There is little I enjoy better than flicking through the pages of fandom cookbooks.
Although if I’m honest with myself, I know that the vast majority of the dishes within them will never grace a plate in my house, there’s something about the idea of meals based on the shows, films, and games I love that keeps me coming back for more. In the past, I have reviewed cookbooks based on Twin Peaks, Hannibal, and Breaking Bad and today I’m back with three more based around Supernatural, The Elder Scrolls, and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook
I am yet to visit Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars land at Disney’s American theme parks, and if I’m being realistic, it will be several years at least before I have the opportunity to do so, but that’s not stopping me from absorbing everything there is to learn about the place. The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook is exactly what it sounds like, a collection of recipes taken from and inspired by the land.
Unlike traditional (Earth-bound) cookbooks, The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook is itself set in the Star Wars universe. In its introduction we meet the author, an Artiodac named Strono “Cookie” Tuggs who was the head chef at Maz Kanata’s castle until the First Order destroyed it. Since then, Tuggs has kitted out a food freighter and flies around the galaxy stopping in to offer food-truck style meals at local spaceports, which is how he came to be at Black Spire Outpost on Batuu where’s he’s thinking about settling in for a longer than usual stay. Also at the start of the book is a guide to the various eateries you can find at Black Spire Outpost, obviously serving as an advertisement for the theme park where you can visit these locations for yourself.
Tuggs shares a wide variety of recipes with us across the usual categories: Sides, Starters & Snacks, Main Courses, Desserts, and Drinks, but there are also dedicated sections for Breads, Soups & Stews and Condiments, Sauces, & Garnishes. Everything has a name that’s appropriate for the galaxy far, far away – there’s Dagobah Slug Syrup, Nerf Kebabs, and Corellian Ryshcate among many others, but thankfully, Tuggs helps out with suggestions for more easily sourced ingredients for those of us who find procuring his originals a bit tricky.
Every recipe gives a full ingredients list, yield, prep time (including things like the rising time for bread which is noted separately to help you plan), and the difficulty level for this specific recipe. Some of the recipes are used together to form dishes, e.g. for the Ronto Wrap you’ll need Ronto Wrappers, and where this is the case, the bottom of the page will direct you to the appropriate page numbers. This makes The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook one of the most practical cookbooks I’ve used, even if some of the recipes included are a bit… strange.
The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook has made me even more excited to finally visit Batuu at Galaxy’s Edge, but for now, I’ll bide my time by trying out some of these recipes – although probably not the Huttese Slime Pods…
The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook
Someone stole your sweetroll? Nevermind, with the Official Cookbook of the Elder Scrolls, you’ll be able to bake yourself a whole new batch to replace it along with many other dishes you’ll recognize from your wanderings across the world of Tamriel.
Like the Galaxy’s Edge cookbook, The Elder Scrolls Official Cookbook is written as if by someone who lives in the fictional world it belongs to, although here there is a lot less backstory to their character. The book kicks off with an introduction to the foods you will find throughout Tamriel and a look at the preferences of the various races who live there. There’s also a guide to the foods eaten at various festivals and a Cook’s Guide to Homesteading which might give you some advice on equipping your in-game home if you’d like to explore cooking in Skyrim.
The recipes here are divided into seven sections. Along with the usual Main Courses and Desserts, there are also dedicated sections for Baked Goods, Drinks, and Soups & Stews. A large number of the recipes are for dishes you will recognize from the games – Grilled Leeks, Honey Nut Treats, Skooma, and Boiled Creme Treats are all here, along with the obvious inclusion of Sweetrolls, but a good number are more generic dishes that would simply feel at home within Tamriel: Cheese Scones, Pea Soup, and Apple Cobbler for example.
Naturally, finding the original Tamriel ingredients might be a bit tricky for us Earth-based adventurers so substitutions are always given. Sweet potatoes make a good replacement for ash yams, beef works as a stand-in for horker meat, and cranberries work well in lieu of snowberries. For extra help, every recipe also includes a difficulty level, prep and cooking times, the number of servings from the listed ingredient quantities, and even suggestions of what it pairs well with. There’s a great mix of basics through to complex main meals so you’ll be able to find something to try no matter your skill level in the kitchen.
This is easily one of the prettiest cookbooks I’ve ever seen with stunning photography for every dish that made me both hungry and also keen to leap back into Skyrim at the earliest possible opportunity. I’ll definitely be trying out some recipes from here, and probably snacking on them while exploring yet another Dwemer ruin.
Supernatural: The Official Cookbook: Burgers, Pies, and Other Bites from the Road
Supernatural is a show that has strong associations with food thanks to Sam and Dean’s lifestyle that sees them permanently on the road and there are many dishes that have become firmly linked to the series including pies, burgers, beer, and pudding! Supernatural: The Official Cookbook attempts to bring some of that into your kitchen.
Unlike the previous two cookbooks in this post, the Supernatural one doesn’t pretend to exist in the same universe as the franchise it is based on. Instead, each recipe is linked to a specific episode with screenshots and cast photos scattered throughout alongside photos of some of the finished dishes.
The book is divided into seven sections and alongside the usual suspects (Entrees, Desserts, and Drinks) there is also a dedicated breakfast section along with sections for Appetizers & Road Snacks and Sandwiches and Burgers. As might be obvious by now, this isn’t the healthiest cookbook you’re going to find – Dean’s love of burgers and pie alone sees to that – but there are a few healthier meals that will appeal to the Sam Winchester in us including the Mark of Cain Green Smoothie, Kale Pita Wrap, and Health Quake Salad Shake.
Let’s be honest though, no one is buying a Supernatural themed cookbook for clean eating ideas. Among the more artery-clogging options here are an Elvis Burger, Chili Cheese Fries, To-Die-For Chicago Pizza, and Crowley’s Devil’s Food Mousse.
Naturally, there’s also a wide variety of pies included with fillings to please everyone, but especially Dean. Fans will be delighted to see that a recipe for Pig ‘n a Poke has been included, and probably concerned to note that there are also bonus instructions included to make the Pepperjack Turducken Slammer (thankfully sans gray Leviathan Goo).
This isn’t a cookbook I’ll be opening up too often – that sound you can here is my cardiologist breathing a sigh of relief – but for special occasions, there are some amazing sounding options that I’ll be sure to try out, not least the Biggerson’s Garlic Knots, Garth’s Roadhouse Potatoes, and some Sweet Cherry Pie (to make a grown man cry). With Supernatural finally coming to an end in just a few weeks after an incredible 15 seasons, I may well celebrate the last episode with some dishes inspired by this book.
GeekMom received a copy of these books for review purposes.