When developing this week’s Game of Thrones menu, I kept thinking of The Mountain. You know that something major is about to happen with that storyline, and I hope it revolves around The Hound not actually being dead and getting his revenge on the dude. I fell short with all my recipe ideas, though, which were all about Mountain Dew Code Red and went something like this:
1 – 20 oz. Bottle of Mountain Dew Code Red
1 bag of Cheetos Puffs
Directions: Go nuts.
Conceptual is cool and great, but I kind of want the recipes that I make for Sunday Game of Thrones Meals to feel like something that characters on Thrones might actually eat. To pacify my internal struggle, this week, I decided to go with a dinner that is both conceptual and (possibly) authentic.
But first, we will go through our bold predictions to see what inspired our menu choices.
Julie’s Bold Prediction: My bold predictions are always extra-bold because I am 100% sure that they will never happen, mostly because they are always centered around justice, redemption, and everyone riding around on Dany’s dragons Never Ending Story-style. That being said, here is my bold prediction of the week: Rickon is going to go ham on Ramsey Bolton this week. While Ramsey has not yet achieved Joffrey hate-level status, he did just feed his baby brother to a dog, so it’s safe to say, the dude sucks. Game of Thrones clearly needs a great villain, and if Ramsey dies, who would take his place? The Mountain? Would post-Myrcella Jaime turn into a murderous turd again? Dany?
Adam’s Bold Prediction: Earlier, this season, Tyrian freed Dany’s dragons from their chains. Clearly, something has to develop from this, especially since Dany is in trouble and living in Widow Wasteland. Adam’s bold prediction is that the dragons will find the Dothraki who captured Dany and torch them, just like those poor charred goat skulls that we saw last week.
It’s time to state the obvious: Jon Snow is back, and that’s a big deal. While Dany has seemingly been set up to become the heir for the Iron Throne, the re-emergence of Jon Snow could easily disrupt that storyline–so I want to pay homage to Jon and Dany. Inspired by Dany, I made a nice salad to start (adapted a Pioneer Woman recipe for Kale salad): Spicy Blood Orange Kale-isi Salad with Creamy Citrus Dressing and Goat Cheese. I also wanted to pay homage to the heir of the Iron Throne (Dany? Jon? Tyrian? Some other guy??) with this dish, which I feel like people in Thrones could have actually eaten because it’s rustic and it’s hearty and it has a dang bone in it: Sweet and Savory Iron-Throne Skillet Bone-in Pork Chops with Herb Sauce.
Spicy Blood Orange Kale-isi Salad with Creamy Citrus Dressing and Goat Cheese Crumbles
2 cloves garlic, grated
Peeled and grated ginger, to taste (I used a quarter-inch of the root)
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. good Olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt
¼ cup pulp free orange juice
¼ tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
2 blood oranges, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 jalapeno seeded and cut ultra-thin (if you want less heat, use half the pepper)
1/2 lemon, seeds removed
2 shallots, thinly cut
1 head of kale, stalks removed and cut into ribbons
4 oz. Chevre, crumbled (freeze for 5 minutes before crumbling)
Combine the sugar, olive oil, orange juice, grated garlic and ginger, salt, and pepper into a jar with a tight-sealing lid. Shake vigorously for 1-2 minutes. Add the Greek yogurt and shake for another minute. Refrigerate for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
Toss the kale, shallots, and jalapeno in a large bowl. Squeeze half the lemon over the salad and toss to coat.. Shake the dressing for 30 more seconds and dress the salad, to taste. Gently stir in the goat cheese. Top with blood orange slices.
Sweet and Savory Iron-Throne Skillet Bone-in Pork Chops with Herb Sauce
½ Cup Brown Sugar
Good quality paprika
3-4 Bone-in pork chops, totaling 2 lbs.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more
¼ cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
Fresh Thyme, Chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 shallot (optional, but you should probably go for it)
Lightly salt and pepper the pork chops and tenderize each side with a fork. Mix together a rub, using ¼ tsp salt, freshly milled pepper, and paprika to taste (I used ¼ tsp.) Pat the rub on each side of the chops. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Remove chops from fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking. Pre-heat oven to 425. In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high, add the butter. Quickly sear the pork chops (about 2-3, watching that the sugar doesn’t burn). Once seared, place the cast-iron skillet directly in the oven for 5 minutes per side (internal temp should reach 140). Remove chops from pan, allowing them to rest for 10 minutes, covered in tin foil.
In the cast-iron pan (with the drippings), add another ½ tablespoon of butter. Stir in the garlic (and shallot, if you want) and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium low, adding the fresh thyme and parsley. Add another bit of butter (about a tablespoon) to the pan. Add salt and pepper, to taste and remove from heat. Add pork chops back into the skillet and baste with the herb sauce.