- printout of the heraldry, above
- bamboo skewers
- craft glue
“The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets…” -Storm of Swords
Medieval Leek Soup
This was a simple, tasty recipe pairing.
The medieval leek soup took all of 5 minutes to prepare, and the result was an interesting, tasty broth with a bit of kick. The pepper and ginger lengthen the feeling of heat in your mouth, transitioning from the temperature of the hot soup to the warm sensation of the spices.
If you were a monk traveling the open road and cooking over campfires, the modern recipe would be your dinner of choice. The citrus flavor makes the soup wonderfully fresh-tasting, perfect for a spring evening with a chunk of sourdough bread. Leeks are a gem of a veg, underused in cooking these days.
Try both recipes and let us know your favorite- viva la leek!
Medieval Leek Soup
Take funges and pare hem clene and dyce hem; take leke and shrede hym small and do hym to seeþ in gode broth. Colour it with safroun, and do þerinne powdour fort. -Forme of Curye, ~1390
- 1½ handfuls of mushrooms
- 6 threads saffron (or a pinch of ground saffron)
- 1 leek
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 2 c beef broth (or chicken broth)
- ¼ tsp salt
Wash the vegetables; slice the leek finely and dice the mushrooms. Add saffron to the broth and bring it to a boil. Add the leek, mushrooms, and powder fort to the broth, simmer 3-4 minutes, remove from the heat, and serve.We prefer to use beef broth, but it is also good with chicken.
Modern Leek Soup
- 3 medium leeks
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 4 hand fulls spring greens
- 1 lemon
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
Trim the green end of the leeks to about 3 inches above the white, and cut root end. At root end, slice a cross to about halfway up the stalks, and rinse. Slice the leeks into thin rings. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the leeks. Cover and simmer over a low heat until the leeks are softened, but not colored.
Chop the celery and carrot and add to the pan. Pour in vegetable stock, add bay leaves, salt, and pepper, and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or until veg is soft but sill vibrantly colored.
Rinse the spring greens and shred into thin ribbons.
Grate the lemon zest and drop into thepot with the shredded greens. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the greens are just tender, juice the lemon into the soup and serve.
“He could still recall the sounds of the three bells, the way that Noom’s deep peals set his very bones to shuddering, the proud strong voice of Narrah, sweet Nyel’s silvery laughter. The taste of wintercake filled his mouth again, rich with ginger and pine nuts and bits of cherry…” -A Feast for Crows
No wonder Areo Hotah remembered these wintercakes fondly. Biting into one is like tasting a memory- the memory of a childhood characterized by roaring fires in stone keeps, the smell of leather, and warm smiles from bearded men. Eating one of these cakes is like finding something you lost years ago and had forgotten how much you loved; it is like coming home.
Needless to say, we loved both of these recipes. In the modern cake, the spice of the ginger combined with the tang of the cherries is reminiscent of an English fruitcake, but is more similar in texture to the interior of a moist, high quality scone. The Elizabethan cakes are denser and heavier, like English biscuits. The overall taste is one of pleasant, homey shortbread, but when you get a bite with cherry or ginger, the flavor shifts from familiar into foreign and fantastic. Both cakes can be served any time of day, and are better at room temperature than hot. They are delicious with tea, coffee, or hot cider.
Bottom line: Have friends over for hot drinks. Sit in big leather chairs. Talk about beautiful things. Take up the mandolin. Consider the merits of index based mutual funds. Whatever you do, make these cakes.
Both recipes are available in the Cookbook.
“Ben Stark laughed. ‘As I feared. Ah, well. I believe I was younger than you the first time I got truly and sincerely drunk.’ He snagged a roasted onion, dripping brown with gravy, from a nearby trencher and bit into it. It crunched.” -A Game of Thrones
You have been riding for hours through the snow-swept Wolfswood. The black strip of cloth you wrap around your mouth and nose has frozen almost rigid from the moisture in your breath, but you are finally home. You pass through the outer gate of a stone keep to a world alive with the sounds of the practice yard, and the smells of horses and cookfires, smoky in the icy air. A few minutes later you are in the castle mess hall, dipping fresh bread in warm rich gravy- salty and delicious. Sweet pearl onions burst in your mouth- and you wash them down with dark ale. As you hungrily devour the warm bread and rich ale, the gravy, the sweet onions, you feel certain that no one, not even the high lords with their haunches of fresh meat, has ever enjoyed a meal more.
That is what it is like to eat this dish.
However, as delicious as this recipe proves to be, it would be at its best when paired with something. Bread and sharp cheeses, roasted meat, or turnips swimming in butter would all suit admirably.
(Guest review by Fire Pony)
Recipe available in the Cookbook!
Medieval White Beans and Bacon
“Then came lamprey pie, honeyed ham, buttered carrots, white beans and bacon, and roast swan stuffed with mushrooms and oysters.” (A Clash of Kings)
Modern White Beans and Bacon
Both of these recipes are absolutely wonderful. The medieval recipe really soaks up the bacon taste in the beans. Roughly chopped lardons paired with the buttery beans make for a lovely mouthful. The onions offer a bit of caramelized sweetness at the end of every bite.
The modern recipe is incredible. Curly endive is reminiscent of the broccoli rabe when wilted, balanced out phenomenally by the sweetness of the bacon and onions. We could eat this as a meal in itself! These dishes take about 10 minutes to make, and can easily be scaled up for more people.
Beans are indeed the magical fruit.
“Jon was breaking his fast on applecakes and blood sausage when Samwell Tarly plopped himself down on the bench. ‘I’ve been summoned to the sept,’ Sam said in an excited whisper. ‘They’re passing me out of training. I’m to be made a brother with the rest of you. Can you believe it?'” -A Game of Thrones
The clear predecessors of the modern day doughnut, the medieval applecakes are fantastic. Called krapfen in Germany, these fluffy fried morsels are filled with nutty apple goodness.
The modern cakes are essentially apple coffeecake muffins. The crunchiness of the crumble top contrast with the softness of the cake itself. The apples melt as they bake, imbuing the cake with an incredible moistness and apple flavor.
Like Jon Snow, you’ll be hard pressed to eat just one; We’re hard pressed just to pick our favorite.
Both recipes are available in the Cookbook.
“Littlefinger turned away. ‘Boy, are you fond of potted hare?’ he asked Podrick Payne.” (II:199)
Elizabethan Potted Hare
This quirky dish, still found in the UK, might be one of our new weekend staples. The Elizabethan version is quite basic in flavor as it contains only a few spices, but this allows the taste of the rabbit to come through. Ours didn’t hold together too well, and so ended up more a confit than a pate, which was still very good.
The modern potted hare is fantastic. The thyme gives the rabbit a wonderful savory flavor, and the reduced fat adds a creamy texture that is awesome spread over crackers. The rabbit sets very well, and should be molded into any shape for a fun, interesting presentation.
Bottom line? Well worth the effort, and tasty. We served ours as part of a ploughman’s platter, with pickle, chutney, apples, cheese, and hunky bread.
Elizabethan Potted Hare
A Hare Hashed.
Cut it out in quarters, chine it, and lay it in Clarret, mixed with three parts of water, and parboyl it, then slice the flesh in thin pieces, and lay it on your stew pan, let this be off the Body, but the legs wings, and head whole, almost cover it with some of the liquor it was boyled in, add some Butter, sliced Nutmeg, the juce of Lemon, and a little beaten Ginger, serve it upon sippets, Garnish it with Lemon, and sliced Onion.
–The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696
Our changes: *NOTE* This dish is best prepared a day in advance. Potted meats are basically stewed meat and herb that are ground after stewing and packed into a terrine. So we’ve used the basic recipe for hashed hare and finished it as you would a potted recipe. Also, can we please just take a moment to appreciate the title of the original source? Hilarious.
- 1 rabbit, cleaned
- 1 part red wine
- 3 parts water
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- stick butter, clarified
Cut the rabbit into manageable pieces and place into a large pot. Add one part red wine to three parts water until the meat is covered and simmer until flesh is falling off the bone (several hours).
Strain off liquid and pull all meat from the bone, discarding the bones (what broth is left can be made into a soup — waste not!). Grind down by hand or in a food processor, adding spices, and lemon juice. Pack loosely into a terrine, add a bit of the broth, then pour over with clarified butter to completely seal and coat. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least one day before eating.
Modern Potted Hare
- 1 rabbit, cleaned
- 1/3 lb. smoked slab bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 pigs trotter, washed
- 1 onion, peeled and quatered
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 5 thyme sprigs, 1 Tablespoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 glass white wine
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Medieval Apple Fritters
“For the sweet, Lord Caswell’s servants brought down trays of pastries from his castle kitchens, cream swans and spun-sugar unicorns, lemon cakes in the shape of roses, spiced honey biscuits and blackberry tarts, apple crisps and wheels of buttery cheese.” -A Clash of Kings
Modern Apple Fritters
This is my take on Martin’s “apple crisps”. I considered making something more like a conventional apple crisp recipe, with the crumbled oats and such on top, but since the excerpt from the book mentions “crisps”, plural, I wanted to find something smaller to go with the other individual desserts in the feast. And after I found the first fritter recipe, I was sold on the idea.
The batter for the medieval fritters comes out surprisingly light due, and garnered much praise from my taste-testers. The apples were perfectly crisp to begin with, but during the frying process transformed into a warm, soft texture just shy of gooey, while the outside batter stayed firm. The crunchiness of the fried batter is enhanced by the sugar coating, and the zest gives a hint of freshness to counter the oil. I swapped the ale in the original recipe for a sparkling hard cider, and I think it made all the difference. Add a little fancy presentation (medieval folks loved that), and all in all, the whole experience is Westeros-meets-State fair.
The modern fritters? I really liked the medieval version, but I’ll be honest: I ate a half batch of the modern fritters all by myself. They are less crispy than the old school recipe, and comes out with more of a dense, almost cake-like texture. The zest flavor is there, but helps compliment the apple flavors rather than interfering. I enjoyed mine immensely dipped in honey (maple syrup could be awesome, too), and could almost justify serving it as a breakfast dish, rather than a dessert.
Which one wins? They’re both great, but I’ve got to give it to the medieval version!
Medieval Apple Fritters
Take whete floure, ale, zest, safroun, & salt, & bete alle togederys as thikke as thou schuldyst make other bature in fleyssche tyme, & than take fayre applys, & kut hem in maner of fretourys, & wete hemm in the bature up on downne, & frye hem in fayre oyle, & caste hem in a dyssche, & caste sugre theron & serve forth. -Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks
Cook’s Notes: Although it’s not called for in the original recipe, I added a pinch of dry yeast to help simulate the more bready nature of old fashioned ale. This helps give the batter its lightness.
- 1/2 bottle sparkling hard cider (6 fl. oz)
- a few threads of saffron
- pinch of dry yeast
- pinch of salt
- zest of 1/2 lemon or orange
- 1 cup flour
- 3-4 smallish apples
- lard or shortening for frying
- sugar for sprinkling over, the coarser the better
- several whole cloves, and leaves (mint works well) to decorate
Heat the cider gently over low heat, then add the saffron. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes, which should let the saffron dissolve. Add the yeast, and stir (this should make the cider foam up impressively). Add the salt and zest, followed by the flour. Beat until the batter is light and smooth and there are no lumps of flour. You should end up with a thick, but not unworkable batter. Set aside.
Peel your apples. Using a sharp knife, take off the whole top in a slice about 1/2″ thick (this gives you a pretty top with which to top your reconstructed fritter-apples). Core the rest of the apple, then cut into 1/2″ slices. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Heat your lard or oil over medium heat; it may take some adjusting to get the temperature just right, especially as the oil is absorbed by the fritters. Dip each apple slice into the batter, then carefully lower into the hot oil. Let each slice fry for about a minute before flipping to cook the other side. The fritters are done when they are golden brown on both sides. Place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. When the slices are all cooked and cooled enough to handle, dip them in the coarse sugar.
To present, stack the fritters, small-large-small, and top them with one of the fried tops that you first sliced off the apple. You should hopefully end up with at least a couple of fritter-stacks that loosely resemble apples. If the top has no stem, place a clove in the very top, along with a leaf to add to the apple impression. Best served warm!
Modern Apple Fritters
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. lemon or orange zest
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1-2 medium-sized apple, peeled, cored and diced
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar, followed by the zest and milk. Gradually add the dry ingredients and the apples until everything is incorporated. Continue to add flour just a little bit at a time until the batter is thick enough that it doesn’t drip off a spoon on its own.
Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the oil is up to temperature, drop large spoonfuls of the batter into the pan, using another spoon or your finger to push the batter off. The fritters should flatten somewhat into thick shapes. Flip each fritter occasionally, until they are dark golden on both sides and cooked all the way through (you might have to check the first few until you get the knack). Place the cooked fritters on a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
Dust the tops of the fritters with confectioners’ sugar and serve with honey on the side.
“The wedding feast began with a thin leek soup, followed by a salad of green beans, onions, and beets…” (III:74)
Medieval Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad
Modern Green Bean, Onion and Beet Salad
We are huge fans of beetroot, in fact they are one of our favorite veg, so we are thrilled to include them in these recipes! The color of these salads alone make them seem really impressive. They are both very similar in terms of presentation, but the taste varies.
The medieval salad tastes…well…medieval. The taste profile is somewhat weak, the strongest flavor coming from the semi-caramelized red onions. The beets taste as boiled beets should, and the green beans wouldn’t be anything without the salt we put on them. Balsamic vinegar is a must to make this dish passable.
We liked the modern salad far better, with the complexities of the thyme making the dish more interesting to eat. Broiling all the veg brought out the sweetness in each one, especially the beets and onions. The balsamic was less of a necessity on this dish, but it finishes the tastes fantastically.
Overall, if you have to choose, choose modern.
“That night her handmaids brought her lamb, with a salad of raisins and carrots soaked in wine, and a hot flaky bread dripping with honey. She could eat none of it. Did Rhaegar ever grow so weary? she wondered. Did Aegon, after his conquest?” -A Storm of Swords
Roman Lamb and Carrots
This was a delicious dish. Hands down one of our favorites so far. The sweetness of the sauces suited carrots, raisins, and lamb alike, while drawing out their natural flavors. We served our with Naan bread, warmed in the oven, and iced milk sweetened with honey.