Snowdown is five days of fun all around town, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), you can’t stay out the whole time. How can you keep the “Intergalactic” festivities going at home? By creating foods and beverages from beyond the stars.
You probably don’t have much time on your hands between memorizing the Fashion Do’s and Don’ts and training for the Intergalactic Pinvasion, so keep it simple with a dish like the Klingon delicacy Gagh.
Traditionally made from live serpent worms, there are 51 varieties of Gagh. Sadly, none of them are found here on Earth, and rather than experiment with the culinary possibilities of this planet’s worms, it’s easier to just cook a meatless Gagh. This is probably for the best anyway – Klingons, some of the galaxy’s fiercest warriors, eat Gagh not for the taste (serpent worms are revolting), but for the unique sensation of the worms’ death spasms as they’re being eaten.
By preparing Gagh with chilled noodles (the thicker the better) instead of worms, you can create a meal that your terrestrial friends are much more likely to enjoy. Use sriracha sauce to spice the dish up to your species’ standards. Arugula pairs well with it as a side dish or garnish if you can’t get your hands on the leafy Klingon vegetable Gladst.
One of the most infamous cocktails in science fiction is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series. Invented by the ex-president of the universe, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the drink is made from the juice of a bottle of Ol’ Janx Spirit, water from the seas of Santraginus V, Arcturan Mega-gin, Fallian marsh gas, Qualactin Hypermint extract, the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger, Zamphour and an olive. Its effects have been described as “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”
Most of these ingredients are not available on Earth. But don’t panic – this planet’s bars have tried many alternative recipes for the beverage – some attempting to preserve the cocktail’s deleterious effects and others trying to preserve its cosmic aesthetic.
The Zaphod Beeblebrox bar in Ottawa, Canada, (aka the Nightclub at the End of the Universe) falls into the later camp, serving a Gargle Blaster made with Tennessee whiskey, peach schnapps, blue curacao and orange juice. The cocktail is remarkably green, and unlike the original recipe, you can drink more than one without going blind.
Planning on bringing a dish to a communal feast in honor of Snowdown or that big Earth-sports event happening this Sunday? Consider making NASA’s cornbread dressing, a perfect side dish if you happen to be in low-Earth orbit. Unlike the previous two recipes, this one is served warm so it can help you warm up after standing in the cold to watch the Snowdown parade.
Furthermore, it’s a great dish for the holiday season. “Didn’t that just pass?” you might ask. Yes, it did. But according to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, if you travel at close to the speed of light (which you pretty much have to in order to travel between stars in a timely manner), time will pass more slowly for you than for everyone back on Earth. So if you close out Snowdown with a quick jaunt over to Alpha Centauri, you might accidentally come home in November.
Klingon GaghServings: 2
Ingredients:1-pound package thick Japanese udon noodles (preferably whole wheat), soba noodles or Chinese or Thai noodles4 ounces prepared sesame salad dressing or Chinese chicken salad dressing or tahini¼ cup soy sauce or light soy sauce1 teaspoon dark brown Karo syrup (for color)4 tablespoons sriracha sauceMethod:Following the package instructions, prepare the noodles, replacing one half of the water with soy sauce. Chill. Add quarter-cup soy sauce and sesame salad dressing and stir through.
Add Karo syrup for brown color and sriracha to taste.
Jiggle while serving to create a slithering effect.
Source: Adapted from a recipe in the Star Trek Cookbook by Ethan Phillips and William J Birnes.
Pan Galactic Gargle BlasterServings: 1
Ingredients:1 oz. Jack Daniels Whiskey1 oz. peach schnapps4-6 oz. orange juice1 splash of blue curacao1 lemon twist 1 olive (optional)Method:
Fill a highball (or claret) glass ¾ full of ice. Add the peach schnapps and Jack Daniels before topping off with orange juice. Mix well, then add the blue curacao over the top. Garnish with a lemon twist and, if you want to include it, an olive.
Source: The Zaphod Beeblebrox nightclub via TheDrunkenMoogle.com
NASA’s Cornbread DressingNote: “Space flight food” recipes are designed with significant flavoring to compensate for the freeze-drying process.
Ingredients:12 cups crumbled cornbread3¾ cups chicken broth2½ cups chopped onions1½ cups chopped celery¼ cup unsalted butter¾ tsp. salt1¼ tsp. poultry seasoning½ tsp. black pepper2 tsp. dried parsley flakes1 tsp. rubbed sageMethod:Preheat convection oven to 325° F. Conventional oven should be heated to 350° F.
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Peel onions and puree in food processor. Place in bowl. Set aside.
Finely chop celery in food processor. Add to onion puree. Set aside.
Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté onion and celery mixture until soft (about 5 minutes).
Add to crumbled, prepared cornbread. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper, parsley and sage.
Add to cornbread sautéed-vegetables mixture.
Add chicken broth. Mix well. Spoon dressing into prepared baking pan.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes at 325° F or 350° F, depending on oven.
For spaceflight preparation: Baked dressing is transferred to metal tray and freeze-dried accordingly. One serving of cornbread dressing shall weigh approximately 145 g prior to freeze-drying and 50 g after freeze-drying.