05 September 2012

True Blood

Back with some television tie-ins!  After the finally of this season’s True Blood, with Bill all bad and evil and no resolution till next season…

We have been given a True Blood booster with the True Blood cookbook.   True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps features a menu from Merlotte’s filled with so much more than an a glass of Tru Blood. (As you know, vampires don’t eat.  I would be seriously bummed if I were a vampire!) 

Yes, Virginia, this is a kitschy and blatant attempt at wooing the True Blood fan, but as far as these things go, it is a pretty good cookbook.  Alan Ball and a couple of co-producers get the bulk of the credit for “writing” the cookbook, but you have to hand it to them, where the actual recipes are concerned, they called upon Marcelle Bienvenu.  Bienvenu is a famed expert on Cajun and Creole cooking.   After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, one of the first things that residents tried to rebuild was their recipe box.  Family recipes were lost and there was an outpouring of requests at The Times-Picayune of New Orleans for reprints of classic New Orleans recipes.  Marcelle Bienvenu wrote Cooking Up a Storm, filled requested recipes and stories behind them.

So don’t be terribly dissuaded by the cheesy essays by “Sookie Stackhouse” about Gran’s kitchen.  Of course the recipes are purported to be from the culinary collections of various characters, and they have appropriately wacky names like Confederate Ambrosia, Burning Love BLT and Candied Sweet Jesus Potatoes.  If you are a True Blood fan AND you cook, who could want more?

Here is a recipe from Sookie.  She says:

“I drive all the way to Shreveport to see Alcide, and there’s Debbie, with a tray full of hostess snacks?  As if crawfish dip is gonna make up for trying to kill me – twice!”

It might just make up for trying to kill someone – once!

Crawfish Dip

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons mince fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound peeled crawfish tales
One 8-ounce package cream cheese at room temperature
Cayenne Pepper
Tabasco sauce

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and golden, 6 to8 minutes.  Add the garlic, parsley, and crawfish tails.  Cook, stirring, until the crawfish throw off some of their moisture, 3 to4 minutes.

Add the cream cheese and reduce the heat to medium-low.  Cook, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and heated through.  Season with salt, cayenne and Tabasco.

As a true, True Blood fan, I can tell you this is not only a fun and fan-filled little book, but the recipes are well worth the effort.  If you are a vampire, you are sadly missing out.  Seriously, what is the point of living forever if you can’t eat!

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