To avoid gout, the leafy greens of the Sansa salad are a healthy must. The recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” is simple enough to assemble from grocery store’s aisles. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

To avoid gout, the leafy greens of the Sansa salad are a healthy must. The recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” is simple enough to assemble from grocery store’s aisles. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

With ‘Game of Thrones’ ending, it’s time for a proper feast

How to make a meal inspired by the Lannisters’ and Starks’ world, fit for the King in the North.

In the first episode of the final season of “Game of Thrones,” Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark raised an important issue.

With thousands of people gathered in one place during a terrible winter, and thousands of additional unexpected guests and a couple of dragons, what would they all eat?

via GIPHY

For the dragons, it was “Whatever they want.” For the humans, the question was less clear in the fictional North region known for its bleak always-nigh weather and vast, unforgiving land.

For myself and some of my fellow “Thrones” fans, it became a matter of not how we would eat, but how well.

“One of the reasons I love making ‘Game of Thrones’ recipes is because I get to have a visual and a culinary experience with GOT,” said Rachel McKee, one of my go-to GOT cooks and enthusiasts. “I get to see, hear, smell and taste it. We have to savor those 60-90 minutes and squeeze everything we can out of them, so why not add food as well? Also preparing the food gives me something to look forward to. It deepens the experience in many ways especially when watching with friends.”

Thanks to “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook,” we found the right recipes for the occasion. The cookbook’s author-chefs, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, pulled dishes and meals from the pages of author George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice & Fire” series — the source material for the HBO show.

The show and its table fare are something I’ve shared with friends for many years. When a new episode is out, we can gather ’round the hearth (someone’s TV) for meat and mead (a couple of beers, maybe wine) at the table (couch).

This season twice has pulled together a handful of my friends and I for a true feast with several Westeros-inspired courses. With the finale scheduled for Sunday, May 19, we are already planning a final feast.

The fare is firmly rooted in “Game of Thrones” fictional world of dragons, a birthed demon smoke monster, resurrection and ice zombies. More adventurous cooks could try their hands at Dornish firesnake (a rattlesnake dish), stewed rabbit or snail soup.

Some of the recipes are available only in the book, while some are available online at www.innatthecrossroads.com. Each represents the cuisines of the various regions of Westeros, including the North, Dorne, the South and King’s Landing.

The roast aurochs with carrots and leeks, ready to be served, is a hearty dish from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” to the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

The roast aurochs with carrots and leeks, ready to be served, is a hearty dish from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” to the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Roast aurochs with carrots and leeks

I chose the roast aurochs with carrots and leeks, a hearty meal fit for the King in the North, the Princess that was Promised or the Mad Queen. Every ingredient was at my local chain grocers, QFC and Safeway. It required about 3 pounds of top round beef roast, four carrots, six leeks, olive oil, pepper and kosher salt.

With a cooking time of an hour, the meat and leeks were perfect, but I sliced the carrots too thick, and they were crunchier than I’d have liked. Either slice them thin, like a few dimes deep, or start the carrots in the roast pan as the oven heats up while you prep the meat.

Find this Northern recipe in the “A Feast of Ice & Fire” cookbook.

Sweet and spicy wings, a recipe from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, are a “Game of Thrones” take on a Westeros staple. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Sweet and spicy wings, a recipe from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, are a “Game of Thrones” take on a Westeros staple. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Sweet and spicy wings

A secondary meat option was the sweet and spicy wings. These were published at Inn at the Crossroads as an expansion of the canonical culinary options, but theorized as being available across the Narrow Sea in Essos, the sprawling eastern continent away from the Baratheons, Lannisters and Starks. Rachel McKee, my friend from Snohomish, picked it because she’s a wing nut (and honestly, same) who loves the savory and sweet combo. Instead of a high-temperature baking, she smoked the legs, thighs and wings. The result was an excellent taste, juicy meat, and perfectly browned exterior.

Find this Dornish recipe online at www.innatthecrossroads.com/making-spiced-wings-2.

Buttered beets, a recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook,” add a splash of color and an earthy taste for a large meal when watching the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Buttered beets, a recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook,” add a splash of color and an earthy taste for a large meal when watching the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Buttered beets

For a side, McKee also made buttered beets. Roasting at least a couple of varieties of beets (not just the deep-magenta ones), then slicing and dicing them made a colorful splash for the spread. Cilantro and goat cheese boosted the flavor and texture of it, too, into a gorgeous menagerie of smooth starchy bites. Whatever ingredients she didn’t have already, she was able to get at her nearby Haggen.

Those dishes also got the vaunted Next-Day Eating seal of approval.

“As I’m sitting here eating leftovers, I’d actually make all of it again,” she said.

Find this Northern recipe in the “A Feast of Ice & Fire” cookbook.

Leek soup, a recipe from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, makes for a light and filling dish with a variety of vegetables. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Leek soup, a recipe from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, makes for a light and filling dish with a variety of vegetables. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Leek soup and Sansa salad

With meat options covered, my Everett friends Derek and Taylor Johnston took over the vegetable sides with a leek soup and Sansa salad. The soup included leeks, carrots, celery, spinach and some squeezed lemon. They already had those ingredients in her kitchen, except for leeks which she bought at her neighborhood QFC.

“It sounded like a healthy green addition/starter to the meats and richer foods others were contributing,” she said.

To avoid gout, the leafy greens of the Sansa salad are a healthy must. The recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” is simple enough to assemble from grocery store’s aisles. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

To avoid gout, the leafy greens of the Sansa salad are a healthy must. The recipe from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” is simple enough to assemble from grocery store’s aisles. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

For the Sansa salad, so named for the Stark daughter and newly minted Lady of Winterfell, Taylor swapped out diced prunes for dried cranberries.

“I also did both of these recipes because they were easier than most in the cookbook, which is always a big plus to me,” she said. “… I’d attempt to make any of the dishes we fixed. They were all fabulous and worthy fare for royalty.”

Find the recipe for South’s leek soup recipe at www.innatthecrossroads.com/leek-soup and for King’s Landing’s Sansa salad at www.innatthecrossroads.com/sansa-salad.

Stuffed green peppers, like these from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, a recipe site that turns the fictional dishes of the “A Song of Ice & Fire” book series and “Game of Thrones” HBO show into reality, punch up the heat index on a table spread. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Stuffed green peppers, like these from InnAtTheCrossroads.com, a recipe site that turns the fictional dishes of the “A Song of Ice & Fire” book series and “Game of Thrones” HBO show into reality, punch up the heat index on a table spread. (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

Stuffed green peppers

Bringing another offering of ice and fire were Randy Minor and Bri Hudson, from Marysville. They made stuffed green peppers, a plate from Dorne, the southernmost region of Westeros. Using jalapeno peppers put a lot of heat to them, but weirdly only some of them. Even then, it was mellowed by the cheese and corn flakes.

Find the recipe for Dorne’s stuffed green peppers online at www.innatthecrossroads.com/stuffed-green-peppers.

Dornish cream cakes

These got a big shakeup from the specified recipe. Online, the author wrote that the bite-sized tarts are not overly sweet. When Randy and Bri tried the cream filling, it left a lot to be desired. So they swapped it out with a vanilla tapioca.

The result was just as “dangerously addictive” as the author said the original recipe was, at least for me. I ate six. Shatme. Shame. Shame.

Find the Dornish recipe at www.innatthecrossroads.com/dornish-cream-cakes.

Ben Watanabe: bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3037; Twitter @benwatanabe.


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A meal fit for the King in the North or the Dragon Queen, roast aurochs with carrots and leeks is a hearty dish from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” to the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

A meal fit for the King in the North or the Dragon Queen, roast aurochs with carrots and leeks is a hearty dish from the cookbook, “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook” to the HBO show “Game of Thrones.” (Ben Watanabe / The Herald)

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