Dinner

Beef Patties with Garlic and Cilantro

ImageMaking beef patties with ground beef, bacon, garlic, chopped onions, nutmeg, dried basil & rosemary, butter, some eggs, pepper and lots of fresh cilantro. Lots of bacon, too. Oh, I already said that. Served with asparagus, homemade coleslaw, stewed spinach and mustard.

I made these patties quite large and liked it. How long you work the batter makes a lot of difference – I usually take my time and the texture is amazing. Gave them a real fry on both sides before turning down the heat and covering the pan to let them cook without losing much water. Another cool secret to get them real juicy is put some extra water and fat into the batter – I used unsalted butter in this case, you can use coconut oil. This makes the patties a solid meal that will nourish you for days! I didn’t need so much salt because of the bacon, but a little is required, though – they will be best that way.

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In Chile where I live now they tell me that most of the chilean beef products are grassfed (i.e., not fed corn or soy, only grass) – so the ground beef I bought today probably is. Gotta dive deeper into that, only reason grassfed could be the default is if chileans have, well, a lot of grass. All the beef I’ve tried so far, be it filet or ground beef; grilled, roasted or boiled, have been delicious.

Crispy “Breaded” Chicken

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When I first discovered paleo, the decision was easy and the transition from my old diet uncommonly painless. I eat what I want, as much as I want, whenever I want – which works because I simply don’t want food with grains anymore. My body doesn’t either. Do I miss certain foods? Yes. Pasta? No. Bread? No. Rice? Um … little bit. But my meat and vegetables make me feel like a king. I do have weaknesses though. They are:

  • potato chips
  • crêpes salées (“salt pancakes”)
  • breaded things

Potato chips: easy. I eat potatoes from time to time, so making my own chips from regular or sweet potatoes with a good quality oil and sea salt works well.

Pancakes: with a bit of practice, also easy. There are plenty of good paleo pancake recipes i circulation, including ingredients like eggs, bananas, almond flour, coconut flour, gelatine etc. I’m still working on a recipe that doesn’t fall apart in the frying pan (sad to say, there is nothing like wheat gluten to bind things together – yet), but the result is always tasty.

UPDATE: After some experimentation, here it is: My best paleo pancake recipe so far!

Breaded things: more of a challenge. Each time I had a schnitzel I kept telling myself: “It’s only a tiny bit, I won’t be sick from such a small amount, surely?” Wrong. I learned that over and over again – and so began my quest to find a suitable alternative. I tried making fish fingers with almond flour and eggs, but wasn’t satisfied. The coating lacked in crispness and taste. Finally the magical ingredient became apparent: pork rinds. My favorite snack.

Crush the pork rinds in a mortar or food processor. Mix up with some almond flour if you like. I added paprika powder for color. Whisk a couple of eggs, roll your chicken chunks in them and then in the pork/almond mixture. Fry on high in coconut oil or bacon fat. I served it with an egg/tuna salad and a sweet & sour orange sauce from paleodietlifestyle.com.

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Our Grand Feast of Ice and Fire (spoilers)

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The pictures from our Game of Thrones night are here! As mentioned earlier, my sister and I hosted a “Feast of Ice and Fire” last weekend, and it was a sumptuous success. We watched the first seven episodes of season 3 of the HBO show and dined on the most splendid meal I have ever participated in creating.

Most of the recipes are either taken from or inspired by A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Offical Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer, but we added our own touch. See earlier post for review. I absolutely recommend this book to any fan.

I’ll include from which book of the Song of Ice and Fire series each dish is taken, and by whom it was eaten (hence the “spoilers” tag).

Appetizers

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Vaktelegg, daddler, jordbær osv.

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Dates Wrapped in Bacon. This is the only dish not from the book, but all you fans out there know that it definitely could be. We felt it was consistent with all of George R. R. Martin’s other abundant food descriptions. And by the way: It. Was. Delicious. 

Remove stones, wrap in bacon and bake at 200°C for 15 minutes. Yummy.

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Beverage: Local apple cider, produced on a farm nearby.

Starters

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Cream of Mushroom and Snail Soup. The first course at King Joffrey’s wedding feast in A Storm of Swords. We made snail the optional ingredient for the guests.

Vegetable broth, heavy cream, mixed mushrooms, leeks, spring onion, parsley, thyme, oregano and canned snails (stuffed in decorative shells if you like).

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Cheese and Onion Pie. Also a dish at King Joffrey’s wedding feast.

Pie dough, eggs, onion, cheese, herbs, nutmeg, pepper. Our own recipe.

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Salad at Castle Black. Eaten by Jon Snow and his Night’s Watch buddies at their initiation feast in A Game of Thrones. Up on the Wall you need to think preservation – dried nuts, legumes, fruits and meat; and storable vegetables.

Baby spinach and other baby leaves, chickpeas, raisins, olive oil, salt and pepper. From the book, slightly altered.

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Sansa Salad. Eaten at the afternoon feast of the Hand’s Tourney in A Game of Thrones. More lavish than the Castle Black one, this salad clearly represents the more extravagant southern style in Westeros.

Mixed leafy green salad, diced prunes, walnuts, raspberries, mint leaves, edible flowers and a dressing of raspberry vinegar whisked with olive oil, salt and pepper. From the book, slightly altered.

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Beverage: Valhalla Mead, a Danish brand. Good quality mead, we found; is a tempting alternative to wine.

Main Course

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Quails Drowned in Butter. Eaten by Tyrion and Lord Janos in A Clash of Kings. OK, much to our very short-lived disappointment we didn’t get the chance to buy real quail. But we did get so-called “spring chicken”, which is much smaller than regular chicken. It even tastes more like quail, in my opinion.

Spring chicken, butter (lots of it), salt and pepper. Our own recipe.

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Buttered Carrots. Eaten by Cersei and Tyrion in A Clash of Kings. As the chicken was so brutally drowned in it, we substituted the butter for coconut oil here.

Chunky carrots, coconut oil, parsley, vegetables broth; cooked until soft. Our own recipe.

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Beverage for the main course: Red wine of the house, ale of various colors and tastes – most from a micro brewery called Ægir (being the Norse god of brew-craft, Ægir supplied the citizens of Åsgard with ale). They are exquisite.

Dessert and snacks

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Baked Apples. Eaten at a feast in Winterfell in A Clash of Kings. My favorite dessert right now.

Cored apples, a good chunk of butter, honey and cinnamon. May be served with whipped cream. Our own recipe.

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Lemon Cakes. Known as Sansa Stark’s favorite, these cookies appear all the time in the books. They are made from a 1690 Elizabethan recipe. Which is pretty cool, and the fact that they don’t taste like a 300-year-old recipe even cooler.

Flour, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, milk. Straight from the book.

Mulled wine med blits

And, last but not least: Mulled Wine. We’d be no true fans if we didn’t include it. A classic among the Night’s Watch, especially good for warming your insides after a long patrol on the Wall. Our guests were given the choice between Medieval Mulled Wine (right) and Southron Mulled wine (left). Some chose both.

Medieval Mulled Wine: red wine, ginger, rose pepper, sugar, nutmeg, nuts and dried berries (optional).

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Southron Mulled Wine: red wine, clementines, cloves, orange juice, ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, honey, sugar, lemon juice.

From the book, but we added a little star anise to both wines.

Decorations and Atmosphere

Important stuff, and of course lots of fun! We used natural materials like earthenware, wood, worn metal, furs, linen, roughspun, etc. We had tapestries, maps, candles, swords, musical instruments and music (from the HBO show, medieval music, from Skyrim, from Sims Medieval, the Hobbit, some folk music etc.).

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The Table:

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The room:

DSC_03452013-06-01 13.37.42Replica of a tapestry found in a Viking Ship.

DSC_0198DSC_0207The Quizzle House Sigil. Read the story here.

DSC_0247 DSC_0255 DSC_0258Laughing Storm HelmetSer Lyonel Baratheon’s helmet. Read the story here.

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The hosts:

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DSC_0512Lady Quizzle. Current Head of House Quizzle.

DSC_0499Younger sister Quizzle. Joined the Night’s Watch after a marriage dispute with her family, where she is now concealing herself as a man.

The guests:

DSC_0496Mie a.k.a. Halgrim Half-shirt the Braavosi.

DSC_0493Sofya, noble Craftswoman of the Free City of Norvos.

Leia Lannister… and Leia, draped in her Lannister Crimson.

All in all it was an evening most epic; I strongly urge you to repeat if:

  • you are a fan
  • you like to cook
  • you like to eat
  • you like awesome things.

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