Okay, I admit it. I am a geeky gamer girl. PCs, of course. I started playing WoW when it first came out, with my husband. I’ve been playing it ever since. He is no longer playing it; the sons I introduced to it and played it for years are no longer playing it, but I still am. I don’t play very often anymore, but I still enjoy it from time to time. Every character I had in that game cooks. Every. One. I REALLY enjoy the cooking aspect of the game. I’ll admit I enjoyed it more when it was harder and you had to source more ingredients, sometimes even growing your own like in Pandaria. It fits, because I love cooking IRL (in real life) too, obvi. 🙂 So you can imagine my geeky glory and joy when I found out that there was an Official Cookbook. (Visual of me flapping my hands like Kermit the Frog and saying Yaaaaaay!) Of course I had to buy it for my chef son who used to play with me. It was put together by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, and can be found here.
We decided we were going to work our way through it, not in any big hurry, but see how many of the dishes we could make this year. Since it’s a pretty cool thing, and the food is turning out really well, I thought I would share with you, the invisible people of the internet, what I was up to. For fun. Who knows, you might be a geeky gamer cook too.
Over the weekend, I made a small batch of Northern Spice Blend because the first recipe we made was Tender Shoveltusk Steak. The recipe calls for using the blend as a rub on the meat. Without any real plans to photograph, we rubbed and grilled our huge Ribeyes according to the recipe on page 143. The recipe says to pan sear the steaks instead of grilling them, but we wanted the smoky flavor from the grill. I made the pan sauce by browning some mushrooms and onions in butter and deglazing with red wine and beef stock, then reducing it.I snapped a quick shot before I wolfed down half of it. Needless to say it wasn’t really pretty, but it was very tasty.
So we moved on from there and I made Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops next. These required a bit of pre-planning since they needed to be marinated overnight. I wouldn’t recommend these on a busy weeknight unless you have the time. The recipe calls for lamb to be used, but we don’t eat lamb in our house, so we used boneless pork chops. I adapted the marinade and the rub to fit our own tastes. I also adapted the pan bbq sauce and it was DELICIOUS. So without further ado, here is the recipe adapted from the World of Warcraft Official Cookbook.
Dirge’s Kickin’ Chimaerok Chops
For the Marinade:
- 6 good sized chops (lamb or pork) Bone in or boneless is fine
- 3 tbsp. red curry paste (like Thai Kitchen or Mae Ploy)
- 1/2 cup rum or bourbon (we used bourbon because that’s what we had)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- juice of one lime
- small knob of fresh ginger
- one fresh jalapeno, sliced down the middle
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Pour yourself a generous guzzle of the booze you just used. Cheers!
Assemble all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Place chops in a gallon size ziploc bag and pour marinade over the top. Zip closed and place in fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. When you are ready to cook them, take the chops out of the bag and pat dry. Reserve the marinade. Generously sprinkle the spice rub on each chop and rub in with your fingers. Do the troll dance from WoW. Like this. Or this ——>
For the spice rub:
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. (or more to taste) aleppo pepper flakes or red pepper flake
- 1 tsp. each of nutmeg and cinnamon
- big pinch of kosher salt (or sea salt)
- 1-2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- black pepper to taste
Pan sear or grill your chops to an internal temperature of 145 degrees or until the texture is a little firmer than the fleshy base of your thumb. Rest. While the chops are cooking and resting, strain and pour the reserved marinade into a pot on the stove. Heat to boiling then reduce heat to a rolling simmer. Add:
For the bbq sauce:
- 1 tsp. of dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup or tomato paste
- 2-3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (less or more to taste)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1/4 c. brown sugar (less or more to taste)
- 1 tbsp. sriracha
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- salt and pepper
The amounts of these ingredients are not set in stone, I was kind of tasting and adding things until I found a balance that had a nice zing, a little zip and a nice bite of heat at the finish. Reduce until texture is thick like barbecue sauce. Plate chops and lavishly brush sauce on. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Pairs well with couscous or rice (we did rice pilaf). Also, Kungaloosh or Cherry Grog (also in the book).