To celebrate our collective return to Westeros this Sunday, (4/24 at 8pm CST on HBO), we're throwing a Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere party with recipes from Executive Food Editor Ann Taylor Pittman's amazing new book, Everday Whole Grains! Prepare all or a combination of these five recipes with friends and family as you kick back and hope
in vain to get answers to all of Season 5's unanswered questions. [WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD]
Y'all, I'm so excited I could cry. If you don't know about GoT yet, you get my Donna Meagle face.
And if you don't know who Donna Meagle is? Well, we probably can't be friends.
Moving on! It's the Sunday we've all been waiting for. When last we left George R. R. Martin's fantasy world—*DEEP BREATH*—Jon Snow was bleeding out in the...snow, Daenerys was captured by a formidable looking khalasar which left Tyrion and Lord Varys holding down the fort in Meereen, the Sand Snakes put the kibosh on a Jamie/Cersei/Myrcella reunion in about the most brutal way possible, Arya is blinded in the House of Black and White, Sansa and
Theon Greyjoy Reek leapt from the parapets of Winterfell (whether to their doom or not is TBD), Stannis Baratheon maybe met the pointy end of Brienne's wrath, et cetera. Throw in about 50 other plot points, and WINTER IS STILL COMING, YOU GUYS!
This season promises to be the most intense yet, especially given that George R. R. Martin is dragging ass on the release of the sixth book in his critically-acclaimed Song of Ice and Fire series. We're not getting any younger over here, George! (Incidentally, neither is he). In honor of this most anticipated series return, we've crafted a menu that can accommodate anyone from Westeros to Pentos, from north of The Wall to Mereen. Whip these up, and dig in! It's sure to be a great Sunday.
AN APPETIZER FIT FOR ROYALTY: Oysters with Pickled Quinoa Mignonette Hands-on Time: 20 min. Total Time: 2 hrs.
Whether you're attending a Kings Moot in the Iron Islands or hiding safely from Sparrows behind the doors of the Red Keep at King's Landing, these delectable oyster morsels are good enough to outfit any royal family's banquet table. I can imagine Cersei delicately throwing these back while zombie Mountain idles silently behind her, ready to crack some [more] skulls, or Prince Doran of Dorn looking out over the water gardens as he noshes on these little delicacies. Make sure you pair some nice red wine with these guys! Red wine because Lannisters...and weddings. Anyone? Anyone?!
Oysters with Pickled Quinoa Mignonette 2/3 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 bay leaf 1/2 cup cooked quinoa 2 tablespoons minced shallots 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 24 shucked oysters Dill sprigs (optional)
1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan; cook 1 minute. Add quinoa; remove from heat. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour; drain and discard bay leaf. Place pickled quinoa in a bowl. add shallots, chopped dill, and pepper, tossing to coat. Spoon about 1 teaspoon quinoa mixture on each oyster; garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.
SERVES 8 (serving size: 3 topped oysters) CALORIES 42, FAT 0.9g (sat 0.2g, mono 0.1g, poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 3g; CARB 5g; FIBER 0g, SUGARS 0g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 11mg; IRON 3mg; SODIUM 106mg; CALC 22mg
A SOUP THAT WOULD SATIATE DRAGONS: Fiery Thai Eggplant Soup Hands-on Time: 43 min. Total Time: 1 hr. 13 min.
This soup would be a must at any Targaryen gathering. Don't let the name go unnoticed—this baby is fiery!!! Hotter than the flames from which Daenerys birthed her three dragons, this soup will leave your eyes watering in a good way. I got redundant there for a reason, you guys. This soup is HOT. And the Crunchy Fried Quinoa gives it added texture and crunch that take it over the top.
While we're on the subject of dragons, there's a prophecy that "the dragon has three heads." There are three dragons, but only one dragon rider. So the question remains...who do the other two dragons belong to? I have my own theories, but I'll let you draw your own. *COUGH TYRION IS PART TARGARYEN COUGH*
Fiery Thai Eggplant Soup 2 (1-pound) whole eggplants 1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 2 ounces) 1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger 2 teaspoons fish sauce 4 garlic cloves 1 or 2 Thai bird chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon canola oil 3 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste 3 cups water 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 cup light coconut milk 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup Crunchy Fried Quinoa Cilantro leaves Lime wedges
1. Preheat boiler.
2. Place eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet; piece each a few times with tip of a knife. Broil eggplants 20 minutes or until skin is charred and flesh is very soft when tested with a knife, turning occasionally to cook evenly. Cool slightly. Remove and discard skin; set pulp aside.
3. Place shallots and next 4 ingredients (through chiles) in a mini food processor; process until minced and almost past-like, scraping sides as needed.
4. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallot mixture; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups water and uncooked quinoa; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until quinoa is very tender. Pour mixture into a blender; add eggplant pulp, coconut milk, and 1/4 cup water. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth (about 2 minutes). Return mixture to pan; stir in lime juice and salt. Heat over medium-low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
5. Ladle soup into each of 8 bowls. Top each serving with Crunchy Fried Quinoa. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves; serve with lime wedges.
SERVES 8 (serving size: about 3/4 cup soup and 1 tablespoon Crunchy Fried Quinoa) CALORIES 136; FAT 5.2g (sat 1.3g, mono 2.2g, poly 1.4g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 21g; FIBER 6g; SUGARS 5g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 0mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 312mg; CALC 27mg
A MEAL FIT FOR A FRIGID NIGHT ON THE WALL AT CASTLE BLACK: French Onion Soup with Barley Hands-on Time: 18 min. Total Time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Winter is coming, and the White Walkers are amassing an unstoppable army north of the Wall. It's going to get colder and colder, so warm yourself up with this savory and filling Cooking Light favorite.
While on The Wall, let's ponder the show's biggest unanswered question: WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH JON SNOW? He's not dead for good. I can tell you that unequivocally. Does he Warg into Ghost, though, or does Melisandre's reappearance at Castle Black after Stannis's defeat at Winterfell foreshadow a Lord Beric-esque reanimation session? Time will tell, but regardless he'd totally love this soup however or whenever he returns.
French Onion Soup with Barley 6 cups water 1 cup uncooked hulled barley 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, peeled and vertically sliced 1 pound sweet onions, peeled and vertically sliced 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/4 cup dry sherry 6 cups unsalted beef stock (such as Swanson) 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 3 thyme sprigs 1 bay leaf 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme leaves 3 ounces French bread baguette, cut into 18 think slices 3 ounces cave-aged Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup) 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1. Bring 6 cups water and barley to a boil in a large saucepan; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until done. Drain.
2. While barley cooks, heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onions; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 45 minutes or until onions are caramelized and very tender, stirring occasionally.
3. Increase heat to medium-high. Add sherry; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in stock, pepper, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in barley, thyme leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
4. Preheat broiler.
5. Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 30 seconds on each side or until toasted. Ladle 1 1/3 cups soup into each of 6 ovenproof bowls. Arrange 3 toast pieces in each bowl; divide cheeses over toasts. Place bowls on baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
SERVES 6 CALORIES 380; FAT 11.7g (sat 4.2g, mono 4.9g, poly 2g); PROTEIN 16g; CARB 51g; FIBER 9g; SUGARS 8g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 22mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 590mg; CALC 279mg
A DISH SO GOOD IT WILL MAKE YOU FIND RELIGION: Smoked Polenta with Saged Browned Butter Hands-on Time: 13 min. Total Time: 13 min.
This Smoked Polenta is so good it would make the Sparrows rethink their devotion to The Seven, cause Arya (who is THE BEST) to quit her pursuit of being a Faceless Man, and make Melisandre give up making off-base predictions about saviors and battle outcomes. Seriously, that lady can't get anything right.
Circling back to Arya... how awesome is she?? Will she become a Faceless Man? If so, what kind of implications does this have for her allegiance in the coming battle against the forces of evil? Remember, the White Walkers serve death, so technically that would put them and Arya on the same squad. Say it ain't so, little Stark!
Smoked Polenta with Saged Browned Butter 1/2 cup apple or cherry wood chips 5 ounces whole-grain cornmeal (about 1 cup) 2 cups water 2 cups 1% low-fat milk 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons butter 16 small sage leaves
1. Pierce 10 holes on one side of the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch heavy-duty disposable aluminum foil pan. Arrange wood chips over holes inside pan. Spread cornmeal onto far opposite side of pan. Place hole side of pan over stovetop burner. Turn burner on high. When wood chips start to smoke, carefully cover pan with foil. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; uncover pan, reserving foil. Carefully remove wood chips with tongs; place on foil. Wipe any wood fragments out with a damp paper towel. Pour cornmeal into a bowl.
2. Bring 2 cups water, milk, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Cover and keep warm.
3. Place butter and sage in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until sage crisps and butter turns brown and smells very toasty-fragrant. Spoon polenta into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with sage leaves and butter.
SERVES 8 (serving size: 1/2 cup polenta, 2 sage leaves, and about 1 1/4 teaspoons butter) CALORIES 119; FAT 5.5g (sat 3.2g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 3g; CARB 15g; FIBER 1g; SUGARS 3g (est. added sugars 0g); CHOL 15 mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 312mg; CALC 82mg
DESSERT SO GOOD IT'LL BRING YOU BACK FROM THE DEAD: Blueberry Streusel Bars Hands-on Time: 13 min. Total Time: 65 min.
These Streusel Bars are so divine they'd bring Catelyn Stark back from the dead, which—if you've been reading the books— you'd know has already happened. Seriously, these bars would win universal approval whether your palates were refined on fish from Bear Island or grass from the Great Grass Sea in Essos. Make these bars the pièce de résistance of your première party, and at least bask in their deliciousness as the end credits roll and you curse the executive producers of GoT for leaving even more plot stones unturned.
Blueberry Streusel Bars 2 cups fresh blueberries 1/4 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 tablespoons water 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 4 ounces whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1 cup) 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 2/3 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces 3 tablespoons canola oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 6 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in rind and juice.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, oats, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, pulse 2 times to combine. Add butter; pulse 5 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine oil and vanilla; drizzle over flour mixture. Pulse 4 times or until moist.
4. Reserve 2/3 cup flour mixture. Pour remaining flour mixture into a parchment-lined 8-inch square light-colored metal baking pan coated with cooking spray; pat into an even layer in bottom of pan. Spread blueberry mixture on top all the way to edges. Sprinkle evenly with reserved 2/3 cup flour mixture. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and filling is bubbly and almost set on edges. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 bars.
SERVES 16 (serving size: 1 bar) CALORIES 162; FAT 6.8g (sat 2.5g; mono 2.7g; poly 1g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 25g; FIBER 2g; SUGARS 14g (est. added sugars 12g); CHOL 10mg; IRON 1mg; SODIUM 108mg; CALC 15mg
You can get more grain delicious recipes by purchasing Everyday Whole Grains. Enjoy the show, everyone!