'Fry Scores' Is A Gaming Cook Book Of Digital Delights From Skyrim, Zelda, And More
We have come a long way since we first ate fresh fruit in Pac-Man and found pork chops hidden in the walls of Dracula’s castle. Today, writer and photographer Holly Green released her cook book of gaming-inspired recipes called Fry Scores: An Unofficial Guide to Video Game Grub, and we had a chance to catch up with her to talk about the project.
Green tells us that the project has been over two years in the making. “I started the book at my last publication following an article I'd written about food in video games, and the idea took off from there,” she says.
The book is designed to provide accessible recipes that have a touchstone in gaming. ”Choosing the recipes was one of the more difficult parts of the process, as I wanted to present a practical list of dishes that could be eaten any day of the week,” she explains. “I noticed that a lot of video game food blogs updated infrequently and featured items that were either difficult to make or didn't hold general interest. I wanted to bring together a full list of recipes that would include cuisine staples and cover a basic level of culinary instruction.”
Fry Scores features a number of original recipes pulled from games in which their mention and inclusion is used as simple set dressing. Green makes these items, like Skyrim’s Apple Cabbage Stew and Cook Cook’s Fiend Stew from Fallout: New Vegas, the centerpiece instead of the background.
Green shared one of her recipes from the book, an original creation fashioned after Yeto’s Soup from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. In the game, Yeto prepares three different versions based on the quality of ingredients. The final one, Superb Soup, includes Ordon Goat Cheese in addition to the Ordon Pumpkin, and Reekfish included in the previous iterations.
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- 1/3 lb. sockeye salmon
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 16 oz. heavy cream
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- bay leaf
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 3/4 tsp. white pepper
- dill for garnish
The most important part of this dish is the quality of the ingredients. Choose a quality cut of sockeye salmon and a pure goat cheese that crumbles easily. For this recipe, a bourbon infused goat cheese was used, enhancing the soup with a light smoky flavor. If you cannot find a smoky goat cheese, a shot of bourbon can be added to the finished soup base.
The first step is to create a cream-goat cheese base. This is achieved by slowly blending the two over a low heat. Crumble the goat cheese into small chunks, then place in 2 quart saucepan over LOW heat. Slowly add cream, tablespoon by tablespoon, blending into the cheese with a fork or large wooden spoon. Continue until full 16 oz has been completely added. Once all the cheese has melted, the resulting liquid will be thick.
Add to it two bay leaves, paprika, salt, and white pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, then add pumpkin puree by the tablespoon while stirring constantly. Once all pumpkin puree has been added, cover mixture and let simmer.
Next broil the salmon. Since salmon is thin it does not require a lot of heat. Once it is fully cooked it will separate easily from the skin. Place the salmon on a cookie sheet covered in tin foil.
Broil on the LOW setting for about fifteen minutes or until flesh has turned light pink, then switch to HIGH. Cook an additional six to eight minutes, monitoring carefully until the edges of the salmon are caramelized and appear crispy, then remove from the oven and cool completely.
When ready to serve, spoon hot pumpkin soup into a bowl, then place slices of cooked salmon on top. Garnish with dill, rainbow pepper corn, and smoked paprika.
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In addition to unique creations like Yeto’s Soup, Green’s book also includes clever twists on more common creations. “For recipes like grilled cheese, putting my own signature spin on it was a challenge,” Green tells us. “But it was also a major concern of mine, as some of the dishes were classic to the point of being universally known.”
Included in Fry Scores are recipes for French Toast (The Sims 3), Pork Katsu (Cooking Mama), and Red Curry (the Kirby series). “The idea was to not use too many convoluted or expensive ingredients, and just present simple food done well,” Green explains. “In fact with one recipe there was almost no creative leeway: Key lime pie, which requires a very specific ratio of egg to juice to condensed milk in order to cook properly and thus cannot be made any differently. For that one, I offer a spin on the crust, suggesting flaked coconut mixed in with the graham cracker crumbs.”
Alongside each recipe is original photography. “That was probably the most time consuming part of the process,” she recounts. “Food photography, like many things, can easily be picked up through basic observation, but I had to reshoot many of the recipes as my skills improved over the past two years. I spent a lot of time looking at photos from a variety of artists and determined what it was I liked about each of them, then set out to incorporate those into my work. Good artistry often starts with mimicry, and from Flickr photographers and Martha Stewart magazines I learned the importance of color, texture, depth of field, and natural lighting.”
You can see some of Green’s photography above. The book is available now via iTunes and iBooks on Macs and iDevices. Additional formats will be available in the future.
As for “DLC” for Fry Scores, Green has thoughts about what’s next. “I would like to do a video game cocktail book but sadly there are few cocktails actually featured in video games (I would also never want to step all over the great stuff that The Drunken Moogle is doing),” she says. “One plan is to do a supplemental instruction guide on how to make homebrew beer, with a guest authorship from video games' biggest craft beer enthusiast/homebrewer Kinsey Burke. I'm also open to the idea of a future update with additional recipes, relying on suggestions from readers, but I would like to finish my next book, a history of gin, before I revisit Fry Scores.”