Chicken Curry Field Rations

Field rations are an area of Star Trek cuisine I haven’t yet explored. I feel that field rations would be a common meal for those in Starfleet - whether when on an away mission or (heaven forbid!) if the replicators fail. However, we don’t see field rations on screen very frequently. The rations were obviously edible - Commander Riker was perfectly happy to agree to Carmen’s plan of having chicken curry rations for a dinner date (TNG: Silicon Avatar). Unfortunately, their plans for dinner were interrupted by the appearance of the Crystalline Entity. 

I have interpreted these field rations as they would look when properly prepared and re-hydrated. I won’t lie - making curry from scratch is a laborious operation, but once you work out your timings, each step is easy. If you’re in a hurry, you can get away with marinating the meat for an hour, but longer is better if possible. You could use whole pieces of chicken still on the bone instead of the chicken thighs if you prefer - this will give a great flavour. If using boneless chicken, I strongly suggest you use thighs over chicken breasts as the flavour is much better. Serve in a bag for that authentic field ration experience - or if in more luxurious surroundings, try a plate or bowl!

Replicate your own
(Serves 4 if served with rice)
(Based on this recipe for Goan Chicken Curry)

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Seska’s Mushroom Soup

Ah, Seska. Before being revealed as a traitor and leaving the USS Voyager to take her chances in the Delta Quadrant, she was apparently very good at making mushroom soup (Voyager: State of Flux). Her desire to make mushroom soup was based on the fact that it was Chakotay’s favourite - and given how nice this is, I am not surprised. 

This is a great soup to make when you don’t have much time as it only takes about 20 minutes to prepare, but is rich and satisfying. Cream is a traditional addition, but I admit I found the soup rich enough without it. I would suggest reserving a few of the chopped mushrooms to add back into the soup when serving. The Parmesan cheese on top is also optional, but is a nice addition. 

Replicate your own
(Serves 3-4 if served with bread)

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Riskian cheese pastry

When renegades steal your ship and you misplace your saddle, you can at least be comforted by the notion of these Riskian cheese pastries (TNG: Starship Mine). These cheese pastries were part of a spread put on by the notorious Commander Hutchinson (“call me Hutch”), which all Starfleet officers tried to avoid - except Commander Data. While I can’t comment on Hutch’s hosting abilities, if these cheese pastries are anything to go by, he knew how to put on a good spread!

These cheese puffs are well known, of course - but they are simple to make and make an impressive starter to a dinner, or dish on a larger buffet. It’s impossible to stop at one. I used a combination of cheddar and parmesan cheeses, but really, any hard cheese will do. Experiment to find your favourites!

Replicate your own
(Based on this recipe - makes about 20 cheese puffs)

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No Eat I: Edible (chocolate crackle) Horta

The Horta must be one of the most recognisable aliens from The Original Series - and probably Star Trek as a whole. That creature of terror and murder - who was only trying to protect her young - is now rendered as a delicious giant chocolate crackle. Dr McCoy’s great medical work is now a chopped up marshmallow - “I’m a doctor, not a confectioner!”

I assumed that everyone grew up with chocolate crackles like I did, only to discover that they are apparently unique to Australia and New Zealand. If you’re not aware: chocolate crackles are made from Rice Bubbles / Rice Krispies, coconut, cocoa and bound together by Copha, which is hydrogenated coconut oil. If you can’t get Copha, you can melt some butter and chocolate together, and use that to bind your crackles instead. 

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Replicate your own
(Makes about 25 standard-sized chocolate crackles, or 3-4 horta-sized giant crackles)

This is the classic chocolate crackle recipe. You will need some cupcake liners to spoon the mixture into.

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Just a reminder…

If you’re interested in seeing how the various dishes / recipes are created, head over to the facebook page where I post photos of the cooking process. I’ve just uploaded a whole bunch of them!

Gramilian sand peas

It’s no surprise that Quark’s Bar would be well stocked with bar snacks. What is perhaps more surprising is that there is a bar snack that exists in the world that Quark has not heard of! But that is what we see in Rules of Acquisition, when Pel suggests that Quark should stock Gramilian sand peas because they cause an immediate thirst, meaning that customers will buy more drinks. This is, of course, not Pel’s only business advice to Quark, as we see in the rest of the episode.

These peas really do make a great snack and the most difficult part is not having enough of them around! The secret to these is to cook the peas low and slow, until they are almost dehydrated and crunchy. You can also use a dehydrator to make these, if you have one handy. This is more of a method than a full recipe, and quantities and spices (except for the salt - that’s essential!) are really up to you. 

Replicate your own
(This recipe makes about 250g of finished peas, but I strongly advise you to make a larger amount!)

450g / 1 pound fresh peas
2-3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Chili powder

Preheat the oven to 95°C / 200°F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and pour on 2 of the tablespoons of canola oil. Add the peas and shake them around, until they are all coated with the oil. Add more oil if needed to ensure they are all coated.

Liberally sprinkle salt over the peas and again shake them around. Bake them in the oven for about 3 hours or until they are dry and a bit crunchy, shaking the pan every once in a while to make sure they cook evenly. 

When they are dried, add the last tablespoon of oil and again shake the pan, then sprinkle on the spices of your choice (I used pepper, paprika and a bit of chili powder). Shake the pan one last time to distribute the spices, then tip the peas into a bowl and enjoy with many beverages. 

Strawberry Tart

It’s no question that being wrenched out of the Borg Collective and back into the world of the Federation would be traumatic for anyone. As we saw with Seven of Nine, some of the major issues she faced had to do with reconnecting with her human side, and her human relatives on Earth. While this reconnecting was often difficult and painful, sometimes good memories surfaced too, such as Seven of Nine’s recollection that her Aunt had coaxed her out of a cupboard with the promise of a strawberry tart (Voyager: Author Author). And there is no denying that strawberry tart is a very good reason indeed to come out of hiding for. 

This delicious strawberry tart is quick to assemble and all the pieces can be prepared in advance. Brushing (optional) melted chocolate onto the base before adding the pastry cream not only adds a delicious crunchy chocolate layer, but also creates a barrier between the pastry cream and the tart shell, helping to keep the tart shell from going soggy. I got my inspiration for the strawberry arrangement from Confessions of a Tart, making mine look a bit more alien, but you can of course arrange your strawberries on top however you wish. 

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Replicate your own

(Makes 1 24cm / 9 inch tart, or 4-5 individual small ones)

To assemble the tart you’ll need:
baked and cooled 24cm / 9 inch tart shell (recipe below) (or individual small tart cases)
Vanilla pastry cream (recipe below)
500g / 1 pound 2 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced as wanted
60g / 2oz dark chocolate (optional)

To assemble, melt the dark chocolate (if using) and spread over the bottom of the tart shell. Refrigerate for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate firms up.

Just before you want to serve the tart, spoon on the pastry cream and smooth it, then arrange the strawberries on top. Use it to coax out small children out of cupboards they may be hiding in, or just as a lovely dessert for everyone to share. 

(recipes for the tart shell and pastry cream below the break)

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Food Replicator turns 1!

A little over a year ago, I was talking to my husband about how much I was enjoying some of the geeky food and drink blogs out there, like Gourmet Gaming and The Drunken Moogle. I made the offhand comment that if I was going to do a blog like this, it would clearly be based on Star Trek, since that’s my favourite! 

As you can see, the idea stuck. My lovely husband designed all the images and theme for the website, and I set to work creating recipes. You have seen the results over the past year and don’t worry - there are plenty more to come!

I want to thank everyone who has read the blog and/or commented or messaged me - it is really appreciated! While I was entertained by the notion of combining Star Trek and cooking, I wasn’t sure if anyone else would be. I’ve been really happy and touched to see everyone’s responses and I’m always super excited when people tell me they’ve made the recipes themselves!

Regular recipe programming will resume next week but in the meantime, take a look through the index for your favourite recipe; have a look at facebook if you’re interested in photos showing the cooking process; and always - always - keep those phasers set on yum!

Gladst

What’s this?! A Klingon dish that involves no meat, and is actually vegan?! Insanity. Even if gladst is only a side dish, at least we can be comforted by the knowledge that Klingons do eat their vegetables after all. Gladst is available at the Klingon Restaurant on Deep Space Nine, and certainly seems like a good alternative to all that gagh (DS9: Melora). 

This is essentially a stir fry of mushrooms with some garlic, ginger and chilis for flavour. I have never seen fresh wood fungus but the dried version is easily available at Asian supermarkets. I have added a fair amount of chili to this as I figure Klingons would like it spicy, but you can of course adjust the chili to your liking. This dish can be eaten both with or without sauce; while I enjoyed the addition of the sauce, the mushrooms are equally delicious on their own. 

Replicate your own
(Serves 2 as a main dish or 3-4 as a side dish)

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Brill Cheese

I am always impressed with Neelix’s range of canapes. It seems that no matter the situation or the ingredients on hand, he can always whip up a delicious dish to pass around. In this case we have brill cheese, made from the milk of the grakel, a Delta-quadrant animal (Voyager: Learning Curve). Unfortunately for the Voyager crew, the cheese’s bacterial cultures infect the ship’s gel packs, and chaos ensues. But at least the cheese is delicious!

This is a mildly-flavoured goat’s milk cheese which you can easily alter by changing the herbs you add to it. It takes a few hours to let it reach the right consistency - and again how firm you want it is up to you. Serve with crackers or on pieces of toasted baguette.

Replicate your own
(Makes about 125g / 4.4oz of cheese)
(Based on the recipe by Kiss My Spatula)

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