Thursday, January 31, 2013

roundup: The Hunger Games {food 'n flix meets cook the books}

At the beginning of this month, I announced that I would be hosting my two favorite foodie clubs, Cook the Books and Food 'n Flix, this month in a special double-feature of The Hunger Games.  We read the book.  We watched the film adaptation of the book.  We headed into the kitchen to cook/bake up something inspired by the story.  I always look forward to seeing everybody's interpretations and what it was that inspired their chosen dish - and this month was no exception.

We hunted, we foraged, we borrowed, and we bought our ingredients to bring together a feast of comfort food - from the humble food of the Districts to the richer, fancier food of the Capitol - every last dish is beautifully inspired.  Please join me in this virtual feast.

We begin with this Warm Katniss Salad and Roasted Pork Tenderloin from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  Armed with her son's bow and arrow, she envisioned that roasted pig on the gamemaker's table - complete with apple (but in the end decided to forgo the whole pig and go for just the loin, instead).  Add a nice side of "katniss" salad with goat cheese, that could have been made by Prim, and you have Camilla's contribution this month.

Speaking of goat cheese, next up is Alicia of Foodycat's Goat Cheese and Persimmon Toast , inspired by Peeta.  The life of a baker (and family) may seem ideal, but in actuality often consists of living on stale bread.  What better meal to make of that bread than toast with something delicious slathered on top?

I do not think that any Hunger Games-inspired feast would be complete without the contribution of Katniss's favorite dish, Lamb Stew with Dried Plums .  No need to worry though, because Sarah at WELLDINED brought a pot full, with some goat cheese rolled in herbs and rustic seed bread on the side.

Drawing inspiration from the hunting and foraging prowess of Gale and Katniss, Claudia at Honey From Rock made a local meal using foraged dandelion greens, cassava root and lemons from her own land, and duck resulting from a trade with a friend to make a meal of Roast Duck with Cassava and Dandelion Greens .

Reading, watching, and cooking along with both Cook the Books and Food 'n Flix for the first time, Caroline from Caroline Makes decided to recreate the first meal which Katniss and Cinna share when they meet in the Capitol, Chicken in Orange Sauce & a pudding the colour of honey. Rolls shaped like flowers, chicken and chunks of oranges in a creamy sauce, and tempting pudding... need I say more?

Overwhelmed with all of the mouthwatering descriptions of food in the book and what it actually meant to the starving people of the districts, Tina from Squirrel Head Manor made not only this Rabbit Stew w/ a K to mark Katniss's first catch in a snare, but a line-up of other inspired dishes like Sauteed Rabbit, Gale's Marrow Bone Beefy Soup, and an Apple Tart.

Also joining us for the first time is Anne Marie from This Mama Cooks!  Inspired by a dish mentioned a few times, usually when Katniss was under a bit of stress (wait, wasn't that pretty much the whole story!?), "hot grain smothered in beef stew", this Slow Cooker Meat Stew w/ Brown Rice is packed with veggies and served over brown rice (plus it's gluten free).  Comfort, indeed.

With many of her favorite foodie moments coming from Greasy Sae, it's no surprise that Danielle of The Growing Foodie was inspired to make a dish of Wild Dog Soup (Beef Udon Noodle Soup) after dining out with a friend and being served from a huge pot with Udon Noodle soup being ladled out into waiting bowls. I can almost close my eyes and picture the black market!

Peeta's Gift of Bread (Hearty Bread filled w/ Raisins & Nuts) to Katniss on that rainy day when she was weak from starvation is our contribution from Debra at Eliot's Eats.  She was inspired by food from District 12 - "simple food, comfort food, food of love".

From the beginning, my CTB co-host, Deb of Kahakai Kitchen knew that she wanted to make something "comforting, simple and nourishing - a warm bowl of soup".  Drawing inspiration from Katniss's freshly caught fish and foraged greens, as well as the meal that Katniss made for Peeta by foraging and using little bits of leftover groosling, she brings us this beautiful bowl of Locavore Fish & Greens Soup (and some dark bread slathered with goat cheese on the side).

Inspired by a scene in which Katniss pulls bits of pine bark from the trees to chew on the pith beneath, one of my other co-hosts, Rachel of The Crispy Cook came up with these lovely Pignoli Cookies.  With the combination of two deliciously "piney" ingredients, pine nuts and rosemary, I cannot get the thought of these cookies from my mind.

Ana from Sweet Almond Tree also had a tough time deciding on just one dish to make for The Hunger Games.  But lucky us, because she devised a feast for Katniss, which included Whole Wheat Raisin & Walnut Bread (spread w/ plum jam & goat cheese), Lamb Stew w/ Dried Plums, and an Apple & Goat Cheese Tart.

I will close out this virtual feast with my (Heather at girlichef) frothy, Mexican Hot Chocolate w/ Brötchen for dipping inspired by the passage in the book in which Katniss tries hot chocolate for the first time in her life.  Taking a cue from Peeta and dipping pieces ripped from a freshly baked roll, Katniss gets lost in this bit of comfort and decadence.
Pretty amazing assortment of dishes, ay?  What about you - have you read The Hunger Games?  Or watched the movie?  If you're a foodie and have not read the book, I highly recommend it (the food aspect of the books doesn't really get carried over into the movie very much)!  Have you made anything inspired by The Hunger Games?  If so, feel free to leave a link in the comments, I'd love to check it out.  Or let me know what you would make...or want to make after reading (or seeing) it.

(There is another version of this roundup at Cook The Books - our selections are rounded up on the actual site there, whereas Food 'n Flix is rounded up at the individual hosting site.)

I hope you'll join us while we cook up tasty food from our next selections at Cook the Books (The Shape of Water) which will be hosted by one of my CTB fellow hostesses, Rachel and Food 'n Flix (Today's Special) hosted by another of my fellow CTB hostesses, Deb!

Food‘nFlix cookthebooks