This post is mostly for those who have read the books. For those just watching the show, you’re in for a treat; Oberyn Martell is hella cool. :)
First of all, I have to offer up an apology. You all absolutely outdid yourselves with the suggestions for this meal, and I have in no way done credit to the fabulous and accurate ideas for this meal. It was awesome to read suggestions from North Africa, Spain, and a number of other regionally appropriate places. However, due to time and budget constraints, I had to dramatically downsize the meal I had originally planned to try and make. I hope to try several of your wonderful suggestions later, though!
As a stickler for drawing inspiration from the books, I liked all of Ana’s suggestions, but in particular the olives in garlic-paprika sauce, and the blood oranges with mint. I agree with Pitzur, in that the Red Viper is a gourmand, and that his ideal meal would be as rich, sensual, and exotic as his other tastes, and similarly unconstrained. However, I wanted to acknowledge FluffyWarthog’s observation that the Red Viper is a well-traveled cavalryman, and give a nod to that side of his life as well.
The finished meal tried to fairly represent both sides of his experience and personality. A few suggestions stood out as must-haves, simply because so many of you suggested them. Notably: olives, stuffed peppers, chickpeas, etc. I liked the idea of a tajine, or another similarly cooked meat dish, but because Dorne is so hot, I imagine that cooking over an open fire would be avoided, when possible. However, pit cooking, as suggested by Devaki, would have been the ideal way to cook the snake, which responds best to slow cooking. Whoops.
The final menu looks like this:
- Martell sigil- skewer of Roasted snake, with roasted red peppers, orange slices, etc., over a chickpea tortilla
- peppers stuffed with almond paste, pine nuts, and spinach (recipe)
- blood orange ice, with ginger-mint agave/aloe syrup
- fruits: blood orange, plums, kumquats, melon
- campaign foods- dates, dried figs, jerky, cured meat, olives, almonds, pine nuts, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, cheese
For the snake, I opted for something different and purchased a python fillet, rather than the already tried rattlesnake. I used the same spicy snake sauce as for the cookbook snake dish, but python, it turns out, needs to be slow cooked, or braised, rather than roasted or grilled. As a result, the snake was tough, albeit flavorful. This is where that slow pit cooking would have been ideal. Lesson learned.
The other elements of the meal were delicious and wonderful, though. The stuffed peppers were awesome, and the recipe for them will be going up on my personal blog in the near future. My second favorite was the mint/agave ice. Cold and refreshing, it would be just the thing to purge the dust from one’s throat.
The assorted fruits and snacks are well suited to a man with a wide variety of tastes. The foods for campaigning would satisfy hunger on the road, as well as the tedium of travel. The spiced olives, as expected, were delicious, their saltiness countered by the sweetness of the dried fruit. Feta and jerky are unbelievably good together, and the chickpea tortillas (socca) might become a staple in the Inn.
Were it Dornish sunny, and I feeling more creative, I might wonder at the sides being equated to his paramours, the mothers of the Sand Snakes. I think that could be a really fun way to represent the Red Viper in food form (suggestions welcome!).
For drinks, I imagine he would enjoy a sweet and fruity Dornish summerwine. For non alcoholic, it has to be lemonsweet.
Incidentally, if anyone would like to send me off on a horsey excursion to test this menu, strictly for research purposes, I would be more than happy to make that sacrifice. Just saying.
- Robyn- almond snake with pastry
- everything from Nightsky, but especially the Pissaladiere: free-form caramelized onion tart accented with latticed anchovies (I’m SO making this soon!)
- FluffyWarthog- dishes that look like the Martell sigil-For fresh meats, any kind of kebab or souvlaki would be perfect, and presenting a spear of golden, honey-glazed meat on top of a round pita (maybe with some artfully-laid-out pimento slices in a sun pattern, or sprinkled with paprika and cayenee) would reinforce the Martell sigil imagery. To get the same effect with the dessert, some lemon or orange slices, overlaid with toothpicks speared with dates could work well.
- Viper venom, either in soup or infused into meat, as per Nic and
- RandOm- Maybe some shakshouka – eggs poached in a spicy chili and onion sauce?
- ForTheMarshal – Mavrodafni wine
- Devaki Khanna- Rajasthani green chilli fritters, with chickpea batter; also, the concept of desert cooking in large pits
- Irian- blood orange filets, macerated for 24 hours in orange juice, sugar and lemon zest