Every few months, I have the pleasure of getting together with a group of intelligent and motivated young professional women for book club (recently dubbed the “best book club in the city!”….by one of our clearly impartial members). Our reading runs the gamut, although we aim to keep our selections choiceful, and has included Little Bee, Influence, American Wife, Bossy Pants, and, just this last weekend, the Hunger Games series.
It was my turn to host, and, as I was thinking about what to serve for dinner, my mind wandered to the many references to food in the books. Nerd alert! A quick search online revealed that others had thought of this long before me, and had even developed recipes for many of the foods. My fellow book clubbers indulged (enabled) my geekiness, and we ended up with several Hunger Games inspired foods for dinner (special thanks to the others for helping cook!). I am happy to report that the Hunger Games recipes were such a success (the hubby later called the lamb stew “the best you’ve ever made”) that I am passing them along to you. Enjoy! And, for those of you who are wondering, our next book is Rules of Civility. Have you read this? What did you think?
Lamb Stew with Dried Plums
Thanks to Greasy Sae at FictionalFood.net for developing this recipe!
2-3 tbsp cooking oil
3 lbs lean lamb meat, cubed
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 ½ cups beef broth
1 cup tomato pulp or 3 tbsp tomato paste
1 sprig rosemary, leaves snipped
Salt and pepper to taste
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped, or 2 cups fingerling potatoes
16-18 pearl onions, peeled and halved, or 1 large onion cut into chunks
1 cup frozen or fresh peas
¾ cup dried plums, cut in half
1 cup brown rice, cooked
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat oil in a dutch oven and brown lamb meat. Sprinkle sugar on browned meat. Cook meat for several minutes on medium high heat to caramelize sugar.
Toss meat with flour until well coated. Place pot in oven uncovered for 5 minutes. Toss meat and cook for another 5 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
Add 1 ½ cups of beef broth, tomato pulp, and rosemary. Cover and cook on bottom third of the oven for 1 hour.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, and remaining broth.
Cover and return pot to oven for 30 minutes. Add dried plums and cook, covered, for an additional 30 minutes. Once done, taste and season as needed.
In microwave, steam peas for 1-2 minutes. Drain and add to stew just before serving.
Serve over brown rice.
(Recipe, with minor adaptations, from http://www.fictionalfood.net/2011/08/lamb-stew-with-dried-plums-take-2/)
Peeta’s Burnt Nut and Raisin Bread (requires a breadmaker)
1 cup water at 80 degrees F/27 degrees Celsius
2 T oil
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 T dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
½ cup raisins
½ cup walnuts
Add the first 7 ingredients (water through dry yeast) into the bread pan of a breadmaker.
Set the breadmaker for a 1.5 pound loaf with a medium crust at the "sweet" level.
20 minutes into the program, add the raisins and walnuts.
The entire cycle takes 2 hours 50 minutes.
(Recipe, with minor adaptations, from the Breadman TR520)