatoes with finely chopped onions, fried in butter with cayenne pepper and salt. The second follows the same concept but adds paprika, garlic powder, and chives. When you think cheap and satisfying from a standard sports bar, these recipes follow very much of the vein of homefries with seasoned salt. I wanted to play with the setting more, though.
Solace is a town in Abanasinia — and the latter is home to settlers from other continents and tribes of plains-dwelling barbarians. In short — it’s a medieval fantasy version of North America. So with that, I checked out The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Beth Dooley and Sean Sherman. Among history passages and mouthwatering recipes, I found an entire section on seasoning. Cayenne did make its way up along tribal trade routes from Central America. But mustard, ginger, juniper and sumac berries, and chives grew wild pretty much everywhere.
In my research, I also found that Northern Native Americans did cultivate Solanum jamesii, a small wild potato. These are decidedly harder to find. For size, though, I sliced up some fingerling potatoes and boiled them in butter. Since Otik brews his own beer, I also figured it likely he’d have malt vinegar lying around. I threw some in as well.
The result is zesty and spicy, with a sweet onion bite and a resinous note from the forest. And while it may not at all be an official recipe, it certainly disappears quickly as soon as it hits the table. Just keep in mind, that table can be anywhere — your dinner table, your game table, or a table in a tavern in the trees.
Sing for your Supper!
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The printable recipe card and playlist for Otik’s Spiced Potatoes will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until the next post goes up.
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Snacks to Slay For
Otik's Spiced Potatoes
Equipment: Stovetop, 12-inch skillet, cutting board, and chef’s knife.
- 1 and 1/4 tsp brown mustard powder
- 1 tsp ground juniper berries
- 3-4 dashes of cayenne pepper
- 1 and 1/4 tsp ground sumac or lemon zest
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 and 1/2 lb fingerling potatoes
- 2 and 1/2 Tb malt vinegar
- 4 Tb unsalted butter
- 3 tsp spice blend
- 2 and 1/2 Tb dried chives
- kosher salt
- Combine the ingredients for the spice blend together in a separate dish and set aside. Prepare and measure your other ingredients and slice the potatoes in half lengthwise.
- Add the potatoes, malt vinegar, a pinch of kosher salt, and half of the butter to the skillet and cover with cold water. Set the skillet over a medium-high flame and set a timer for 20-25 minutes.
- Raise the heat to high and boil another 15-20 minutes until the pan is almost dry except for a butterfat sheen.
- Reduce the heat to medium and flip the potatoes so that they are cut-side down on the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, then start transferring the deep golden brown potato halves to a mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with foil in between batches to keep the contents warm.
- Once the skillet is empty, add the remaining butter to the pan. Once melted, stir in three teaspoons of the spice blend and the dried chives. Then stir in the potatoes to coat and remove immediately.
- Dust the finished potatoes with kosher or sea salt before serving. This recipe makes enough spice blend for two batches, so reserve and store the remaining spices for another time.