HBO's “True Blood” comes to the bloody end of its fifth season at 8 p.m. Sunday, meaning hard-core fans will be as wont to throw a watch party as Russell Edgington is to toss back faerie-blood shots.
Just in time for the finale and the coinciding watch party, I've scored recipes from the new cookbook inspired by the campy vampire telenovella called “True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps.”
Well-known New Orleans chef Marcelle Bienvenu has put together 85 recipes inspired by the stories of individual characters from Sookie Stackhouse to my favorite character, Lafayette Reynolds.
While Bienvenu supplies the recipes, background text is provided by show creator Alan Ball and Gianna Sobol with photos from Alex Farnum and contribution from food writer Karen Sommer Shallett.
While moody teen vampires, werewolves and humans with angst in their pants have nearly erased the memory of Bram Stoker's truly monstrous Count Dracula, “True Blood” does a good job of soaping it up like “Twilight” whilst maintaining the horrific edge that keeps us on the edge of our seats.
Produced by Alan Ball (“American Beauty,” “Six Feet Under”), “True Blood” is based on “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series of novels by Charlaine Harris.
Vampires, humans, shape-shifters, faeries, werewolves and other creatures of the macabre co-habitate the fictional northwestern Louisiana town of Bon Temps in “True Blood.” The series centers on the adventures of Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a telepathic waitress whose blood is part pixie dust.
While “Twilight” is a teen romp hijacked by adults, there is nothing family friendly about “True Blood.” Characters shed clothes faster than you can say Sheridan Le Fanu, and love triangles are the norm. But the strength of the show is its ability to consistently surprise viewers with abrupt leaps into blood-curdling terror. Few shows can end an episode with the sting of “True Blood.”
Like any show in its fifth season, “True Blood” swung and missed at times and with some plotlines, but overall it's still a lot of fun, and I'll be tuned in Sunday night.
Ruby Jean's Hash
Here's a recipe from Bon Temps' top chef Lafayette, whose mother, Ruby Jean, is played on HBO's “True Blood” by Oklahoma native Alfre Woodard.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups diced cooked potatoes
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped Andouille
½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped green onion, green part only
• Season with salt and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the vegetables are just softened. Remove from the heat.
• Fill a medium saucepan with 3 inches of water, add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water simmers gently.
• Crack an egg into a cup or small bowl, and gently slide the egg into the water.
• Repeat the process with the remaining eggs, keeping the water at a gentle simmer. Poach for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the firmness desired. You can test the doneness by lifting an egg with a slotted spoon and gently pressing a finger on the yolk.
• Spoon equal amounts of the hash onto four plates. With a slotted spoon, transfer a poached egg to each serving of hash. Garnish with green onion and serve immediately.