Gearing up for tonight’s season premier of Game of Thrones probably means different things to different people. For some, it’s a marathon session of the season one DVDs. For others it’s getting into their finest cosplay and having a Thrones party. We are simpler geeks in that we like to sit home, undisturbed, and watch on our own. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get into the spirit of things. F+W Media sent us a copy of The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook by Alan Kistler (one of our favorite writers for Newsarama.com and co-host of the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast), and it is full of recipes for adventurous types to bring out their inner Starks and Lannisters.
The book is broken up into six chapters: breakfasts; appetizers, sides and breads; soups stews, and salads; main courses; and desserts and drinks. Each recipe is based off of a passage or character from one of George R. R. Martin’s epic saga, with a description of the scene or inspiration preceding each one. One appendix even divides all of the more than 150 recipes into the regions of Westeros from which they may have come; therefore your heartier meals will be found in Winterfell, while The Wall’s offerings are much simpler.
Of course “simple” is a relative term. The recipes in The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook are often not for kitchen newbies. And there are no doubt some dishes to be found that will give even the most seasoned chef a reason to pause before heading to their pantry. Some dishes call for chicken or lamb, easily found at the local grocery. Others begin with venison or rabbit. Not as easy to come by unless one is, or knows, a hunter, but still do-able. But trying to create a meal fit for a king when the main ingredient is swan, eel, or wild boar can get a bit tricky. And, yes, there is even a recipe for Khaleesi’s Heart, which has a few more steps than just “Step 1: Kill a horse. Step 2: Eat its heart.” Even when the dish only needs the most basic of ingredients, plenty of time should be set aside for preparation as the recipes can get a bit complex. But nothing worthwhile comes easy, eh?
For those who like a nice mead to wash down their dinner, there is a section describing how to make a mash and a large variety of beers, such as Targaryen Dragon Mead, Lannister Gold IPA, and Direwolf Ale. If, like us Geeks, you lean more toward wines and mixed drinks, there are a good number of libations like Stark Spiced Wine and Manticore Venom. Each looks delicious enough to make you want to slap your nephew!
Most of the dishes in The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook would make for an awesome GoT dinner party, but just be warned that some knowledge of basic kitchen skills are necessary before attempting to recreate Littlefinger’s Lamprey Pie or even Winterfell Black Bread. But with that in mind, the variety and uniqueness of the recipes in this book definitely warrant a look.