Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy
by Diana

The military knows that an army moves on it's stomach, and supplying and storing food for troops is no small job. The dreadnought commanded by Soontir Fel was part of a fleet, and thus the supply and quartermaster duties were controlled by a centralized system. Unfortunately, sometimes parts of orders went awry, either through mistakes or because of "confiscations" by pirates or rebels. When deliveries of food additives failed to show up for several months, Fel noticed that his men showed odd signs of suffering. Their gums were bleeding, bruises and cuts stubbornly refused to heal, hair fell out, joints ached, and they couldn't concentrate. The staff medics were perplexed; they thought it might be a genetic disease -- something to be worried about since many troopers were clones or offspring of the original Old Republic clones ...

In his history studies, Captain Fel had heard stories about a disease with these symptoms, but it had not been reported in aeons. Back in the dim past, when little was known about basic human nutrition needs, the very same symptoms were reported among crews of ships who subsisted on stored rations for months on end. These foodstuffs tended to be things that kept well for years -- starchy, dry biscuits and dried meat or fish, mostly. The diets lacked in many essential vitamins, and the symptoms were actually indicative of selective malnutrition. Impossible as it was to believe in that modern Imperial age, malnutrition -- specifically scurvy -- had shown up among the troops, just as it had in the past.

At the time,
The Pride of the Senate was far from an Imperial base and not likely to be supplied with the missing food additives any time soon, so he ordered a unit of men to go undercover and to buy fresh vegetables dirtside. Since they were in rebel-held territory, it would not do to make it known that Imperial troops were present in the system; Fel instructed them to buy odds and ends in case lots from produce auction houses, posing as store owners and caterers.

Since the weather was growing cool on the planet below, the foraging unit brought back cases and cases of cabbages, carrots, rutabagas, turnips; rather than allowing the vegetables to be cooked, Fel ordered that they be served raw to the men. They had to eat two servings a day, till their symptoms cleared up.

Quite frankly, the men were not used to fresh produce. Eating was something that was done to sustain a body, and most had taken to popping nutritive pills and chewing on all-in-one foodboards and sticks. Many did not believe that their diet was causing the illness that plagued them, and grumbled about the orders. Some tried, but simply could not eat the raw, crunchy crudités and salads placed before them. Even the threat of time in the brig couldn't make them willing, and morale became dangerously low.

Remembering that many of his childhoods friends had not cared for fresh salads unless they had been coated with a dressing, sauce or dip, Fel devised a brace of dressings to serve with the vegetables. He reasoned that the additional fat in the concoctions would contain vitamins as well as flavor, not a bad thing for his malnourished crew. Some of the dressings were so thick that the men used them as dips, dragging or plunging sliced vegetables through them, along with crackers or pieces of bread. Before they knew it, the salads were eaten, and the scurvy cure worked! And to their own surprise, the men had enjoyed the crisp veggies, and asked for them to be served at least weekly from then on -- WITH dressings, of course!

Menu: "Ranch" Dip | Bleu Cheese Dressing | Whole Egg Mayonnaise | Green Goddess Mayonnaise Sauce | Vinaigrette | Catalina Dressing (No Cats!) | Quick Ketchup | Avocado Cream Dip

"Ranch" Dip
This is a very popular salad dressing -- it's creamy, mildly spiced, enhances food with a lip-smacking savoriness (it's the monosodium glutamate!) that's irresistable! This is a dip -- to make it into a more pourable dressing, replace the sour cream with buttermilk. In Fel's world, it's called 'ranch' because it's the sound fieldhands make (a grunt of approval!) when they know it's on the menu!
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt!)
  • ½ teaspoon monosodium glutamate (MSG) -- often marketed as "Accent" or "Ajinomoto" seasoning
  • ½ tablepoon parsley, minced
  • ½ tablespoon chives, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (cider or rice vinegars are nice)
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder, or grated onion
Whisk together all the ingredients. Keeps well for nearly a month if kept in an airtight container (like a tightly-lidded jar) in the refrigerator. Use as a dip, or thin with buttermilk to use as a dressing. Makes about 3 cups.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Bleu Cheese Dressing
This dressing uses a strong-smelling, crumbly cheese. But more than the look and the smell, most people won't put it in their mouths because it looks like it might crawl down their gullets all by itself! Fel's mother mashed it up into a very creamy sauce that's a bit tangy, a bit salty, and that goes beautifully with meats, salads, chips, toast ... Fel had his staff do likewise and they soon had trouble keeping the stinky cheese in stock, something that had never happened before!
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup bleu vein cheese, crumbled
  • milk or buttermilk, if needed
Combine all the ingredients well, mashing the cheese if you prefer the dressing smoother (but lumpy provides wondrous nuggets of surprise!). If it's too thick, thin with a bit of milk or buttermilk. Serve cold. Makes about 2½ cups.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Whole Egg Mayonnaise
This is a basic sauce, which could be used as a dip, as a basis for other dressings or sauces (like tartar), or even as an ingredient in dishes like chocolate cake! It's also a good unguent for sandwiches and salads. Fel's father had been poisoned and so was too weak to do the hands-on labor required on the agrocombine, and became understandably paranoid about ingesting things he had no control over. So he took over the supply of foodstuffs they had formerly purchased, making large vats of mayonnaise and other essentials. He liked to add extra mustard, reasoning that the extra sneezing was a good way to clear your upper respiratory tract!

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • a couple of grinds of freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ to 2 cups vegetable oil (not a flavorful one like olive oil ... a neutral tasting oil is preferable)
  • 1 teaspoon boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon's worth)
Beat together the egg, salt, mustard, pepper. You can do this in a bowl with a whisk, a stick blender, or in a blender or food processor. Slowly dribble in the oil, tablespoon by tablespoon, whisking to incorporate thoroughly. When the sauce emulsifies and starts to thicken, you can drizzle the oil in more quickly. Be careful not to pour so fast that the sauce "breaks" or "splits" -- forms pools of oil that won't beat in. The more oil you put in, the thicker the mayonnaise will be. If it becomes too thick for the blender, you can put it in a warmed bowl and whisk by hand to finish. (Don't feel you have to add all of the oil -- that kind of depends on the eggs.) Beat in the water and lemon juice (to stabilize).

This is a nice, mellow creamy dip that makes bitter-ish salads palatable for many. Or use is as a base for other sauces, like the Green Goddess, below. Makes about 2 cups.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Green Goddess Mayonnaise
This sauce is often served with seafood, instead of the ubiquitous cocktail sauce. But it's a nice, piquant sauce that's great as a dip for hard vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, celery, etc. or as a thick dressing for a salad. On Corellia, it's called "Goddess" as a reference to the agricultural fertility goddess of yore, who provided for the early farmers. Unlike other gods who required sacrifices, this goddess required that her fruits and vegetables be seasoned properly and eaten. This recipe is thought to have evolved from those original formulas for the seasonings!

  • 1 recipe mayonnaise, about 1½ cups
  • 3 to 5 anchovy filets, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • approximately ½ cup green herbs, chopped (chives, tarragon, basil, parsley, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots or scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, about half a small lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Mix together the mayonnaise, anchovies, sour cream, herbs, shallots, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. If you don't use a blender or processor, you might want to use a mortar and pestle to mash up the anchovies and herbs. You want a smooth dressing, if possible. Season to taste with sale and pepper. Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for a day or two. Makes about 2½ cups.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

This is a dressing with many variations. The formula is simple: oil and acid, shaken together and tossed through a collection of greens. The acid could be citrus juice, vinegar, or even wine or soy sauce. The mustard is necessary not only for flavor, but as an emulsifier -- that's a substance that has the properties of both water and oil, allowing them to mix together. Fel's family liked a mustard similar to our Dijon, and vinegar made from tablewines -- both made right on the agrocombine. Any flavored or plain vinegar or oil will do here -- feel free to experiment for a combination you like!
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar or other acidic, aqueous (water-like) liquid
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (sea salt or kosher salt is good)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoons black pepper (fresh ground is best)
  • up to ½ cup vegetable oil (many people use olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (any type, smooth, grainy, flavored, or other mustard)
You can use a bowl to do this, but Fel uses a pint- or quart-sized jar with a tightly fitting screwcap to mix together the vinegar, salt and pepper -- you want to dissolve the salt. Add the mustard and whisk together, then add the oil and whisk till the mixture is emulsified (uniform and thickened). Toss with salad ingredients to coat and serve immediately. One the leaves are exposed to acid, they will start to wilt, so no leftovers, please. If you want to keep the dressing itself, store it in the lidded jar and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving. Makes nearly a cup of dressing.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Catalina Dressing (No Cats!)
In contrast to the other dressings, this is a sweet concoction, and tomato-ey rather than mustardy. Kids like this a lot, and the troopers proved they were just big kids when they were offered this dressing!

It's called "catalina" because a very young Soontir once surreptitiously kept a litter of newborn kittens behind the hangar where his father kept the agrocombine plane. His mother took a dim view of cats, calling them vermin. One day they disappeared, and when questioned by Fel, his mother simply replied that she had made them into sauce. Trying not to cry, he saw that his mother's sense of humor had a streak of cruelty -- at supper that night was a bottle marked 'catalina dressing'! Horrified, he refused to eat it, thinking she'd put the cats into the sauce ... but he saw that everyone else liked it and remarked on it's unusual sweetness. Realizing is mother was playing a trick on him, he gamely tried the sauce and liked it, too! (He later found out that the kittens were given to a neighboring farmer who wanted them to help with rodent infestation problems. Fel realized his mother was not as mean as she played!)

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar (red wine vinegar is nice)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup onions, grated, or 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, sweet/mild
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups salad oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Heat together the sugar and vinegar till the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then add ketchup, onion, paprika and Worcestershire sauce. Pour into bowl for whisking, or into a food processor or blender. Slowly add oil and beat/pulse/blend till the mixture starts to emulsify/thicken, then you can add the oil a bit faster. Keep beating till all the oil is incorporated. Refrigerate in a covered jar till needed. Makes about 4 cups.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Quick Ketchup
Again, Soontir's father did not trust prepared foods, due to the poisoning he had suffered. Though he made many of the sauces that they formerly bought, he never seemed to have enough ketchup on hand. This is a great kid's favorite, and rather than resort to sending Soontir to the shops to buy a bottle when they ran out, the senior Fel came up with a quick ketchup substitute. When he needed a bit in recipes that would be cooked subsequently, he didn't bother bringing these ingredients together into a sauce. Instead he'd just toss the components into the vat, reasoning that it would all come together as ketchup eventually!

  • 1 cup tomato sauce or purée
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • salt, to taste
In a non-reactive saucepan, heat together all the ingredients till the sugar and salt is dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty. Yields a bit over a cup of ketchup.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

Avocado Cream Dip
One of the agents had bought a case of hard avocados. He had no idea what they were, but they were being given away for free with every 10 cases of other vegetables purchased, so he took them. The Imperial cooks had no idea what to do with them, so they stashed them in a dark corner, were they ripened quietly on their own. By the time they were found again, they were mushy; the crew assumed they had gone bad and were trying to figure out how to dump them when none other than the commander strolled into the kitchens. Seeing the case of fruit there, he asked what they were doing? The men knew Fel would be upset to hear they might be throwing away fresh produce, considering his avid campaign to cure the illness that pervaded the ship. There was a long silence until a newly-graduated lieutenant spoke up, and he said they were going to make a creamy dressing with it. The fruit was high in fat, so they were experimenting to see if it would work. Impressed, the Captain left them to it, telling them he looked forward to the results. The other soldiers in the kitchen left the young man to it, and he scrambled to prepare something resembling a dressing, using whatever canned and bottled goods he found in the pantry. It was worth it, for Firmus Piett impressed the commander so much that he was given commendations that overrode his lack of core-world connections. Thereafter, he was promoted quickly, evenutally bringing him to the attention of the dark lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed with a pinch of salt (a mortar and pestle works well)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup canned reduced cream
Mash and blend all the ingredients together. Yields about a cup of dip.

Back to the Menu: Fel's Salad Dressings to Help Cure Scurvy

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