Tuesday, May 15

George R. R. Martin, Author of Song of Ice and Fire, Can't Cook

In the forward to A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook George Martin confesses that he can't cook. Anyone who has read his evocative descriptions of food -- and have their mouth water as a result! -- might find this hard to believe. I thought anyone who understood food on that level would be a dab hand in the kitchen.
The book's authors, Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer run the popular blog, Inn at the Crossroads, where they began cooking their way through Martin's books.
- Author George R. R. Martin Confesses His 'Shameful Secret'
If you can't wait for the the official cookbook -- it's due to be released May 29, 2012 -- you can look at the unofficial one, The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew - More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond.

Here's one of the recipes:
Pentoshi Mushrooms in Butter and Garlic

"Even when he fears that he is being led into a trap and that the dish before him may be poisoned, Tyrion cannot help but acknowledge his desire for just a taste of it. The mushrooms before him glistening with butter and smelling of garlic make his mouth water, and it’s nob wonder. Poisoned or not, this savory dish would tempt just about anyone." (A Dance with Dragons, Chapter One)

Serves 4

4 large portobello mushrooms with stems
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
4 large white onions, finely chopped
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
5 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons grated imported Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
Scented olive oil, such as truffle oil, garlic oil, or herb oil (or very good extra-virgin olive oil)

Finely chop the stems of the mushrooms. Set the caps aside. In a large saucepan, melt 5 tablespoons of the butter, and sauteƅL the onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems, and saute a minute longer. Season with salt.
Add the rice. Stir well to coat, then add 1 cup of stock and stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another cup of stock, stirring constantly, and allow the rice to absorb it. Continue adding stock cup by cup, until all liquid is used and rice is tender, but still a little firm to the bite in the middle (about 25 minutes). Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the cheese, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Slice the portobello caps paper-thin. Divide risotto into 4 bowls, immediately sprinkle with the shaved portobellos, and garnish with scallions and a drizzle (about 2 teaspoons) of truffle oil (or other flavored oil).

A Word of Wisdom

Need to know your mushrooms? Creminis are just young portobellos; both are nutty, and gourmand favorites. Fluted oyster mushrooms have a more subtle flavor. Any young mushroom can be called a button, but chefs usually reserve the name for the white button variety. White mushrooms are simply button mushrooms with the caps fully opened.

Related Links:
- Inn at the Crossroads
- A Feast of Ice and Fire
- George R.R. Martin, Wikipedia

Photo credit: Google Books Search

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