Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Booster's New Holiday: Party Bits and Pieces

by SuSu and Runt Ekwesh

Menu: Easy and Universal Dipping Sauce | Mystery Rollups: Savory and Sweeter | Twice-Baked Apple Cheesecake | Coconut Ice | Hot Mulled Cider

Being the captain and owner of the Errant Venture, Booster was able to declare his very own holiday on his "floating world." It was something he'd meant to do for his loyal crew of reprobates and society's cast-offs. There were always guests on the former Star Destroyer-turned-resort-and-spacestation, but when the ship wasn't overflowing and busy, it seemed like a good time to take a short break from the running of the ship. And since it was his world, he decide to model the day off on a end-of-year holiday that he remembered from his childhood.

His mother would clear out leftover food from the old year to feed her brood, and welcome in the new year with a clean larder. She'd look at what she had, then make what she called "bits and pieces" to balance and fill out the menu. She told her son that it was an easier way to throw a party if you enjoyed the challenge of random leftovers to create a menu. She always had vegetables and meat, and normally had to make a few sweet treats and maybe a sauce to bring all those other things together on one plate.

Booster enjoyed these bits and pieces more than the leftovers, and so when he was finally able to create his own holiday, he decided to base it on those recipes. At the buffet event where he'd gathered everyone on board, he told them the background of his holiday, and pointed out that everyone present was a "leftover," and he provided the "bits-and-pieces holiday" to honor them!


Menu: Easy and Universal Dipping Sauce | Mystery Rollups: Savory and Sweet | Twice-Baked Apple Cheesecake | Coconut Ice | Hot Mulled Cider



Easy and Universal Dipping Sauce
Some of Booster's guests and crew were taken aback at being called "leftovers," but he assuaged their egos by telling them that they were all redeemed, just as this dipping sauce redeemed any number of cold meats or vegeables. Just cut up what you have into bite-sized pieces and serve with this concoction on toothpicks -- no one need ever know they are getting leftovers!
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
Whisk together in a pot and heat gently till bubbling. You can use it as a marinade or basting sauce for food, but be sure you cook it over low heat if you do. Rather than putting it on the food as it grills, serve it as a sauce after the food is cooked. Yields 2 cups.

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Mystery Rollups
Often, Booster's mother found she had a few spoonfuls of one thing or another that she'd have to use up. Normally, she could dump them into a soup with decent results, but a soup is not really practical party food. She used a flatbread, which she'd slather with butter or creamcheese, then sprinkle with the leftover bits. It was suprisingly good! But what you got was always a mystery till you stuck it into your mouth. Chop up meats and vegetables fine -- it doesn't all have to be paste-like, but the smaller the pieces, the better it will roll up. These are tiny mouthfuls, not sandwiches. She essentially made savory and sweet varieties. Here are general formulae for what she produced.
    Savory Rollups
  • cream cheese or butter, softened
  • dried and fresh herbs, minced
  • shallots or green onions/scallions or onion, minced
  • flour tortillas or lavash
  • kernal corn, very well drained
  • cheese, shredded or grated
  • canned asparagus spears
Mix the cream cheese or butter with herbs and shallots, to taste. Place a round flour tortilla down on a sheet of plastic wrap, and trim a bit of the rounded parts on the top and bottom of the tortilla, so you have flat edges to roll up. Spread the cream cheese mixture from edge to edge (don't put too much on). From left to right, spread a line of corn, then cheese, and place an asparagus spear right on the edge closest to you. Don't worry if the asparatus breaks ... just make a "line" of it.

Using the plastic wrap as support, roll it all up so when you look at it crosswise, it makes a pinwheel. Use the plastic wrap to wrap it up tightly, and store in the refrigerator till you need them. To serve, unwrap and place 6 toothpicks crosswise, then cut between them. Place on a platter with the toothpicks still in to serve. You can choose to not serve the end pieces -- those are traditionally "cook's treats"!

    Sweeter Rollups
  • flour tortillas or lavash
  • cream cheese, softened
  • chutney or jam
  • fruit, fresh or dried, chopped fine
Place a round flour tortilla down on a sheet of plastic wrap, and trim a bit of the rounded parts on the top and bottom of the tortilla, so you have flat edges to roll up. Spread the cream cheese from edge to edge (don't put too much on). From left to right, spread a line of chutney or jam, then sprinkle over with fruit.

Using the plastic wrap as support, roll it all up so when you look at it crosswise, it makes a pinwheel. Use the plastic wrap to wrap it up tightly, and store in the refrigerator till you need them. To serve, unwrap and place 6 toothpicks crosswise, then cut between them. Place on a platter with the toothpicks still in to serve. You can choose to not serve the end pieces -- those are traditionally "cook's treats"!

Back to the Menu: Booster's New Holiday: Party Bits and Pieces


Twice-Baked Apple Cheesecake
This recipe could use any sort of fruit at the bottom of the creamy sweet layer, even dried fruit like raisins or apricots. But Booster's kitchens had plenty of fresh apples on board, and so he ordered the cake be made with those. Cooking them with the crust before the cheese custard layer was poured over ensured the best of two worlds -- a baked apple, and a cheesecake together, held up by a cooked crust. (This is more a "bar cookie" or a pie than a cake, but who cares?)
    Crust
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut the butter into the flour and press mixture onto a pan with a removable bottom. Cut each apple into 16 to 24 wedges, depending on the size of the apple. Stand in acidulated or salted water to prevent browning while preparing. Arrange in overlapping wedges on the crumb mixture. Sprinkle over with ¼ cup sugar and cinnamon. Cover with foil and bake at 425°F/200°C for about 20 minutes, till the apples are tender.
    Filling
  • ½ cup / 125 g cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup / 125 g sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • additional sugar, optional
  • powdered cinnamon, optional
In a bowl, blend the cream cheese and sour cream together, then add the eggs, sugar and orange juice. Pour over the cooked apples in the baking pan. If desired, sprinkle over with additional sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 325°F/150°C for about 15 minutes, or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into bars or squares.

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Coconut Ice
Booster's mother liked this recipe because it used up some perishable items, and she didn't have to cook it. And everyone loves it, even though it's so sweet your teeth would ache thinking about it!
  • 4 ¾ cups (750 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 ½ cups (225 g) shredded coconut
  • 14 oz / 400g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • red food coloring
Line an 8" x 8" (19cm x 19cm) square cake pan with foil, leaving some foil overhanging the edges so you can lift the confection out after it's done. This will save you a lot of grief later.

In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar, then stir in the coconut, condensed milk and egg white. Mix very well. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Add one or two drops of red food coloring into the remaining mixture and mix well till it's a cheerful shade of pink. Press this evenly over the white layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator till firm -- about 3 hours or more. Cut into portions. It's a bit sticky and very sweet, so cut them small -- 1" x 1" is good, and put them into small candypapers (like mini-muffin liners).

Back to the Menu: Booster's New Holiday: Party Bits and Pieces


Hot Mulled Cider
Booster's mother often emptied out her spice jars to make this hot beverage -- she knew that dried spices often did not last more than a year, so she replenished annually. But using powdered spices would sometimes make the concoction "muddy" looking, so Booster learned to use whole spices instead, or at least to cut them up coarsely so they were easy to strain out.
  • 8 cups (2 quarts / 2 litres) apple cider
  • 3 cinnamon stick
  • 1½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1½ teaspoon whole allspice
  • 1 orange or lemon, sliced
In a large saucepan, simmer all the ingredients together for about 20 minutes. Strain before serving if you don't like bits of spice in your cup.

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