The Hunger Games Feast: Recipes from Panem

Help the odds of throwing a great party be ever in your favor with a little assistance in planning the menu. Inspired by The Hunger Games, these recipes are sure to resonate long past the evening's cannon fire.

Goat Cheese
Prim, Katniss' little sister, helped the family survive thanks to the milk from her pet goat. The morning of reaping day, Katniss wakes to find goat cheese wrapped in fresh basil leaves. Bring this delicious appetizer (or breakfast treat!) to your table in one-bite form. We bet the mint leaves in this appetizer would remind Katniss of evenings at home.

Herbed Goat Cheese Bites Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
1 (8-oz.) goat cheese log
1 (8-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into
1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

Combine and finely chop first 4 ingredients. Roll cheese log evenly in herb mixture; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil. Gently press slices into 24 muffin cups in muffin pans.

Bake at 350° for 7 to 9 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from oven; let cool in pans 5 minutes. Spread goat cheese into baguette cups; top with sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves.

Apples
Hunting outside of your district is illegal, but the brave few who sought fall's first apples would be richly rewarded if they could make them into this simple dessert. Perhaps the town baker could provide a worthy substitute for the pie crust.

Thin French Apple Tart Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425°.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface; roll into a 12-inch circle. Place on a 12-inch pizza pan. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar mixture over dough. Arrange apple slices spokelike on top of dough, working from outside edge of dough to the center. Sprinkle apple slices with remaining sugar mixture.

Bake at 425° for 30 minutes. Combine honey and vanilla in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high 40 seconds. Brush honey mixture over warm tart. Serve warm.

Bread
Katniss and those around her repeatedly give thanks for bread, starting with Gale's quick-thinking trade the morning of the reaping and ending with a much-needed gift from midair. We can easily say that we'd trade a squirrel for this mouthwatering loaf.

Saffron and Golden Raisin Breakfast Bread Recipe

Ingredients:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 teaspoons warm water
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup warm water (75° to 85°)
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 (12-ounce) package bread machine country white bread mix (we tested with Fleischmann's)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon water Turbinado sugar

Combine saffron and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Place saffron mixture, 2 egg yolks, 3/4 cup warm water, and next 5 ingredients, including yeast packet from bread mix) in a bread machine. Set bread machine to "dough" setting according to manufacturer's instructions; start machine. When dough cycle is complete, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead several times. Form dough into a loaf, and place in a greased 9" x 5" loafpan. Let dough rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Combine remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush top of loaf with egg wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake at 350º for 32 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Squirrel
In District 12, "where you can starve to death in safety", as Katniss says, squirrel, or any meat, was considered a luxury and was frequently dried or used in a stew. Original recipes dating to 19th century Virginia for Brunswick Stew called for squirrel meat, but in this recipe we're using chicken. After all, didn't you trade your squirrel meat to the baker for bread?

Brunswick Stew Recipe

Ingredients:
Cooking spray
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into
1/2-inch pieces
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
6 (1-ounce) slices Italian bread, toasted
2 garlic cloves, halved

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper, onion, and celery to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil to pan. Combine flour and chicken in a medium bowl, tossing to coat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Gradually stir in broth; bring to a boil.

Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and next 5 ingredients (through lima beans) to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Rub bread slices with cut sides of garlic; discard garlic. Serve bread with stew.

Blackberries
Admit it, didn't you swoon a little as Katniss and Gale romped around outside the fence of District 12 to hunt, gather, and fish? A burst of fresh blackberry will take you right back to their carefree chatter and mornings in the sun.

Easy Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Whipped cream (optional)
Garnish: fresh mint sprig

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place blackberries in a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish; sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir together egg, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over fruit. Drizzle melted butter over topping.

Bake at 375° for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired. Garnish with fresh mint sprig, if desired. For a neat presentation, bake for the same amount of time in 6 (8-oz.) ramekins on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

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