As far as I can tell, the first and only official Marvel cookbook was published in 1977, attributed to Stan Lee and featuring recipes like Daredevil's Bedeviled Swiss Steak and Galactus Omelet. It’s been out of print for over forty years with second-hand retail values starting right around $100. Or, for the comparatively low suggested retail value of $29.99, you could pick up the second official Marvel cookbook to ever be published on July 28th, Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook by Justin Warner from Insight Editions.
The book is the first written collection of recipes inspired by the YouTube series of the same name hosted by its writer, Justin Warner. The book includes 59 recipes, some of which come from the series and some you will only find here. They range in required skill level from beginner to advanced, but I found it easy to page through on a search for recipes that would not only fit my family’s taste palette, but also not require hours of work or learning a cooking skill that I didn’t already have.
Like most cookbooks, recipes are grouped by categories, first by type of meat. There’s chicken, beef, pork, seafood, and then a section called “Beyond the Universe,” which includes some fun things like Lockjaw’s Dog Biscuit (see below), but also Batroc the Leaper Frog Legs (blech!). A vegetarian section includes 14 recipes and a dessert section includes an additional 9. Most of the recipes include a picture of the prepared item or even steps in the cooking process with a comic panel layout. They also include character artwork spanning from as far back as the 1930’s to very recently. The Marvel universe is huge and Marvel Eat the Universe pulls from as many unique sources as possible.
Below are reviews and images from 5 recipes I tried at home.
Angel’s Meatloaf Wellington (Page 30-31)
When I first found this recipe, I thought it was named after Warren Worthington III, an X-Men character known as Angel. But this is actually inspired by a character from 1939 who appeared in Marvel Comics #1, making this a perfect recipe to start with. I love meatloaf, I love beef wellington, and this was the best of both worlds. If you’ve ever made a meatloaf before, this isn’t a challenge to make, but it does require baking the loaf twice, once on its own and then a second time with a puff pastry rolled around it. The meatloaf doesn’t use any ketchup, instead using beef wellington toppings like chives and sour cream. This was hands-down my favorite recipe that I tried and I will be making it again.
Ghost-Spider’s Bodega Sandwich (Page 42-43)
I love breakfast sandwiches any time of day and I thought this would be a really good lunch option. I got a little confused by the instructions, which called for a ½ pound of bacon per sandwich and I thought they were meant to go on it. Instead, what you really want is the fat from the bacon, which you then fry scrambled eggs in. Personally, it added a lot of fat and too much bacon flavor to the finished product. I made it again a few days later but instead used olive oil to fry the egg in and found it to be much better. A slice of pepperjack cheese goes into the eggs and you toast the undersides of the bun with mayonnaise on each. Top with typical burger condiments like ketchup, mustard, and pickles. My bacon-free variation is the way I will choose to enjoy this in the future.
Loki’s Kroppkakor (Page 44-45)
Having grown up in the midwest with heavy German and Norwegian cultural influences, I was really excited to make these and they did not disappoint. These potato dumplings are filled with minced bacon and onion with allspice. When topped with lingonberries and sour cream, these became absolute heaven in your mouth. These are a little time consuming because you need to make mashed potatoes and roll them into balls around the bacon/onion mixture, then boil them in a pot of water. But the result was well worth the time involved.
Hercules’s Pork Souvlaki (Page 48-49)
These were really easy to make, literally just pork tenderloin grilled on a skewer after tossing them in a mixture of olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. They came out very juicy and flavorful. Serve with a pita, sliced cucumber, and tzatziki sauce. I couldn’t find any at my local supermarket, but substituted a creamy cucumber dressing and it tasted great!
Black Bolt’s Sore Throat Tea (Page 82-83)
When I decided to buy the ingredients for this recipe, I couldn’t have predicted that I would actually get a sore throat and need to use it for medicinal purposes. Inspired by a character who can’t speak or the world will be destroyed, the recipe suggests making it in your favorite Marvel mug or any mug that brings you joy. It’s just black tea, fresh grated ginger, kosher salt, honey, and a lemon wedge. All of these items are doctor recommended home remedies for a sore throat and mixed all together, it worked! But beware, it has a powerful kick the first time it hits your throat.
Lockjaw’s Dog Biscuit (Page 84-85)
As a pawrent of two spoiled pups, I felt guilty not making this once I found the recipe. Here’s the crazy part, the recipe calls for all of the ingredients to make one gigantic bone! I chose to cut the dough in half and form two bones of similar size (one turned out much better-looking than the other) and once they were done cooling, I broke those in half to give each dog a treat that was still super-sized. These use wheat flour, eggs, pumpkin puree, and peanut butter to make a mild treat that they loved. They now get really excited anytime anything goes into the oven in hopes that it’s more of these. It’s a great at-home dog biscuit recipe and I plan to make this again, but will roll the dough into smaller sized treats before baking.
I had a lot of fun trying out Marvel Eat the Universe: The Official Cookbook by Justin Warner. I’ve already added it to my cookbook collection and plan to try out additional recipes in the future, in addition to remaking some of my favorites from above. If there’s a Marvel fan in your life who cooks even occasionally, they need this. It’s a great way to celebrate your fandom through essential daily activities like eating.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.