Recipes for Game Night

Brendan asked, and so he shall receive. I'll post some quick dim sum(-ish) recipes here when I have a moment. Everybody else pile in!

Rules for this Thread: If you post is not a recipe, keep it under three lines.


  • My favorite Steamed Buns.

    You can fill these with basically anything you want, as long as it's fairly dry and strongly flavored, but you can repair weak fillings by serving them with ponzu, so that's okay too.

  • I've had good results with a very simple split pea soup: a couple cups of peas, a big onion diced, a couple carrots grated, a few stalks of celery diced, water to fill the crock pot, and light salting, left to cook overnight. Very smooth when it's done. Folks can add more salt, and if I'm having a group that isn't all vegetarian or willing to put up with a vegetarian dish :), I can set out some good diced ham for folks to stir in. Best served with a good sourdough or potato bread.

    For a gathering earlier in the day, Alton Brown's recipe for steel cut oats also goes great in the crockpot.

    Agreed with Shreyas about steamed buns as a near-universal solvent. :)
  • edited March 2006

    Now, see, I do almost the identical recipe except that I bake the buns, which in my experience leads to substantially less sticky fingers.

    I was going to make a dumb joke about what types of play various recipes are suitable for, but realized that might derail a thread where I might learn new and useful recipes. Must restrain childish sense of humor!

  • When I baked them, they did not rise properly. What temperature/time did you use?

  • I think 350 for some minutes (I could check) but I let them rise for much longer after filling them. Hours, rather than 20 minutes.

    What I really, really adore about the baked version though (for personal consumption) is that if you bake them, freeze them, then stick them right back into a hot oven, they come out almost exactly the same. So I always make, like, triple recipes of buns and freeze two thirds of them, then I snack for weeks.

  • edited March 2006
    There's nothing like Gaming Night Lasagna For The Lazy Cook, as the recipe was handed down to me...

    (One box noodles, one jar spaghetti sauce, one pound pre-shredded mozzarella, one large container cottage cheese, one egg, and a shaker of parmesan cheese, and maybe a pound of ground beef/turkey or zucchini & carrots (you can cook beforehand, but you don't actually need to). Layers like: one spoon of sauce on the very bottom, dry noodles, meat or vegetables, cottage cheese (with egg stirred in), sauce, cheese, up to the top which gets a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Chill overnight, bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serves up to 16 people depending on how hungry; I usually figure about 8-10 people.)

    I think there was some kind of warning like the purity test, where all technicalities counted, but I forget it now.
  • edited March 2006
    This is awesome!

    Not dim sum, but my two fallback game-night recipes:

    Spinach Artichoke Dip From the Cream Cheese Box
    • Two bricks of cream cheese or neufchatel
    • One package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
    • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
    • 1 can chopped artichoke hearts
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
    • Other cheese to taste
    • Tortilla chips or Triscuits
    You'll also need a casserole dish (any size), a mesh strainer, a soup-size bowl, a sharp knife and a fork.

    Heat the oven to 375. Thaw the spinach (if short on time, make use of your microwave and a bowl of hot water). Unwrap the cream cheese, stick both bricks in the casserole dish and microwave for a minute on high; mash it up with a fork, then add the parmesan and garlic.

    Drain the spinach with the strainer--it doesn't have to be dry, just nonflooded. Add the spinach to the casserole dish. Drain the artichokes in the can and put them in a bowl, then chop randomly with the knife until they look about as chunky as you like them.

    Add the artichokes to the mix, stir everything together with the fork, then smooth the top; cover with whatever other melty cheese you like for a thin cheesy crust.

    Bake uncovered on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes. If you like your cheesy crust a little browned, broil for a couple minutes at the end. Let cool for 5 minutes after removing. Serves 6 for an appetizer, or 3 for a meal, dipped out with tortilla chips or Triscuits.

    My Girlfriend Maria's Ratatouille
    • 2 large or 3 medium zucchini
    • 7 fresh tomatoes, 4 cans diced tomatoes, or mix at 2:1
    • 1 small eggplant
    • 1 can chopped artichoke hearts
    • 1 white or yellow onion
    • 1/8 tsp minced garlic
    • 3/4 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 tsp basil
    • 1 Tbsp olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 containers crumbled feta cheese
    • Rice (see below)
    You'll need a plate or cutting board--something to chop juicy vegetables on--with a sharp knife, and a 2-gallon pasta pot. This takes about 20 minutes, so if you're going to make the rice listed below, start it first.

    Peel and dice half the onion; stick the rest in a Ziploc in the fridge for another time. Put the olive oil in the pot, add the diced onion and garlic, and turn the burner to medium.

    Start dicing tomatoes (or don't, if using canned) and dump them in (with juice) when you hear the onions and garlic sizzling. Alternate chopping and adding zucchini and tomatoes, then add the rest of the spices and stir. Drain the artichokes, chop them (or don't, if you like them chunky) and add them. Add any leftover tomatoes.

    Dice the eggplant last, and only use the fleshiest third or quarter of it--a little eggplant goes a ways. Eggplant doesn't stay good, so throw away the rest. Once the eggplant is in, stir and let boil for a couple minutes, then remove from heat.

    Serve hot, over rice, with lots of feta on top to cut the cayenne (if you like spicy, add more cayenne or red pepper flakes). Serves 6-8.

    • 1 cup basmati rice
    • 2 Tbsp butter (1/4 stick)
    • 2 cups water
    Brown and white Minute Rice go equally well with ratatouille, but basmati rice is the best. Put rice, butter and water in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high five minutes and stir; microwave on 50% for five minutes and stir; microwave on 50% for five minutes and stir; microwave on 50% for five minutes and fluff. 20 minutes total is about as long as it takes me to chop all the vegetables above.

    Note that these are not perfect ratios--for 1/2 cup of rice, you still need 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Pita Snacks

    -4 pita bread loaves opened and split into 4ths
    -liberally brushed with olive oil
    -italian seasonings
    -diced tomatoes
    -green onions
    -shredded mozzarella cheeze
    -shredded parmesan cheeze

    Cook in oven at 350 for 5-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.


  • I have no idea how I missed this thread. I went through a year-long phase where I cooked for all the members of our gaming group every week; now we mostly get pizza on Monday nights since I've got late classes on Monday, but we still cook for our Saturday game.

    Since we've got two kosher people, a vegetarian, and someone with severe (i.e. lethal) fish allergies, cooking for the group is sometimes a challenge. When I'm not inspired, this is my go-to meal:

    - Lentil minestrone soup
    - Pepper-mozzarella salad
    - Olive bread

    Fry 2-4 cloves of minced garlic and 1 large, chopped Spanish onion in a little bit of oil in a stockpot, until tender. Add spices to taste (I use cayenne, salt, pepper and thyme) and stir to coat the vegetables.

    Add 10 cups vegetable stock, 2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, a bit of parmesan rind, and 1/2 pound of lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce head, partially cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

    While the soup is simmering, chop up a whole bunch of green, red, orange and yellow peppers. (I figure about 1 pepper per guest, 1.5 if they're hungry.) Add small chunks of fresh mozzarella. Drizzle some good olive oil and balsalmic vinegar over the top, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, toss, and dump it in the fridget.

    After 45 minutes, add 1/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice to the soup - I sometimes add more - and simmer for another 20 minutes. This is also when I stick a loaf of good bread in the oven.

    Serve the bread hot, with thick slices of fresh mozzarella; the pepper salad cold; and the soup with fresh grated parmesan and extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle over the top. It's always a hit!
  • Easier than it sounds and a real crowd pleaser - Grit tofu, from The Grit in Athens Georgia:

    Use a nonstick skillet, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. Serve over steamed brown rice drizzled with melted butter (or vegan margarine), topped with sautéed vegetables and shredded mild cheddar.

    1 (15-ounce) block firm tofu
    Vegetable oil
    Soy sauce
    Nutritional Yeast

    Cut tofu into cubes slightly smaller than playing dice. Lightly oil a nonstick skillet and place over high heat. Allow oil to heat slightly and add tofu. Sauté, tossing with a nonmetal spatula until evenly and lightly golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, sauté briefly to further brown tofu. Remove from skillet, draining and discarding any excess fluid.

    Rinse and wipe skillet dry, lightly oil and place it over high heat. Allow oil to become very hot and add tofu. Sauté tofu, tossing with a nonmetal spatula almost constantly until very well browned. Sprinkle with soy sauce o taste. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast to coat tofu cubes and, tossing vigorously, sauté for a few seconds and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

    Personal tastes with regards to salty soy sauce flavor and amount of nutritional yeast "breading" vary widely. Excessive soy sauce will make the tofu too salty, while too much oil and yeast will give a gooey result. At its best, this recipe yields tofu with a slightly crispy, deliciously yeasty exterior and a tender, moist interior.

    Yields 2 servings. WIll win you friends.
  • Another game night favorite, Tom's curry stew mess:

    1 medium to large onion (yellow or sweet) - cut up chunky or in strips
    1 pkg tofu (I like firm/extra firm) - drained and cut into cubes
    2 medium carrots or 1 large one - cut up chunky for soup
    3 stalks celery - cut up chunky for soup
    1- 1 1/2 inch of ginger - julienned
    3-5 cloves of garlic (to taste)- chopped fine
    1 pkg rice noodles (the wider 1/4" style)
    2 14oz cans of coconut milk
    1-2 limes (to taste)
    couple of stalks of basil

    Other vegetables that I use (some or all):
    baby corn.
    regular mushrooms

    And of course the curry paste - I use exclusively the yellow bucket thai curry paste that you can get at the asian market just down the street. I don't like the fancy kinds they have at Whole foods etc.

    Start the onions, carrots, celery and ginger in the soup pot (on high heat) with a couple of tablespoons of really (temperature) hot peanut oil. Saute' them until the onions start to get clear. Add in the harder vegetables and tofu and stir the mess around. Add 1 - 3 TBS of the curry paste and mix it in with the veggies until it is pretty well distributed (no big chunks) - watch for burning/sticking you can deglaze with some water to prevent that. Throw in the two cans of coconut milk and add water until you get the consistency you want (then a little more as it will reduce). Let it simmer for about 20 minutes add in the basil and lime juice salt and pepper to taste about 5 minutes before you're ready to eat it.

    I usually cook the noodles separately so that they are a little under done then rinse them in cold water to stop them from cooking any more. And then throw them in the pot when you are ready to eat it.

    Don't cook them in the soup! I've done it before but it turns the whole mess to glue.
  • Best thread evar, needs more love.
  • edited May 2006
    Hamburger pasta

    1 red onion
    1 tin plum tomatoes
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    2 peppers
    1lb beef mince
    Cheap wine, perhaps that 3 quid stuff from Tescos which is surprisingly OK
    Pasta, preferably the fresh stuff from Marks

    Half an hour before your gaming group arrives, fry the garlic and onion until the onion is soft. Take it out. Fry the mince until browned. Have a glass of wine while doing it.

    Throw in everything else except the pasta. Add a bit of freshly ground pepper. Pour yourself another glass of wine and throw about half of it into the mix.

    Leave it simmering, uncovered, so it reduces.

    Hopefully your gaming group have arrived about now and hopefully they've brought more wine. If they haven't, send the freeloading scum out for some. Point out that you're doing the fucking cooking and the least they can do is buy wine. Perhaps point out you can get a perfectly drinkable bottle for less than a fiver, especially in Sainsbury's or Tesco and for a bit more you'll get a really nice one from Marks. Do not, under any circumstances, let them buy two bottles for a fiver from the corner shop like my brother does.

    Now make up characters, checking the pasta occasionally. If it reduces too far, take it off the heat, and you may want to throw a bit more wine in.

    When you've made the characters, you should be ready to eat and play. Cook the pasta and serve with the sauce. Serve it in bowls, with forks, so you can eat while playing.

  • I just made a dipping sauce for vegetables that is wonderful. Here's what you do:

    3 tablespoons slivered almonds
    3 tablespoons hazelnuts
    1 piece of bread
    5 or so plum tomatos
    5 cloves of garlic
    1 medium vindalia onion
    1/2 a red bell pepper
    1 jalapeno pepper
    1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

    1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    2. Heat broiler.

    3. Put the slivered almonds and hazelnuts on the sheet and put under the broiler until darkly colored -- yeah, virtually blackened and smoking. Transfer to a plate to cool. When able to handle, rub the hazelnuts between the palms of your hands to get rid of the skins, but don't be too fussy about getting every bit. It takes about three minutes. Shake the pan now and then while broiling the nuts.

    4. Put a piece of bread on the sheet, darkly toast. It takes a minute or two for each side. Set aside with the nuts. Almost burn the SOB, hehe.

    5. Put the onions, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno and pepper on the sheet and broil. after four minutes or so, turn over the garlic and jalapeno. After another four minutes, remove the garlic and jalapeno, putting aside to cool, and then turn the other stuff and broil for about another 8 minutes. The skins of the tomatoes and red bell pepper should be blackened in places and the onion should be rimed with black.

    6. Put the nuts and crumble the bread into a blender or food processor. Pulse until you have a powder. Put in the vegetables you just broiled, plus the parsley, and process into a thick paste. Put the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in and process.

    7. Transfer to a bowl.

    8. Eat.

    This goes very well with vegetable anything. The recipe is from the Spanish Mediterranean where they'd roast onions and use them as a dip (I have done this -- it works v. well) but you can use it as dip for any vegetable you want (and probably a number of other things as well).
  • These are my default recipes, if I want to make something specific rather than just throwing stuff in a pot until it is food (which usually works).

    Tater tot casserole

    2 lb bag of frozen tater tots
    1 or 2 cans can cream of mushroom soup
    12 slices of turkey bacon
    1 onion
    1 lb pepper jack cheese, shredded
    1 lb ground beef

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While browning the ground beef, chop the onion and bacon into lits bits and throw in with the beef. Drain. Mix ground beef mixture with cream of mushroom soup and some quantity of thyme (I always forget the thyme, and the recipe is okay without it but much better with it). Spread across the bottom of a big casserole dish (the secone can of mushroom soup is for if your mixture doesn't cover the entire dish). Spread frozen tater tots on top of mixture, then cheese on top of that. Bake for about 30 minutes, then check on it every ten minutes or so until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown. Remove and eat.

    The original recipe calls for bleu cheese, but my wife doesn't like bleu cheese, and I like pepper jack a lot. you might experiment with other cheeses.

    Lime Chili Chicken

    3-4 chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch or so cubes
    juice and zest from one and a half or two limes
    1 onion
    1 to 1 and a half cups peanut butter
    1 can of chicken broth
    1 or 2 hot chili peppers. Depends on their strength of flavor and how spicy you want the dish.
    Milk from a coconut, possibly some coconut shavings.

    Fry in olive oil the chicken pieces until the outside are white, then add in the chicken broth and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, then chop the onion and pepper, add those to chicken. Mix in the peanut butter. Juice the limes and grate the lime zest, throw that stuff in. Pout in the coconut milk and coconut shavings. Raise heat back up to boil down the liquid until its a thick sauce (the chicken broth was to dissolve the peanut butter, add some flavor and allow the lime juice and pepper flavor to spread throughout the dish). Serve over rice.
  • edited May 2006
    CPXB, that sounds fantastic. Roasted hazelnuts are superb.

    This really is a great thread.

  • edited May 2006
    This is my American recreation/variation on that masterpiece of Chinese cooking...

    Dry-Fried Four Seasons Beans! (Gan Bian Si Ji Dou)

    - green beans or jiang dou or bian dou or some other kind of fun bean
    - red pepper flakes or dried flaked hot peppers
    - dark soy sauce
    - hot sauce, especially one that's not too sweet (Texas Pete will work, in a pinch)
    - a pinch of sugar, brown sugar is pretty awesome too

    Get a bunch of green beans or, if you can find them, Chinese long beans (jiang dou). You can get them at the Harris Teeter across from my house, which has a Chinese greengrocer.

    Chop the ends off the beans. If you're dealing with jiang dou, cut them in half or in thirds. Managable-sized pieces a little longer than your index finger.

    Put a sizable amount of oil in a wok or other frypan. You're not gonna be deep-frying the beans but this is significantly heavier than a stir-fry. There are at leas 5 different words for frying in Chinese cooking. This is more like zha (fat fry) than chao (stir-fry).

    Make sure you have a lid that'll be able to cover all the beans once they're in there. In fact, you may want to cover the oil right now.

    You wanna get the oil pretty dern hot. The point is to sear the outside of the beans until they're flaky and crispy. If your oil is not hot enough, you'll have to leave the beans in the oil too long and they'll soak up some of that fat and be too droopy and greasy. If the beans don't end up completely cooked, that's okay, since a little crunch with your crisp is delightful.

    When your oil's hot enough, throw in the beans. Depending on which beans you're using and your burner, getting them crispy may take different amounts of time. Alternate between keeping them covered and stiring them around. Once they are crispy, drain all the excess hot oil out of your pan, but keep the beans in it. Turn down the heat some.

    Add a couple spoonfuls of dark soy sauce, a spoonful of hot sauce, some of those pepper flakes, and that small pinch of sugar. Toss all that together over the heat for a minute or so, until it soaks in and coats the beans.

  • Here's my wife Julie's recipe for brownies, which are always a hit with the people who play with us. (I personally think she makes the best brownies ever. It's one of the reasons I married her.) If you do this right, the brownies won't be dry or crunchy. In fact, they'll almost be halfway to fudge.

    4 ounces bitter chocolate
    half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    2 sticks of salted butter

    Melt the above, let cool slightly and stir in, in this order, just until

    3 eggs
    1-1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
    1 tsp vanilla or more (I don't measure vanilla)
    1-1/4 cups of flour
    the other half of the chocolate chips

    Line a 9 x 9 pan with foil and grease/spray it. Spread brownie batter into
    the pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes- they'll be kind of
    underdone. Score the tops but don't try to cut all the way through yet. Let
    them cool, or if you're really a chocolate perv, melt another half a bag of
    chocolate chips on top while they're hot and spread them around. Put them in
    the fridge for about half an hour. Cut. Eat. Repeat.
  • Folks reading this might be interested in the RPG Cookbook PDF Hartfelt Productions put out.
  • Man, Jason, I had no idea anyone else ate tofu fried with soy sauce and yeast! I grew up eating it as a bacon substitute (we used tamari sauce and brewer's yeast from the health food store, and fried it in strips).
  • Assuming I lead a good life, freshly frying Grit tofu is the smell that will greet me when I die. That is some seriously tasty shit. Brewer's yeast is the secret weapon of deliciousness!
  • Speaking of brewer's yeast...

    Ghost of 30 Amber Ale (a.k.a THAC0hol, a.k.a. Potion of Healing)

    8 oz. Dextrine malt (a.k.a carapils)
    2 oz. Belgian Special B malt
    8 oz. British Crystal 80L malt
    2 oz. Roasted barley
    1 oz. Northern Brewer hops (boiling hops -- 60 minutes)
    1 oz. Fuggles hops (aroma hops -- 2 minutes)
    6 lb. Light dried malt extract
    Wyeast #1332 Northwest Ale yeast
    1 tsp. Irish moss
    1 tsp. Wyeast yeast nutrient
    3/4 cup priming sugar for bottling.

    Activate the yeast smack pack at least 3 hours before you need it. Steep the crushed grains at 155F in 1 1/2 gallons of water for 30 minutes. Rinse the grains with 2 quarts of 170F water. Top up to boiling volume and bring to boil. Remove from burner and add malt extract. Bring back up to a boil and add Northern Brewer hops. Boil for 45 minutes. Add Irish moss and yeast nutrient. Add Fuggles hops in the final 2 minutes of the 60 minute boil. Cover and chill hot wort to 80F in a sink of ice water or with a wort chiller. Transfer wort to a food grade bucket and top up to 5 1/4 gallons. Pitch yeast. Seal the bucket with a lid and an airlock. Ferment for 5-7 days, until there's about one bubble per minute coming out of the airlock. Transfer wort to a glass carboy and condition for two weeks. Bottle or keg and let the beer condition for another three weeks.

    Chill beer to cellar temperatures, invite your friends over for a great game night!
  • edited September 2007
    Chicken andouille sausage
    sweet peppers
    garlic teriyaki sauce

    Combine, let soak for 2 hours.

    Place on grill for 3 minutes. Turn. Repeat 4-5 times. Brush extra sauce on if any is left over.

    Serve with bread or potatos, and super-hot pickles or pickled peppers.
  • Chris, that sounds amazing.

    Steve brought his stinky cheese over tonight. It went down well.

  • So hey it's been like 2 years since this thread, you all got a bunch more new recipes, right? Right. A new carneceria opened up the street so I've been noshing my way through that at games...their bakery's about to open too, should be empanada heaven.
  • So much has changed! One of my groups no longer takes meals together, and I'm the only guy who cooks in the other. Even then, sometimes that's nothing more elaborate than vegetable burgers and a side.
  • edited November 2009
    Nothing really new or bizarre, but last week I did buy the now-discontinued Cuisinart GRIDDLER Overstuffed Sandwich Maker, an impressive machine that smells fear and hate and makes delicious sandwiches. I went for this rather than a shittier sandwich maker because the overstuffed bit lets you make HUGE sandwiches, ala the kind that are traditionally served at Japanese coffee houses from $1200-1400 professional-grade presses. And while paninis are fun, I'm not too hot on the whole "bread is hot, ingredients are not" thing.

    So from now on, I plan to make an oppressive amount of toasted sandwiches during gaming events. It's the perfect device for gaming, I want to just leave it in the center of the gaming table, even if that means moving the maps and books off to the side.

    Currently addicted to classic reuben sandwiches, and pizza-style pockets. Next is ham, gruyere cheese and pears.

  • edited November 2009
    My favourite thing to cook, for a game night, is now huevos rancheros.

    Chop an onion, which is the most fun vegetable to chop ever. Seriously. Look on YouTube and find how to do it properly. It's such a pleasure. Also chop a pepper, which is less fun, and a red chilli. Fry the result on a moderate heat, for five minutes or until the onions are done, then add a can of chopped tomatoes to make a salsa. (Chopped chorizo sausage also goes well into the salsa.)

    Put two eggs into the salsa to poach. After a couple of minutes, spoon the salsa over the eggs, so the tops cook.

    Serve in tortillas, of course, with fresh coriander and perhaps sour cream.

  • Graham, try making migas by scrambling the eggs and mixing in crisp fried corn tortillas. Your way is a bad way.
  • edited November 2009
    40-clove chicken: impossible to mess up. Get a mess of chicken thighs and/or breasts, at least two thighs or one breast per person you're going to feed. Peel a vast pile of garlic, at least 40 cloves (obv), leaving the cloves whole (no worries if you smash a few, but don't spend time chopping). If you have some shallots on hand, use some of them too, peeling and then cutting in half. I like about half and half by volume. Get a few sprigs of some Mediterranean herbs - thyme, rosemary, parsley, chervil, fresh tarragon (dry is worthless) or what-have-you. Wash them but again, don't bother chopping. Heat your oven to 350F. In your largest oven-safe covered pan, brown the chicken, working in batches. Once all the chicken is browned, pack it all into the pan tightly, mortaring it together with the garlic and shallots. Herbs go on top. Add some kind of neutral vegetable oil, enough to cover the chicken - if you've packed everything in well, this won't be much. Cover and pop into the oven for 90 minutes or so. The chicken is moist and flavorful; the garlic/shallot mixture is edible on its own or mashed into potatoes (it's unfairly delicious that way). Throw away those herbs. The benefits of this recipe are that it's bulletproof and scales up really well; it is a little labor-intensive at the beginning there.

    Choucroute garnie, abridged: You'll need some smoky sausages, a mess (say one large jar) of sauerkraut, some white wine or beer, bay leaf, caraway seeds, paprika (optional), liquid smoke (probably), black pepper. Halve the sausages the long way. In a large non-nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown them in just a little oil. There will be a lot of browned bits (fond) stuck to the bottom of the pan if you do this right. Transfer the sausages to a plate. Grab a tong-load of saurkraut and a half-cup or so of beer/wine. Turn off the heat, pour in the liquid, and scrub the fond off the bottom of the pan with the kraut. You may need more liquid, more heat, and more kraut. Once the pan is thoroughly deglazed, add the balance of the kraut, a palmfull or so of caraway, a couple of bay leaves, and enough beer/wine so that you've added 1-1.5 cups in total. If it doesn't look pretty brown and smell pretty smoky, add a drop or two of liquid smoke. A little chipotle or smoked paprika also will help here. Stir thoroughly to cover the kraut. Add the sausage back in, making sure it's all covered in kraut, and then simmer over low heat until people are ready to eat, say 20-45 minutes. Fish out the bay leaves and grind fresh black pepper over each plateful. This is a flexible sort of recipe (any smoky meats, including fish, can work in it), very fast, and scales well to large groups.

    I like to do ratatouille for vegetarians. The recipe above is close to what I make. I'd like to add that the herbs can be played with to your heart's content, as long as there's plenty of thyme; my favorite addition is fresh tarragon, which I have in my garden about ten months out of the year. Basil is also good, and should be added at the end. Any vegetables that happen to be fresh can find a place in ratatouille, and in particular I like peppers of all kinds, hot and sweet alike. Mushrooms, too! Sometimes, there's a ludicrous bumper crop of chanterelles here and they can be gotten for button-mushroom prices. When that happens, I make Millionaire Ratatouille with like a pound of them, cut into strips and sauteed.

    We also tend to do a lot of sauteed or roasted greens. For whatever reason, there's a lot of kale floating around this area. My favorite way to eat it: Wash it, dry it VERY THOROUGHLY, and remove the stems, cut it into 1" strips, toss with oil and a little salt, spread out on a baking sheet, and roast at 450F for 5-15 minutes (check frequently starting around minute 5). Crunchy like a potato chip!
  • We always game after dinner and after we put our kids to bed, but there is usually some kind of snack, which probably helps keep us from drinking too much beer... most of the time. Chips and whatnot are standard and they usually make me feel less awful than the M&Ms or Twizzlers that people sometimes bring. Still, I have had fun making a loaf of one of the various no-knead bread recipes that have been going around the Internet for the last couple of years. The recipes are so easy, and a loaf of fresh-baked bread with some olive oil for dipping is inexpensive and hard to beat (goes great with beer, too). Here's one of the recipes that I use:

    Makes 1 large round loaf. Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

    An enameled cast-iron Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid yields best results, but the recipe also works in a regular cast-iron Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. (See the related information in "High-Heat Baking in a Dutch Oven" for information on converting Dutch oven handles to work safely in a hot oven.) Use a mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser (mild non-alcoholic lager also works). The bread is best eaten the day it is baked but can be wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 days.
    3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface
    1/4 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
    1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (7 ounces), at room temperature
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored lager (3 ounces)
    1 tablespoon white vinegar


    1. Whisk flour, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Add water, beer, and vinegar. Using rubber spatula, fold mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until shaggy ball forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

    2. Lay 12- by 18-inch sheet of parchment paper inside 10-inch skillet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape dough into ball by pulling edges into middle. Transfer dough, seam-side down, to parchment-lined skillet and spray surface of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

    3. About 30 minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with lid) on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Lightly flour top of dough and, using razor blade or sharp knife, make one 6-inch-long, 1/2-inch-deep slit along top of dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover pot and place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot; transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
  • edited November 2009
    I normally bake some bread. If you've never made your own bread before, click here.

    However, a couple of weeks ago I made Banoffi. Super tasty, super easy. Here's the recipe:

    200g Crushed digestive biscuits
    150g Butter
    100g Sugar
    400g Sweetened condensed milk
    100ml water
    4 Bananas, sliced into rounds
    150ml Whipped cream (whip it yourself, don't use that spray on shit)
    1 tspn instant coffee
    1. Melt 100g butter in a saucepan and remove from heat. Add crushed biscuits.
    2. Layer the mixture in a cake tin and refrigerate.
    3. Melt remaining butter in a deep pan, add sugar and stir over medium heat until the sugar melts
    4. Add sweetened condensed milk and heat until simmering. Stir constantly, for around 5 mins or until the mixture darkens to a light toffee colour.
    5. Pour mixture into cake tin on top of the crushed biscuits and add sliced bananas.
    6. Crush the instant coffee and whip into the cream.
    7. Spread cream evenly on top of the banana and polish the cream using the reverse of a desert spoon that has been dipped in boiling water.
    8. Sprinkle with cocoa powder, refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve.
    P.S. This is a home variant of the Banoffi we serve in our restaurant. Optionally, you can caramelise the condensed milk by heating the tin in boiling water for 2 hours. Pain. In. The. Ass. If you don't keep an eye on that (topping up with water), it will explode. It's only useful en masse.
  • edited November 2009
    Oh, and Jason, Graham's way is awesome! Poaching eggs in a bed of tomatoes is magically delicious. You can make a really fast serves-N-people dish out of anything you have in your pantry or fridge by preparing a pan full of flavorful diced tomatoes (add whatever you have lying around), heating them to a nice simmer, dropping in 1-2 eggs per diner, letting them poach to whatever degree of firmness pleases you, and then serving them with some kind of bread-type food. I think this is a common maneuver in Spanish cuisine - I've seen a couple of recipes for somewhat fancy dishes of this form.

    Other easy recipe schemata that can use almost anything you have lying around: frittata, quiche, layered casserole.

    I am looking forward to playing around with the no-knead bread recipe.
  • Butter Chickpeas! Like Butter Chicken, only vegetarian.

    A can or two of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    Half of a big can of italian tomatoes
    Some onion and garlic
    Butter (of course)
    Butter chicken masala, available in your friendly neighborhood Indian grocery store (or generic "ethnic" store). This is a $2 spice mix, not a $6 jar of mostly-tomato sauce you get at Whole Foods, okay?

    Dice an onion and chop up some garlic. Get some butter going, a couple tablespoons. Dump the garlic and onions and a tablespoon of the masala into the butter, cooking until everything is soft and translucent and amazing-smelling. Dump in the chickpeas and let them cook for a couple minutes before you dump in the tomatoes. Let it cook down a bit, tasting for salt and pepper, and put in another tablespoon of masala (it tastes different fried than it does when you put it directly in, and I like it both ways). Before serving, stir in another two tablespoons of butter, or else it will taste like it's missing something but you're not sure what.

    Serve over perfectly-made Indian rice, which I cannot make, or inside of naan or an appropriate naan substitute.

    Holiday Avocado Dip

    This is entirely too blasphemous to be called guacamole, but it's awesome with tortilla chips. DON'T JUDGE ME UNTIL YOU TRY IT.

    Mash up two avocados with a fork. Squirt in a ton of lime juice. Add tamari, at least two tablespoons, but more to your taste. Add garlic. Add salt. Taste until salty/garlicky/creamy and full of umami.

    Stir in the arils from half of a large pomegranate. Yes, you heard me. Don't make that face. Man up and do it.

    Your friends will look at you like you're insane. Someone will try it. You have perhaps 15 minutes from that first bite to make a second batch or incur the wrath of your friends.
  • Posted By: ElizabethHoliday Avocado Dip....
    Oh man, I would totally eat that! I would even add hot sauce, but that's me.
  • edited November 2009
    If you're a cheap, lazy bastard, and a terrible host like me, I give you Poor Man's Stir-Fry. Other than the ramen and bacon, everything else is optional:

    1 lb. of cheap bacon
    4 packs of maruchan ramen (with only two of the little flavor pouches in it, any flavor)
    something leafy (spinach, basil, whatever)
    an onion
    a tomato
    garlic, cayenne, or any other spices you have laying around
    some eggs

    Boil the ramen in a bunch of water, with the flavor packets in it, until soft. Strain and set aside.

    Fry up all the bacon in a mini-wok, eventually adding in all the other ingredients.

    When the bacon and veggies are almost done, mix them in with the ramen, and fry it all together in the wok.


    The great thing about this is that ramen noodles are so cheap, and you can make a crapton of this stuff on short notice.
  • Let's see, I try never to bing the same thing twice.

    However, a couple of times I've brought Poblano Corn Chowder with Match Meat

    Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

    Asian Braised Tofu

    Baked Ziti is also good. Just mix together some meatballs, penne noodles, sauce, and ricotta cheese, top with cheese, and bake in a 350 degree oven until it's bubbly.
  • edited November 2009
    Beer Bread! Ridiculously easy, and even folks who don't like beer (such as myself) think it's delicious.

    1 twelve-ounce beer, any worthwhile variety.
    3 cups of flour
    3 tablespoons sugar
    3 tablespoons butter

    Mix the flour and sugar. Pour in the beer. Mix together (Edit: With a spoon! No machine mixing!) and get it into the oven fast. Bake it at 350 for around 45 minutes. When a tester comes out almost clean, melt the butter and pour it over the whole thing, then bake for another 10 minutes. Makes an awesome crust. The recipe scales very well - for every 4 oz, just add another cup or another tablespoon.

    I've also gotten great use out of both sausage lasagne and black bean chili.
  • Hey everyone, it's been 2 more years, let's talk about more recipes.

    My current group has been a post-dinner group, so we've cut down on our cooking significantly.

    You've gotten 100 more good recipes, though, right?!
  • Going through some of the "Best of Story Games" threads and came across this one. Decided to cast Raise Dead with a few recipes I've used and experimented with. Vegeterian-friendly, easy to snack on, and quite well received!

    Baked Chickpeas (crunchy and delicious!)

    • 2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, well drained and rinsed
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • other seasonings (I've used cayenne & chili powder; wasabi powder & ground coriander; choose a favorite flavor combo...)

    Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. In a large bowl, toss the chickpeas with the remaining ingredients until coated. Spread the chickpeas in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30 to 40 minutes.

    Yogurt Dip

    • 16 oz. Greek yogurt
    • juice of one lemon
    • a handful of cilantro or parsley
    • something spicy (half a small can of chipotles in adobo or a few teaspoons of harissa, to taste)

    Throw this in the food processor until it's smooth. Add kosher/sea salt to taste. Serve with pita wedges, chips or veggies.

  • edited June 2012
    Man, you people put me to shame. I usually go with a big pot of homemade chili and then have fixings like burgers, hot dogs, fritos, and jalapeno cornbread on which to smother with said chili and cheese.

    House rules: Eat your fill and wash your hands before hitting the game table.
  • Unfortunately, I live one to two miles from:

    Urban Turban (some of the best Mediterranean in the Triangle)
    Orient Wok (some of the best authentic Chinese takeout in the Triangle)
    Two Harris Teeters (decent grocery stores with food bars)
    One Fresh Market (think Whole Foods quality without the price or patchouli stink)
    Randy's Pizza (the best NY Style pizza in the Triangle)
    Rudino's (some of the best, if not the best, grinders in the Triangle)
    Five Guys Burger and Fries (the second best fast food burger joint; the first is, of course, Cook Out; but unfortunately 10 minutes away)
    Neo China (some of the best Dim Sum/Yamucha in the Triangle)
    Papa Murphy's Take and Bake Pizza (a huge hit; cheap, fresh, delicious)
    Biscuitville (the best biscuits in the Triangle; although I'll add "arguably" here cause likely there's a slightly better place in Durham)
    Giorgina's Pizzeria; fuck their pizza, they have the best hot wings in the Triangle (confirmed through a dedicated weeks-long cookoff at work!)
    Inchin's Bamboo Garden (the best Chinese food for Indian people in the Triangle)
    La Farm Bakery, the best bakery in the Triangle. Yeah, Googlehopf, I said it because it's true. (pricy as shit tho)
    Brigg's, some of the best Americana and soul food in the Triangle.

    Then after that, there's great but expensive Indian, good Thai, and then everything else. The only thing we don't have a "Best in the Triangle" of that I think is a loss is Mexican, maybe Seafood. There's great Mexican 10 miles away (Torerro's), but after that the really good places are in Durham.

    So yeah, when gaming is at my place, it's usually a question of where to go, not what to bring.

  • These bar cookies are delicious despite being free of gluten, dairy, soy, and tree nuts.

    If any gamers have food allergies (or even if not!) I highly recommend them.
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