Gumbo makes many appearances in True Blood, so it's no surprise that the recipe is featured in the True Blood cookbook. A rich and nourishing stew, this gumbo recipe makes a pot filled to the brim with chicken, sausage, peppers, and unctuous, meaty gravy. As many of the other recipes in this book, the Gumbo Ya Ya is fairly simple, but its well-developed flavors more than make up for its short ingredient list. The only drawback to this streamlined gumbo is that I have a feeling the big pot of stew Lafayette regularly stirs on the show is filled with much more than chicken, sausage, and roux.
'Marcelle Bienvenu' on Serious Eats
There are plenty of breakfast and brunch recipes in the True Blood cookbook—perhaps from all of the late nights spent running from evil vampires, witches, and the occasional possessed doll. Ruby Jean's Hash stands out as a simple yet soul-satisfying take on a morning-after meal. Andouille sausage peppers this hash of potatoes, onions, and green peppers, and the whole mess is adorned with a voluptuous poached egg.
Hoecakes--aka corn pone, johnny cakes, or cornmeal pancakes--are a fairly common sight at brunch tables in the South, but are perhaps less known above the Mason-Dixon line. In their most basic form, a hoecake is simply a mixture of batter of cornmeal, water, and salt fried in lard or rendered bacon fat. (Other more modern recipes add flour, eggs, or whole corn to the batter.) The Holy Hoecakes in the True Blood cookbook fully embrace the simplicity of the original, adorning the cakes only with a (generous) drizzle of maple syrup. While as basic as you get, the crisp, porky outsides and soft, creamy insides make for hoecakes more than the sum of their parts.
Russell Edgington was (or is? Did Bill and Eric finally vanquish him?) one of my favorite characters in True Blood. Ruthless, power-hungry, and just straight-up creepy, he made for much more entertaining watching than waffling Bill or helpless Sookie. In true Russell fashion, the Beautifully Broken Bisque in the True Blood cookbook (attributed to the vampire king) is gruesomely reminiscent of deeply red coagulating blood--perfect for a cool Halloween evening.
Sure, perhaps the Bloody Mary is a sigh-inducingly obvious choice for a Halloween event, but when drunk in celebration of True Blood, it takes on a whole new meaning.