We aren’t the only Planeswalkers lucky enough to celebrate holidays. I recently took a trip to the plane of Ravnica in order to attend the annual Orzhov Church of Deals Food Fair (OCDFF for short). Seeing as the Fourth of July is fast approaching, I figured now would be as good a time as any to share some of the recipes and party ideas I picked up while attending the OCDFF.
Boros — Party Tip
The Boros know how to provide the necessary equipment needed to properly enjoy any event (in a clean and individually rationed fashion no less). Also food isn’t allowed to mix because that just isn't orderly. Make sure your guests are ready for anything by providing them the tools they need to get the job done. With divider tray, personalized utensils, and cup in hand, your guests will be equipped to take down any food thrown their way.
Rakdos — Blood Orange Margarita
The Rakdos are all about having a good time. They also seem to really like blood—a lot. What better way to help get the party started than some blood-orange margaritas?
- kosher salt (enough to rim glass)
- 1 lime wedge
- 1 ½ ounces silver (blanco) tequila
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ ounce triple sec orange liqueur
- Pour salt evenly onto a small plate
- Rub outside rim of glass with lime wedge, coat glass rim in salt, and set glass aside
- Place remaining ingredients into cocktail shaker
- Fill shaker halfway with ice
- Shake vigorously until outside is frosty (roughly 20 seconds)
- Strain into prepared glass and garnish with lime
- Serve cold
Golgari — Leftovers Casserole (Courtesy of My Mom)
Recycle, recycle, recycle: That is the Golgari way. Did you get invited to a party last minute and have no idea what to make? Fear not—leftovers can be repurposed into a decadent casserole.
Image found here
- 2 Cups leftover protein (pork, chicken, beef)
- 8-oz. package of elbow macaroni
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 pound of leftover mixed vegetables
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl
- Lightly oil a large baking dish
- Spread mixture evenly into baking dish
- Bake at 350 for 45 min (or until hot and bubbling)
- Serve warm
Selesnya — Grilled Corn on the Cob (An @AntMTG Original)
The Selesnya like to keep it simple. One of my absolute favorite things to grill is sweet corn on the cob. I’ve learned a little trick that will add the perfect natural side dish to any cookout. Its corn—the way Mat’Selesnya intended.
Image found here
- Ears of sweet corn, husks still on
- Soak corn (husks on) in a large pot of water until fully saturated (about an hour). To help keep corn submerged, place a large dinner plate on top of the corn, followed by dinner bowl filled with water for weight.
- Place soaked corn (husks on) onto grill.
- Grill until husks start to dry out and blacken.
- Once husks have cooled off, peel, and serve on the cob.
Dimir — Party Tip
Any good Dimir assassin knows picking the right poison can make or break a job. It just so happens I was able to steal their secrets, and I have a couple of infographics that will help even the most untrained cutpurse become a spirited assassin.
Gruul — Grilled Meat and Eggs
If the flavor text for Protean Hulk wasn’t clue enough, meat and eggs can bring any meal from mediocre to hands-down amazing. Now, I haven't known a Gruul to worry about cooking beyond throwing food on a fire until it's “done,” but if you have a more sophisticated palate, here is a recipe for some grilled meat and eggs that will have your guests coming back for more.
- 2 (8-ounce) filet mignon
- 1/2 pound chorizo sausage
- 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage links
- Oil, for brushing
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic Toast, for serving, recipe follows
- Heat the grill to high.
- Brush the steak and sausages with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Grill the steak until golden brown and slightly charred on both sides and cooked to medium-rare doneness, about 4 minutes per side.
- Grill the sausages until golden brown on both sides and just cooked though, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the steak and sausages from the grill to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron pan on top of the grill.
- Once the pan is hot add the butter and eggs and either fry or scramble.
- Remove the eggs to a serving platter and top with sliced sausages.
- Arrange the steak next to, on top of, below (whatever the gruul don't care) the eggs
Simic — Italian-Style Grilled Octopus
Nobody knows seafood better than the Simic. If you are tired of the same old burgers and hotdogs at every cookout, try this delicious dish I came across while exploring Ravnica’s freshly uncovered ancient seas.
- 3 pounds cleaned octopus
- 1 cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup whole peppercorns
- 2 lemons, plus additional wedges for serving
- 1 wine cork
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- Place octopus in a large pot along with wine, peppercorns, 1 lemon cut in half, cork, and garlic.
- Cover with water by 1 inch and bring to boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cook until octopus is tender.
- Drain and allow octopus to come to room temperature.
- Set grill to high heat and allow to preheat for 5 minutes.
- Toss octopus with ¼ cup olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook octopus on grill until browned (3 to 4 min per side).
- Cut tentacles, place on platter, and drizzle with remaining olive oil and lemon juice.
- Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve with lemon wedges.
Azorius — Blueberries and Cream Cupcakes
Who better to provide a baking recipe than the Azorius? As any baker will tell you, exact measurements and detailed directions are paramount when traversing this avenue of the culinary arts. Below are instructions on how to bake exquisite Azorius cupcakes that even a justiciar would be proud of.
- 1 and ? cup all-purpose flour (careful not to over-measure)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup yogurt or sour cream
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 and ? cups fresh blueberries
- 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners (this recipe makes 14 cupcakes, so there will be two batches).
- Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined.
- Set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
- Whisk in the granulated and brown sugars. Mixture will be thick.
- Vigorously whisk the egg, yogurt, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest until combined and uniform in texture.
- Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until no lumps remain.
- Gently fold in the blueberries.
- Divide batter among 14 cupcake liners and bake in batches for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool.
- Make the frosting:
- In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add the confectioner’s sugar and 1 tbsp cream. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and 1 more tbsp cream if needed to thin out. Beat for 1 minute.
- Taste the frosting and add a pinch of salt if too sweet.
- Frost cooled cupcakes immediately before serving.
- Decorate with more blueberries if desired.
Disclaimer: Unfrosted cupcakes remain fresh covered tightly at room temperature for three days. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to two days and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Izzet — Pop Rocks Popsicles
Want to reinvent a classic summer snack? Want to get kids excited to eat fruit? Want to create a fun dessert that parents and children alike will laugh about? Leave it to the Izzet to give new meaning to the phrase “explosions of flavor.”
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 4 packages of Pop Rocks (Get the blue ones for added Izzet flair)
- 1 cup Canada Dry lemon lime sparkling seltzer water
- Cut strawberries into quarters.
- Place cut strawberries in blender with seltzer water and puree.
- Pour puree into popsicle molds, cover, and insert sticks.
- Place in freezer until fully frozen.
- Remove from molds, dip tip in Pop Rocks.
Orzhov — Party Tip
Do you think having a cookout and trying out all of the above recipes and party tips would be a ton of fun but you lack the funding to make it happen? Don’t be afraid to take a page out of the old Orzhov’s book and ask your guests to chip in. Send out an e-mail to your friends, and let them know you are willing to host if they are willing to help. Often enough, a cookout will cost you and your friends less than if you ate out instead, and you will have ten times the fun.
I hope you enjoyed these party tips, tricks, and recipes I picked up while exploring the city-plane of Ravnica. If you end up using any of these tips or recipes at your next cookout, let us know by tweeting about it and sharing with @Gatheringmagic and@AntMTG. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!