Holy Mockingjay, Batman - I am so excited about this post! Food 'n Flix and Cook the Books have teamed up to do a double post for The Hunger Games, with Heather from girlichef hosting! Announcement post is here.
The Hunger Games is the first book of a trilogy about a dystopian alternate timeline where war has reduced America to 12 Districts ruled by a Capital. As punishment for a rebellion, all 12 Districts must offer up 1 boy and 1 girl between the ages of 12 and 18 as a tribute to compete in the Hunger Games each year. These children must then fight to the death in a televised spectacle with only 1 survivor. To make things even worse, all of the Districts are purposefully kept in a state of starvation except for the District of the winner - which is given ample food for a year until the next Hunger Games (hence the name). Food, therefore, is extremely important and a focus throughout the series.
The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is an extremely tough teen who would do anything to protect her family and especially her little sister, Primrose. When Prim is selected as Tribute (a death sentence for the timid 12 year-old), Katniss volunteers to take her place. Before being entered into the death-match proper, the Tributes are primped and pampered and paraded around the Capital. It is here that Katniss experiences luxury and an overabundance of food for the first time in her life.
Her favorite dish is a Lamb Stew with Dried Plums - it is mentioned frequently and even sent to her as a present when she is fighting for her life. I decided that the stew would be the perfect dish to make for this post, served on some wild rice that seemed fitting for the setting. I also served it with goat cheese rolled in herbs (inspired by the cheese that Primrose makes from her prized pet) and rustic seed bread (inspired by Peeta - Katniss's love interest and fellow Tribute, whose family owns a bakery).
Now that Hurricane Sandy has passed us without incident, I can catch up on posting! Thanks to everyone for praying and thinking about us out here on the East Coast.
I have been trying to expand my repertoire of fish dishes beyond just salmon and discovered a really easy way to cook halibut. Wrapping it in parchment paper with with various other ingredients and baking it leaves it moist, flaky, and flavorful. Plus the presentation is really cool!
One combination that I really liked was lemon, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, olive oil, and basil. I made this right at the end of summer with super sweet cherry tomatoes - look at those colors!
This is my second month to be a part of the Food 'n Flix bloggers' circle (see here for my first month). This month is hosted by Tina at Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor; and she has chosen the movie Sideways to be our inspiration.
Sideways is a movie about friendship, relationships, happiness, and most of all - WINE. Set in Napa Valley, vineyards and wineries provide the background to the film and wine almost becomes a character itself.
I wanted to make something that would feel like it belonged in Napa Valley, and that would pair well with wine. I thought about coffee rubbed pork with a wine sauce, or braised ribs, but eventually I settled down on something simple and fresh - Focaccia with grapes, rosemary, pine nuts, olive oil, and sea salt served with fresh homemade ricotta.