Mexinese-Chixican: Food of the 'Verse
by Susu and MaceVindaloo
Menu: Carpet Pork Wrap | Xiexian Quesadillas | Barbecued Pork Tacos | Enchilada Chinoise Lasagne | Fried Rice Burritos: Basic Fried Rice, Basic Bean Dip
The future was an amalgam of cultures; some things stayed distinct, while others got mushed into another. In the Firefly / Serenity 'verse, the two dominant cultures at the time were America and China. But if you look to America today, it's obviously an ever-moving fusion of food preferences. One strong nation-wide preference is Tex-Mex or Mexican food. If you combined it with Chinese food, what would you get? We think you'd have some great Chinese ingredients, and the fun forms of Mexican. Or sometimes, the other way around!
Carpet Pork Wrap
There is a shredded, dried jerky-style of pork in Chinese cuisine, and it's very "fluffy" with distinct strands. Children growing up in it feel it reminds them of shag carpet ... Served with a chunky, wet salsa cooked or raw it makes the best of preserved and aggressively cooked ingredients combined with ultra fresh things, for a spicy, salty, texture contrasting dish. It's messy to eat, but the wrap helps to limit the oozing!
To form the wrap, first fold in the sides this will secure the "top" and "bottom" of the wrap. Fold up the bottom over the filling, then roll up as tightly as practical upward. Roll the wrap into the parchment tightly, and refrigerate for an hour or so. This helps to soften and hydrate the pork.
To serve, cut diagonally in half right through the parchment, so you have two halves wrapped up. Peel the paper back to eat.
Chinese barbecued pork is one of the crown jewels of cuisine, and it's no wonder that it would survive into the amalgamated world of the future. And it's good worked into other cuisines, too even when smothered in cheese! Case in point, this "Tex-Mex pizza / sandwich" is a lot better with juicy Chinese barbecued pork, drizzled with hoisin sauce. When you taste it, you can only murmur, xiexian, or "thank you!"
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.
Barbecued Pork Tacos
To some of us, the weakest part of tacos, gastronomically speaking, is the gloppy, runny meat mixture. And what the heck is taco seasoning, exactly? We chop up any leftover Chinese barbecued pork and use that, as is, at the bottom of the hard taco shell. Layer over that a bit of cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes, and shredded crispy lettuce ... it's less messy to eat that that weird granular ground beef mixture that's usually used, and this version doesn't need cooking at all, either! It's an improvement over the traditional stuff in just about every way. Not everything in the future is grim, see?
Enchilada Chinoise Lasagne
This recipe tastes "Tex-Mex" but the ingredients are not purely Tex-Mex. You can use beef or pork, you can opt for a normal yellow onion instead of the scallions, you can change the spicing to make it more Asian or more Mexican. Either way, it's more like a free-form lasagne, made in a crockpot instead of in the oven, though you can certainly opt for a low-heat oven instead ... it's a flexible dish with delicious results no matter the preference of your pantry or guests. You can even assemble it before you run out to fight a battle or do errands, and count on coming back to a hot meal! And if you're in a hurry, you can even serve the sauce over pasta, just as it is, for a nice warm homey supper. How did you live without this recipe??
Add the red and black beans, the tomatoes, the chili powder or sambal, the cumin or ginger, oregano or cilantro, and salt. Mix together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat down to a simmer and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
In a 5 to 8 quart crockpot or a similarly sized baking dish (round, preferably). Add about ½ to ¾ cup of the sauce to the bottom, then put a tortilla on top of that, then scatter over with about ¼ to ½ cup of cheese, then top with sauce, then another tortilla, then cheese, and repeat, finishing with a topping of cheese.
If using a crockpot, set it on low heat, and cook for about 6 hours. In an oven, set the heat at about 200°F / 100°C, cover the baking dish with a lid or foil, and cook for at least 2 hours, or till hot and bubbling. If you are using the oven, remove the lid or foil and cook for another 15 or so minutes. You can serve like a lasagne.
You can serve the crockpot version like that too ... but you'll find the you can easily "roll" each layer off and eat it layer by layer. Your choice, depending on your audience and predilections!
Serves 4 to 6.
Fried Rice Burritos
Like all cuisines of peasants, leftovers are used and re-used, and nothing ever wasted. If you have access to big, soft flour tortillas, bean dip, rice, Chinese pork or eggs ... you make a burrito, and it's a big, substantial meal. It's portable too, and doesn't actually have to have any fresh ingredients in it if all you have is frozen or canned fare. This is a good way to clean out the 'fridge, and truth be told, many in the 'verse looked forward to that once-weekly cleanout knowing this dish is on the menu.
Smear some bean dip onto the burrito in a horizontal line, making a "bed" for the other ingredients to lie on. Follow with a spoonful or so of fried rice, then sprinkle over with the leftover meats, some lettuce or cabbage, then cheese. Finish with salsa or hot sauce.
Now, to fold ... there should be two shorter ends at the end of your horizontal strip of filling. Fold those inwards. Then fold up the long flap closest to you, and roll it up toward the other long flap, like a sushi roll. Wrap in foil or parchment paper by placing the roll in the wrapper and rolling it up like you rolled the tortilla around the filling. Wrap tightly to keep it all together.
NOTE: If you have leftover fried rice with stuff in it already (eggs, meat, vegetables, etc.), use that, and same some steps. For instance, you won't need additional protein, and can skip looking for cooked meat. Or if you have leftover salad, use that instead of lettuce or cabbage, etc. It's a very freeform dish!
Disclaimer: All content is made up, and no profit or lucre is expected, solicited, advocated or paid. This is all just for fun. Any comments, please e-mail the author or WOOKIEEhut directly. Flames will be ignored. Characters and situations are based on those which are the property of LucasFilms Ltd., Bantam Publishing, Random House, Bloomberg, Scholastic, etc. and their respective original owners and developers. The rest is this story's author's own fault. This story may not be posted anywhere without the author's knowledge, consent, and permission.
These recipes are provided "as is," and neither Wookieehut nor any person associated with the website is responsible for any success or failure of the recipes, nor any implied effects. If there are questions, please email the author. This page is presented by Wookieehut.