I’m not one for geeky kitchen accessories. You’ll never catch me with an Enterprise-shaped pizza cutter for instance, or using a carving knife that looks like a laser sword. Likewise, I’m picky about my recipes, which I prefer in two varieties: hand-written on a notecard by someone’s grandparent, or drawn out for roughly 50,000 words.
That’s partly why I’m always a bit skeptical about geeky cookbooks. The recipes I find inside are rarely all that interesting, and feel either dumbed down or a bit too frilly. A new offering from 10 Speed Press succumbs to neither of those pitfalls. Titled Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook, it’s 212 pages of high-quality comfort food — plus a heaping helping of D&D lore.
The lore starts with the name of the book itself, which refers to a 6th-level conjuration spell from D&D’s 5th edition ruleset. Inside, the hardcover volume is divided into thematic chapters, including one each for human, elven, dwarven, and halfling cuisine. Each of these first few chapters culminate with an in-fiction menu from one of the D&D multiverse’s most famous inns and taverns, plus details on how to recreate them. Here you’ll find the board of fare from Waterdeep’s The Yawning Portal, Greyhawk’s The Green Dragon Inn, and Krynn’s The Inn of the Last Home. (Note that this book is likely the last you’ll see of anything from the Dragonlance series for some time thanks to an ongoing lawsuit between Wizards of the Coast and the world’s creators.)
These four chapters were my very favorite, and seem like the perfect companions for a long winter cooped up at home. The recipes themselves don’t pander to inexperienced home cooks, but are far from exotic. Mostly they’re focused on fresh ingredients that are fairly easy to find at the local supermarket. You’ll also find some new tricks and techniques sprinkled in. For instance, I’ve been enjoying making Yawning Portal Buttermilk Biscuits for the last few mornings. They’re faster and easier to make compared to traditional round biscuits since they’re scored ahead of time and baked together in a single pan.
It’s in the fifth chapter where all the stunt recipes get segregated. Titled Uncommon Cuisine, that’s where you’ll find your Fried Fingers and your Deep Gnome Trillimac Pods — but also a really nice variation on braised lamb and a substantial chopped steak. The final chapter is filled with drinks. I especially liked the Dwarven Mulled Wine, which goes well with the halfling-themed Honeyed Ham with Pineapple Gravy.
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