When I sit down to develop my Game of Thrones menu for the week, I like to start by thinking of rustic dishes that characters on the show might have actually eaten. I think about key players from last week’s episode, and see if I can integrate them into the recipe concept somehow—typically, this means that I use really good ingredients and invest a lot of time and care in preparing the meal (I also sometimes make burrito bowls, but whatever). That’s all fine and good, but that’s not what tonight is all about. So, if a fancy, hearty dinner is what you’re looking for, then this is not the post for you. Please close your browser now.
Oh, hi! Since you just self-identified as a person who is totally okay with eating garbage food, I assume that you’re into cocktail weenies, cream cheese, chocolate, canned crabmeat, and clogged arteries. Welcome!
The Season 6 Game of Thrones finale is basically the Super Bowl of nerd TV, so I am creating a Super Bowl-inspired menu for the week. This year’s matchup is the Giants vs. the Ravens, obvs, and the Giants are looking pretty beat up out there. After recently suffering the crippling (ha!) loss of their Running Back, Hodor, the Giants’ last hope is their not-so-fast, but delightfully strong Wide Receiver, Wun Wun, who got dragged down with 10 seconds left on the clock. A devastating loss, indeed.
Wun Wun’s death was pretty terrible, especially because it was highly preventable. I don’t understand why no one thought to get the guy a shield. Maybe if they asked Sansa, she would have suggested just as much. Enough lamenting, though. This is a party, so we’re not going to turn into Debby Downers over here. I’m incredibly grateful that Davos—who, if you recall, is the son of a crabber—survived the battle and will be around for a bit longer. Every Super Bowl party needs a dip, and this dip is for you, Davos and Wun Wun:
Crab Rangoon Dip with Wun Wun-ton Chips
(adapted from Food.com)
Four green onions, chopped
2 packages of cream cheese
2 (6 oz.) cans of crab meat, drained
3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup sour cream
Cracked Black Pepper
Wun Wun-ton Chip Ingredients:
32 wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Baby Carrots, only if you think Sansa is Pregnant
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leave the cream cheese at room temperature, until softened. Mix together all ingredients (except wonton chips) and bake in a casserole dish for half an hour, or until bubbly. Remove dip from the oven and cover with foil, allowing to rest. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees.
Cut wun-wunton wrappers diagonally, lightly brushing with oil. Place Wonton wrappers on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Bake wontons 4-6 minutes until golden brown, keeping a close eye on them (they burn easily).
Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate layered with paper towels.
Serve with Wun Wun-ton chips, and if you think Sansa is pregnant, maybe with some baby carrots, too. We are serving ours with baby carrots tonight.
The playoff season was intense, and we were all rooting for the former-powerhouse-turned-underdog team, the Bears. The ragtag group of 62 aging guys, led by their fierce and relentless 10-year-old leader, Lady Lyanna Mormont had a nice, but brief, end of the season resurgence. Lady Lyanna’s facial expressions and unmatchable sass were everything we never knew we needed. In honor of our littlest Mormont and Bear Island, I created a recipe that is temperamental, at best. It took me five tries to get this caramel recipe to work, but I feel confident that I’ve learned from my mistakes and can walk anyone through Lady Mormont’s Bear Claws.
Pictured Above: Lady Mormont judging our em-bear-assing Christmas card from last year.(HBO)
Lady Mormont’s Bear Claws:
1+ bag salted cashews
1 (12 oz.) bag dark chocolate chips
½ cup heavy cream
½ stick of butter
¼ cup water
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 ½ cups raw cane sugar
½ tsp vanilla
Sea salt flakes
On two cookie sheets, covered with wax paper, create little cashew clusters (5-7 cashew piles). Meanwhile, on the stove, melt together butter, cream, and salt (I used about a teaspoon and a half). Remove from heat.
In a separate pot, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water—it will be a very grainy and thick mixture. Using a pastry brush, carefully brush off sugar crystals from the side. *Do not stir after this point* Turn heat to medium high. I don’t own a candy thermometer, but for caramel, the heat needs to reach about 300 degrees. Sugar starts to boil up very quickly, and I removed it too soon in my previous failed attempts because I was sure it was hot enough, when it wasn’t. It really needs to boil for about 4 or 5 minutes until it is to temperature. Once sugar is to temperature (or you are pretty sure it is because you don’t have a candy thermometer), remove from heat.
Gradually whisk in the cream mixture. The mixture will kind of “flare up” and hiss and bubble as you add the cream. This is a good sign. Return pot to medium high. *Do not stir after this point * You will need to bring the caramel back up to temperature (about 300 degrees) again—you can tell it’s there after it starts to turn reddish and becomes a thicker consistency (another 4-6 minutes or so).
Remove from heat and quickly whisk in vanilla. Immediately pour over your cashew clusters (bonus: I had a lot of extra caramel, and so I poured some in silicon molds. Recommend).
I don’t own a microwave, so I melted the dark chocolate chips in a bowl over a double boiler, stirring often. If you are in the 21st century, microwave the chips until melted, 25 seconds at a time, stirring between. Spoon the dark chocolate over the caramel. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the chocolate and add cashew pieces at the end of the candy, so they look like little bear toenails. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, until chocolate is hardened. Using a metal spatula, remove candies from wax paper
Even though I’m happy that Davos is back to see another day, I have a feeling that we are about to see a darker Davos. We’re getting into speculation territory, which means that it’s time for our Bold Predictions of the week.
Julie Cusack: Davos is starting to piece together what happened to his little boo, Shireen. Disgusted, he will force Jon to choose between him and Melissandra. Since Melissandra has the whole bringing people back to life thingy going for her, he will choose Melissandra. Davos will embark on a solo journey, eventually joining the Brotherhood Without Banners. Littlefinger will step into the vacant role of the series’ Super Villain. Robin and Tommen both get moirdered, leaving lots of thrones up for grabs. Cersei attempts to blow up King’s Landing, leaving Jaime no choice but to stab her in the back, earning him the new nickname, Ladykiller. White Walkers are going to kill a lot of people tonight.
Adam Holt: Sam gets to the Citadel and finds their “all you can eat” bread buffet. Bran finds out the truth about Jon. White Walkers are on the Wall. Brotherhood Without Banners save the Red Woman from Crabby Crabber’s son, Davos. Dany rides a lady boat. Arya continues not to matter. The Mountain becomes unemployed, collects benefits. The Winterfell dogs are happy and fed. Septa Unella and the Mountain are going to be our new favorite love interest. Tormund reads a book.
John Chleborad: Brienne will arrive at Winterfell and finally let herself succumb to Tormund’s advances, nursing his post battle wounds back to health. “Brimund” will quickly become the hottest tabloid fodder in the entire Seven Kingdoms since Cersei/Jaime. That creep Littlefinger will finally die by the hand of Sansa, who continues revenge against those who have wronged her. Tyrion gets drunk on wine.
Kelly Bittner: Ser Pounce will single handedly (pawdedly?) save King’s Landing from wildfire. He will probably take out The Mountain, too. White Walkers will make it to the wall. Ghost, Nymeria, and her direwolf pack will crush those mofos! It will be a huge episode for our furry friends.
Josh Dreyer: Arya crosses another name of her list! Hopefully Walder Frey. #redreunion
Gretchen Paluch: Momentum seems pointed towards King’s Landing, but I’d like to see more of the Night’s King. This episode is going to be more about what’s going on North of the Wall.
Tim Paluch: Even though Tim Wahl says it’s not happening, I think Varys is in Dorne. We are gonna have three women teaming up to fight Westeros (Dany, Yara, the Dorne lady). I also think Jon and Sansa fight over Winterfell / the North and Sansa starts her turn to villain.
Adam Lackey: This is the episode where winter actually arrives. Just full on meterology for an hour. The biggest unresolved question: Will Sam kill a white Walker with his daddy’s sword?
Irrefutably, last week’s episode was a game changer, ending with the gruesome death of Ramsay Bolton. While he was most notably known as the guy who cuts off other dude’s no-no’s, Ramsay now gets to boast the glorious titles of Good at Shooting Kids with Arrows and The Guy Who Got His Face Eaten by Dogs by His Super Pissed Estranged Wife. Ramsay’s character is interesting because I couldn’t wait for him to be killed off … but now that he’s gone, I’m going to miss have that lil turd. In honor of Ramsay, Adam Holt is making Puppy Chow and I am making Cocktail Weenies because duh.
Ramsay’s Ginger & Garlic Cocktail Weenies
Recipe Adapted from Damn Delicious
Two (14-ounce) packages lil smokies, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Directions: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine oil, garlic, and ginger, until garlic is fragrant (I added sesame seeds, too). Add ketchup, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, Sriracha and sesame oil. Stir in beef franks. Bring to a boil. Transfer to crock pot and turn to warm for 3-4 hours. Serve garnished with sesame seeds and cilantro. Pro tip: craft some toothpick arrows out of poster board and, well, toothpicks.
Recipe adapted from Chex
4-5 cups Corn Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Red Sugar Sprinkles
Directions: Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a saucepan, on low. Mix in vanilla.
In a large bowl, gradually combine the cereal and chocolate mixture. Toss to coat the powdered sugar and spread on wax paper. Add red sprinkles, to taste, to represent Ramsay’s smashed and bloodied face.
This week is going to be nuts. I bought a yellow rose to give a little nod to House Tyrell, and I picked up a few drinks for tonight from Gateway Market, which couldn’t be more perfect.
I’m taking a break until Season 7 fires up and will be on the lookout for some good GOT recipes. I have a feeling whatever I make is going to be along the lines of ice cream, frozen pizza, or snow cones–because winter is coming.