Inspired by the trilogy Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson, Deana Whitney and Michael Gunter have created a series of themed recipes, taking into account all the culinary limitations posed by the continuous ash rain. Will they be good?

Everyone knows that food plays a fundamental role in giving physicality to fantastic worlds. Certainly, anyone who has read Uncle Martin's works will remember those splendid descriptions of banquets that, even if chock full of dishes and unusual ingredients, made us hungry between one crack and another. But I would say it is a widespread habit, given the attention paid to food by people of the caliber of Robin Hobb, Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson.

And it is precisely the latter that we will talk about today, albeit avoiding Roshar's crustacean soups or the abominable "Italian" cuisine with spaghetti with mushrooms, peppers and soy sauce (I still dream of it at night) The rhythmist. Not that moving to Scandrial, the world in which the trilogy is set Mistborn, famous for its constant ash rain, less strange recipes are found.

But that didn't stop Sanderson's beta-reader, Deana Whitney and Michael Gunter, expert cook in the preparation of historical recipes, to imagine what the kitchen in Mistborn could be like: what kind of plants would survive in that environment? And how do the meals of the nobles - and the Allomancers - differ from those of the plebs, the skaa? And most importantly, cHow could we reproduce these dishes in real life?

If you are a Sanderson fan of cooking or if you are planning a very fantasy dinner, here is the series of recipes proposed by Whitney and Gunter in this article, with a bit of historical-literary comment.

Let's start by specifying that the world of Scandrial, changed by the powers of the Lord Regent, is not exactly a place where it is easy to live: plant life constantly needs human help to survive under the ash rains, which will probably be more accessible by plants with edible roots than by fruit trees, which however exist. Sanderson, however, does not go down exactly on the species cultivated by skaa: the only ingredient explicitly mentioned is thebarley. Also, if you don't like vegetables, don't call it "green stuff": on Scadrial, in fact, only plants from shades of brown, orange and yellow!

In any case, we are not talking about a fertile world and with food in abundance: the stuff is little and, as the best famines have taught us too, it must be used all, at least in the case of skaa. So to build these dishes, Whitney and Gunter relied mainly on theirs knowledge of the history of gastronomy, to create at least realistic meals.

Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018

The poor cuisine of the Mistborn skaa

- ska, as good plebeians without rights and with little money, they cannot hope for a menu based on meat and on their tables they will find above all soups, as Sanderson tells us and how it was typical of most of the poor classes of the past centuries. Maybe, however, here we avoid throwing everything we have in a pot to boil it until it becomes tasteless: better to follow the recipes of Whitney and Gunter, which are also a little more fancy - and have some green vegetables: eliminate basil and celery if you want to be a purist!

Barley and skaa vegetable soup

ingredients:

  • A spoonful of olive oil;
  • 2 large sliced ​​carrots;
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped;
  • 1 sliced ​​onion;
  • 2 sliced ​​celery stalks;
  • 100g of cooked corn kernels;
  • 400g of cooked and diced tomatoes;
  • 2 dice of vegetable broth;
  • 2 champignon mushrooms cut into cubes;
  • 3 basil leaves;
  • 200g of raw barley;
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • A pinch of cumin.

Instructions:

  1. Pour the olive oil into a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook until softened;
  2. Pour water to taste in the pot and add the vegetable broth nuts;
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring everything to a boil. Cook for 45 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often, pouring additional broth or water if the soup shrinks too much;
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cumin.

Skaa vegetable stew

ingredients:

  • 1 sliced ​​onion;
  • 1 sliced ​​carrot;
  • 2 sliced ​​celery stalks;
  • 1 whole leek, cleaned and sliced;
  • 1 potato sliced ​​into large cubes;
  • 50g of mushrooms cut in half;
  • 3 whole garlic cloves;
  • 3 basil leaves;
  • 6 sprigs of parsley with stalks;
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme with the stem;
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce;
  • 1 tablespoon of whole black pepper grains;
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Leave the peel on the potatoes and carrots, washing them and slicing them into large pieces;
  2. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, add water and bring to a boil, then leave to simmer for at least an hour;
  3. Drain the broth, which can be used as a base for other dishes, and serve the stew.
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018

Savory and sweet baywrap

Another typically skaa dish is baywrap, gli unleavened bread rolls stuffed with barley and vegetables, also eaten by Kelsier and Vin. In this case, Whitney and Gunter have well thought of using tortillias as a basic bread, filled as desired with a potentially infinite variety of ingredients.

ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil;
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped;
  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves;
  • 200g of raw barley;
  • 400ml of vegetable broth;
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Put the oil, onion and garlic in a large pan. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are cooked;
  2. Add the barley and cook it until it is slightly toasted;
  3. Add the broth and salt, bringing everything to a boil;
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring often (add more vegetables to taste);
  5. Heat the tortillia in a pan with butter;
  6. Stuff the hot tortillia with barley.

But, just because you can put anything in tortillias, why not create one sweet version, cooking in a pan apples, pears and some grapes with butter and cinnamon? Whitney and Gunter's idea is to stuff a heated tortillia covered in butter and sugar.

Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018

The buffet kitchen of the nobles of Mistborn

If these dishes seem monotonous enough, it is precisely because they want to show the poverty of the skaa, so if you want a little more panache you have to improvise noble ones. Also because otherwise you would hardly eat it meatAfter all, the only cases in Mistborn where the roasts were seen were in the mansions. Also, since nobles tend to give large social banquets, generally food is served buffet style, with multiple separate courses.

Chicken wings in wine sauce

The first course is certainly not suitable for vegetarians or delicate palates, also because it follows the very rich flavors of Lord Cett.

ingredients:

  • 8 chicken legs;
  • 200g of bacon, cut transversely into 1,5cm wide slices;
  • 10 large champignon mushrooms, cut into 4;
  • Half large yellow onion, sliced;
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced;
  • 2 teaspoons of flour;
  • 2 teaspoons of butter;
  • Half a liter of red wine;
  • 200ml of chicken broth;
  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme;
  • Salt;
  • Black pepper.

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 190 ° C;
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken legs and season them to taste with salt and black pepper;
  3. Cook the bacon in a non-stick pan over medium heat, turning it often until it is slightly golden on both sides, then transfer it to a plate to dry, leaving the remaining sauce in the pan;
  4. Raise the heat and cook the chicken in the same pan until golden brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and remove almost all the remaining gravy, to preserve it;
  5. Always using the same pan, cook the mushrooms, onion and garlic over medium-low heat for about 10/15 minutes, until caramelized;
  6. Add the butter to the vegetables and let it melt, mixing everything;
  7. Add the two teaspoons of flour to the vegetables, stirring to distribute it evenly, until the flour starts to brown;
  8. Pour the wine into the pan and bring it to the boil, stirring frequently; add the bacon and thyme, leaving everything to cook for a maximum of 5 minutes, until the wine has reduced to 1/3;
  9. Add the meat sauce and chicken wings to the wine and vegetables;
  10. Transfer everything to a saucepan and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
  11. Remove the chicken to put it on a plate and transfer the rest back to the pan over high heat; let the sauce shrink for about 5 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste and removing the thyme. Finally, pour the sauce over the chicken.

Buttered vegetables

For the Vegetariansinstead, you can follow another recipe inspired by Lord Cett's banquet, which even in the absence of meat does not miss the opportunity to impress its guests with some vegetables with exotic colors - that is, with the famous "green stuff".

ingredients:

  • 1 fennel, cleaned and sliced ​​in thin wedges;
  • Half onion cut into medium thickness slices;
  • 3 sliced ​​garlic cloves;
  • 120g of butter;
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil;
  • 200ml of vegetable broth;
  • 100ml of white wine;
  • A few sprigs of thyme;
  • 1 acorn squash or 1 violin squash, diced and previously cooked;
  • 450g of thawed peas;
  • Salt and pepper;
  • 1 teaspoon butter for decoration.

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the fennel, onion, garlic and butter; cook until the vegetables soften;
  2. Add the broth, wine and thyme; bring to a boil and cook for about 15 minutes;
  3. Add the peas and wait for them to cook;
  4. Add the cooked pumpkin and let it warm up, then salt and pepper to taste;
  5. Remove the vegetables from the cooking broth and transfer them to a plate, pour a little of the aforementioned broth over them and decorate everything with a curl of butter.
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018
Photo by Deana Whitney, 2018

Metallic cupcakes

And finally, that Dolce can you close the banquet of a noble Allomancer of Scandrial? While taking into account the fact that chocolate appeared after Sazed's "restoration", the wealthier social classes could still afford to offer guests frosted cupcakes, to the delight of the dear old Kelsier.

Taking into account the fact that cakes in human history have changed a lot in shape and composition, Whitney and Gunter were inspired by a certain type of biscuits from Renaissance Italy, not too sweet, but surprisingly soft inside, covering them first with red glaze and then, to the delight of the Allomancers, with food metal leaves.

In theme with the noble dessert, edible metal is not exactly cheap, but it can be recovered on Amazon or on specialized sites without making a mortgage and to decorate small portions of sweets. Of course, it is also fine in flakes or powder.

Icing ingredients:

  • 350g of powdered sugar;
  • 2-4 spoons of milk;
  • 1 spoonful of vanilla;
  • Food coloring of your choice.

Instructions:

  1. Mix the sugar, vanilla and dye;
  2. Slowly add the milk and mix to form a light glaze. Set aside in a bowl.

Ingredients for 30/40 biscuits:

  • 220g of softened butter;
  • 2 large eggs beaten;
  • 200g of sugar;
  • 520g of flour;
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder;
  • 2 spoons of vanilla;
  • Edible metal sheets.

Instructions:

  1. Mix the butter and sugar until they form a soft and homogeneous mixture;
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well;
  3. Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate container, then add them gradually to the butter mixture, until creating a large shape;
  4. Separate the shape into pieces the size of a plum, flattening them into 1,5 cm thick discs;
  5. Bake the biscuits in the oven at 180 ° C for 18/22 minutes;
  6. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes;
  7. While the biscuits are still hot, dip one side into the icing;
  8. Leave to dry on parchment paper and dip again in the glaze for a thicker coating;
  9. When dry, decorate as desired with metal sheets.

So, do these dishes inspire you? Do you have any alternative suggestions?

We certainly will post photos of our experiments!