Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Let the Tempest Arise
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo, PotBellyPig, DrachmaProfile
Menu: Saag Feta seasoned with Convenient Bottled Spice Mix | Coconut Almond Cupcakes frosted with Classic Creamcheese Frosting | Rhubarb Ginger Galette | Bottled Plum and Dried Raisin and Preserved Ginger Upsidedown Tart
Space rations were so bland and predictable that most freighter pilots had a stash of spices and quick recipes to perk up their meals, now and again. The problem with doing proper cooking is that there was no way to ventilate the smells off the ship, especially if the filters were not working too well. The smells could not only cause a storm by their presence, but incite fond tempests of travels that the spacers had experienced.
The exoticness of some smells made eating worthwhile even if they had to harbor the smells on board long after the food had been cooked and consumed. But it was if a tempest could be raised within the confines of the ship and their tastebuds, this incited imaginations and memories, which helped them to endure the interminable hours of space travel.
Now and again, let the tempest arise, and treat yourself to food that will rile up a stormy passion for more!
This recipe doesn't give off as powerful a smell as other curries, but don't let that fool you: it's redolent of delicious spices and heat, and is integral to a good-for-you vegetable. There is a whole stick of butter in the dish, but it's divided among many servings, so it's pretty virtuous, really. It's good without the cheese, too, but you might want to salt or spice it more to make up for the lack of salty sourness of the feta, if you opt not to use it.
Makes 6-10 servings as a side dish.
Coconut Almond Cupcakes
The ingredients in these little cakes will evoke tropical breezes and coconutty desert island peacefulness, unless there aren't enough! Then there will be many a stormy tempest to get the last ones!
Line 30-36 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners, and fill each no more than three-quarters full. Bake 23-25 minutes, till the crumb is moist but cooked through when tested with a wooden or bamboo skewer.
Yields about 3 dozen cupcakes.
Rhubarb Ginger Galette
Because of their seasonality and the need for them to be fresh, this pie is special indeed. Even more special, the main ingredient is a vegetable that grows celery like into stalks, but they are a bright red color, which cooks down to a mellower dark pink. The somewhat confusing, tempestuous jumble of cut-up fruit and chopped up and grated spices is welcome at any table, and it cuts neatly too, unlike most fruit pies as long as you cook it enough. When the rhubarb is available at all, it's pretty cheap, too.
Heat the oven to 375°F / 175°C. Roll out the pie dough larger than your pie plate if your pie plate is 9 inches / 23 cm, roll the dough out to about 13 inches / 32 cm.
Lightly butter the pie plate and drape the pie dough inside of it. Put the rhubarb mixture into the center, then fold up the edges of the pie crust, pleating it around the edges. It will overlap into the crust, leaving a large round exposed in the middle.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The crust will be lightly browned, and the filling should be thickly bubbling. Remove from the oven onto a rack to cool for about an hour. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmer. Serves six wedges.
Bottled Plum, Dried Grape, Preserved Ginger Upsidedown Tart
This dessert seems like a too-healthy dessert, rather like a counterpoint to the Rhubarb Galette a pie that can be made with what's in the cupboards, even at the last mingute. That lends savor and spice in a most delightful way, and you often don't have to go out to buy anything fresh for it, either.
Heat the oven to 400°F / 185°C. Place the rolled-out pie dough over the fruit directly in the skillet, tucking in the edges (as if you were putting it to bed). Place the whole thing in the oven for 30-60 minutes, till the crust on top is golden brown and the fruit liquid is thickly bubbled out the sides of the crust.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then invert over a serving place. Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges. Makes 6 servings (but will probably feed two or three people!).
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