If you or your children are fans of the worlds of Disney, Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings, perhaps you will be tempted to put your teeth in one of these cookbooks drawing on these fantastic spheres, newly published in Quebec.
What Star Wars fan has never dreamed of dipping their fork into a delicacy from a galaxy far, far away? Cooking up a stewed Bantha stew? To dip the lips in the Jawas’ favorite drink? To bite into the best cookies in Tatooine?
Admitting to feeling a certain pressure by manipulating the universe of this sacred monster of pop culture, the author Thibaud Villanova has nevertheless concocted some forty recipes inspired by the famous franchise. These are classified by planet, each presenting a particular orientation or evoking characters and scenes from the films.
We are thus offered a blue shake worthy of a Mos Esley tavern (coconut milk, lavender stalks, yogurt ice cream), cauliflower and nutmeg soufflés referring to the cloud city of Bespin, or a spicy soup straight out of the volcanic Mustafar. The degree of difficulty is indicated by the labels padawan (simple), Jedi (medium) and Jedi master (complex).
The connection to Star Wars is sometimes a little stretched (the recipe for “fried chicken wings” alluding to…?), but there are still refreshing and varied ideas, inspired by international gastronomy, with a penchant for for French and Asian cuisines (matcha or Sichuan pepper are well exploited). We particularly like the drinks and desserts, while some recipes suggest great variations on classics (tartares, beef bourguignon, tarte tatin, etc.). The packaging is also very nice, with photos and illustrations that will appeal to fans without infringing on the quality of the recipes. Watch your cooking, you will have to.
In another universe, just as popular with the geeks of this world, the author Tom Grimm offers a culinary escapade according to the Middle-earth revealed in the saga of the Lord of the Rings. Here, about sixty recipes are gathered and classified by type of meal: breakfast, dinner, dinner, snacks, drinks, etc. Each alludes to characters or places imagined by J.R.R. Tolkien, such as Potato Soup in The Dashing Pony, Bilbo’s Caraway Cake, or Sam’s Rabbit Stew.
Most of the recipes are simple and rather classic, with a predilection for country-style gastronomy, meats taking the lion’s share (quail, lamb, pork, chicken), as well as stews, not to mention fish and some formulas vegetarians. Condiments, side dishes and vegetables are more reminiscent of nourishing and comforting autumn dishes (based on potatoes, squash, root vegetables, chestnuts, etc.), which is why we recommend dusting it off once the color season come.
Very neat, the presentation highlights the recipes well, including those of the Orcs which make you laugh and wince a little – like the “hobbit roast candied with maggots”, a terrifying terrine perfect for Halloween. Intended for bon vivants who have a big craving after a day of exploring Mordor.
The third book clears the abundant animated works signed Disney, and it is certain that there was something to get your teeth into, from Cinderella to Toy Story, via Pinocchio and the Snow Queen. No less than 40 films, from the oldest to the most recent, have served as inspiration to concoct as many recipes that are intended to be a little magical. The classification of these is a bit confusing (chapters “princesses”, “cuisine of the world”, “wonderland”…), but we target rather by character, bite by bite.
It will not have escaped the author – the same who signed the Star Wars cookbook – that children are at the forefront of the readership, which is why the majority of the formulas suggested are rather easy to achieve: velouté de pumpkin à la Cinderella, cinnamon and vanilla cookies à la 101 dalmatiens, spag and meatballs from Lady and the Tramp, honey cake from Winnie the Pooh or chestnut cream cake for Elsa… not to mention the proverbial ratatouille from the film of the same name, a bit more full-bodied.
Bringing out the cartoon magic in the photographs seems to have been a real challenge, with a less obvious result compared to the Star Wars book. That said, by sprinkling everything with the best ingredient there is, that is to say the imagination, you always get your way. Or to his hunger.
Padawan level (easy)A yogurt, coconut, lavender smoothieFor 4 people Preparation: 10 min
25 cl coconut milk 25 cl whole milk 2 dried lavender stalks
1. Start by preparing the blue milk. In a saucepan, pour the coconut milk and whole milk. Add the dried lavender stems and heat over medium heat for 10 minutes. Lavender naturally gives a blue color to the liquids in which it is infused. Filter the preparation and, if the blue is not deep enough for you, add coloring. Let cool to room temperature.
2. Perform the hit. In a blender, place the yogurt ice cream and blue milk. Blend for 1 min to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Serve well chilled.