Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand: the perfect steak dish for two - as Odo and Kira found out when chaperoned by Vic Fontaine on a holodeck date (DS9: His Way). We have previously made the first course in their romantic feast (Oysters Rockefeller) and now we’re onto the main course.

Vic Fontaine mentions Chateaubriand, which is a traditional way of serving beef, made famous by Larousse Gastronomique. Chateaubriand technically only refers to the meat itself, so I’ve expanded the recipe to include some vegetables and Bearnaise sauce, which are traditional accompaniments. According to Larousse Gastronomique, Chateaubriand should be broiled (grilled - top-down heat). You need a high temperature to ensure that the outside is well charred without overcooking the inside. I’d recommend using a thermometer to test the interior temperature of the meat, so you can take it out when it is done enough for you.

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Bajoran ale (ginger beer)

Time for another round of drinks! This time we’re off to Bajor, making a drink that is bubbly and tasty - but not very potent. I thought about it and decided that this was a good description of ginger beer - and thus Bajoran ale was created. When Odo was a Solid, he enjoyed this ale because of the bubbles, and spent many hours in quiet contemplation while drinking Bajoran ale. (DS9: Apocalypse Rising). Quark wasn’t so enamoured of it, but of course still continued to sell it - so it clearly had a market (DS9: Emissary).

If you have not done any brewing at home before, this is a good place to start. You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients, and the beer is ready in about 4 days. The result is a refreshing, bubbly drink, which can be enjoyed by itself or mixed in with other drinks. It is quite different to the alcoholic ginger beers available to buy, but is very delicious in its own way. I can see why Odo became such a fan when he was turned into a Solid.

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Replicate your own
(Makes 4 litres)
(Based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for ginger beer)

You will need to start 4-5 days in advance.

100g young ginger, grated fine
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey
400g sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried yeast (see notes, below)
4 litres of sealed, bottled water (in plastic bottles - I used 2, 2litre bottles)

You will also need a number of empty, cleaned plastic soda bottles to store the beer in once it’s ready to drink.

Start by decanting about 1/4 of the water out of the bottle. Using a funnel, add the yeast and the sugar.

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and honey, and then add that via the funnel to the bottle.

Put the cap back on and shake well, until all the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with the remaining water, leaving a 5cm gap at the top of the bottle to allow the gas to escape. Put the caps back on and leave somewhere warm.

Every 12 hours or so, release the caps to allow the gas to escape, and then put the caps back on. You can also feel the bottles and release the caps when the bottles get firm.

After 4 days, taste the beer. If you are happy with it, proceed to the next step. If not, you can add more sugar or more ginger, and leave for a few more days before tasting it again.

Strain the mixture through some cheesecloth, coffee filter or similar to remove the pieces of ginger. Decant or pour the mixture into your cleaned plastic soda bottles and refrigerate. Enjoy those bubbles and think of Odo!

Notes:

  • I made this successfully using standard dried bread yeast, but brewers’ yeast (or even champagne yeast) is probably better if you have some
  • I would strongly suggest using plastic bottles to both brew and then store the beer, as glass bottles may explode
  • This makes a very tart/dry beer - if you like it sweeter, add more sugar.
  • Likewise, this beer is very ginger-y. If you don’t want it too sharp, decrease the amount of ginger
  • Young ginger is best, as it is softer and will grate easier.
  • If you don’t want to make 4 litres, you can easily half the recipe and make 2.
  • As always, the process photos will be up on the Facebook page in a few days. If you want to see photos of each step, head over there to take a look!
Oysters Rockefeller

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and what better way to celebrate with your beloved than with oysters! And if you don’t have a beloved, eat some oysters anyway - they’re delicious!

Oysters Rockefeller are, of course, the first course served in the holodeck at Vic Fontaine’s, when Odo and Kira have their first date (DS9: His Way). Odo thinks he’s having dinner with a hologram, not the real Kira, and once it is clarified that it is the real Kira - well, let’s just say the date doesn’t go so well. I do hope they had the chance to sample the oysters before everyone went storming out of the holodeck.

Oysters Rockefeller is an interesting recipe in that the actual recipe is not known. It’s said to contain parsley, capers, chives, olive oil, and butter - but definitely not spinach. Based on this, I came up with a pesto-like green sauce to which butter and breadcrumbs is then added. A very nice start to a romantic date - or for anytime, really.

Replicate your own
(Serves 2)

1 dozen oysters
6-8 celery leaves
4 generous sprigs parsley
1 teaspoon capers
2 spring onions / scallions
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Dash of olive oil
Rock salt (for ensuring the oysters stay upright)

Begin by finely mincing the celery leaves, parsley, capers, spring onions and capers (you can also use a mini food processor if you prefer). Add a dash of olive oil to loosen slightly - you want it to be like a thick pesto.

Mix in the breadcrumbs, and then mash in the butter.

Prepare the oysters by spreading a layer of rock salt on a baking tray, and wedging the oysters into the salt. This ensures they stay upright when cooking.

Place a teaspoon of the herb/butter mixture onto each oyster. Place under the grill (broiler) for 4 or 5 minutes, until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to bubble and brown slightly.

Serve immediately, preferably with champagne, and hope you’re having a date with your real beloved, and not a hologram.