Serious Eats

Cook the Book: 'True Blood'

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Anyone here still watch True Blood? I was a fan for the first few seasons, but I couldn't really get behind the whole Eric-is-nice-now theme, so my viewings now take the form of rare vampire nostalgia. No matter your interest in the show, the new True Blood cookbook is worth checking out, especially for Halloween.

Food has always played a central role in the show: Lafayette almost always has his hands deep in a pot of gumbo, Sookie constantly craves her Gran's home cooking, and events like Tara's and Eggs's heart-stopping souffle feast align the act of debaucherous eating as a consistent theme.

The fact that HBO wanted to publish a cookbook was not terribly surprising. What is, however, surprising, is the quality of the recipes in the book (written by noted Cajun food writer Marcelle Bienvenu). Sure, you have to get past the cheesy introductions "written" by the characters and the gratuitous use of screen shots, but underneath all of the gloss are solid interpretations of Southern and Cajun cooking.

Oh, and there's plenty of "bloody" food.

We'll start off this week with a couple of heart pumping recipes perfect for October 31: the Bon Temps Bloody Mary and Beautifully Broken Bisque. Then we'll satisfy your sweet tooth with Holy Hoecakes (doused in maple syrup). To nurse a post-Halloween hangover, we'll make Ruby Jean's Hash, and then we'll finish out the week with Lafayette's famous Gumbo Ya Ya.

Win 'True Blood'

Thanks to the folks at Chronicle, we have five (5) copies of True Blood to give away this week. All you need to do is tell us about your favorite Halloween treat in the comments below.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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