Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Kitchen of Tomorrow

I think everything I've recently finished/am working on is a present for someone else, so maybe it's time to talk about my spite-present from Kristen.

When I first heard about the The Star Trek Cookbook, I was like, "Making food I have no intention of eating but want to bully others into consuming?  And Star Trek?  I am all about this!"  And then I saw that it involved Neelix.  For those of you who actually go outside and have friends, Neelix is the worst Star Trek character ever.  He is the Snarf of Star Trek.  And based on what I've learned from The Star Trek Cookbook, he is also a teetotaler:

If you're serving this dish to your family, however, and are not out in one of the great national parks on Earth, you probably won't want to include the booze--nor should you--but you can add a down-home Smoky Mountain taste with a product called liquid smoke.

And then there's three different non-alcoholic versions of a drink "reputed to have the devastating impact of a photon torpedo".  None of which look like they'd be anywhere close to the color shown on screen.  (Which seems like an incredibly nerdy objection, but I don't think it's possible to be "jiggy with it", as the kids say, while getting cocktail recipes out of The Star Trek Cookbook.) I assume that, as usual, the answer is vodka and food coloring.

In the spirit of spite, I decided my first Star Trek cooking project should be full of two things Kristen hates: Voyager and mushrooms.  Jeri Ryan's Wild Mushroom Soup is good, but not actually a meal unless you're contractually obligated to stuff yourself into a Borg catsuit.

Food to assimilate:
  • 1 pound assorted mushrooms, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large russet potato, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock, defatted
  • salt and pepper to taste  for chumps to add to their own damn soup later
I feel there can always be more potatoes, so I grabbed a few red ones instead of one large russet.  I still have absolutely no idea what it means to "defat" chicken stock or how exactly that happens.  Also, you can buy jars of pre-minced garlic.  If this has any effect on the taste, I just want to remind you that there are few things more delicious than laziness.

Sauté the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil (or, my preferred technique, what looks like an appropriate amount) until tender, then add the remaining ingredients.  This is possibly missing a step if you're using bouillon cubes to make your stock (1 cup of water for each cube, 4 cups in a quart)--I sauted the vegetables in a smaller pot while making the stock in a larger one.

The recipe says to let the whole thing simmer on medium-low for about twenty minutes, but the potatoes are still going to be fairly firm (especially if you are an individual and thus incapable of precision dicing).  Put them in the soup while you're sautéing everything else.         

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