A conspiracy dinner part 2: parasite bread

Continuing on from last week’s mealworm pasta, what better way to ensure all your guests are properly fed than by serving them some parasite breads?! I figure this is a nicer way to ingest your parasite than needing to swallow it whole and have it attach to your brainstem (TNG: Conspiracy). 

As with the mealworms, this recipe only makes a small amount of parasite breads but can easily be doubled or tripled if your conspiracy meeting is a large one. And if you don’t have the time to lovingly craft individual parasites for each of your guests, this recipe also makes terrific dinner rolls or even a small loaf of bread.

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(Makes 4 individual parasite breads - recipe is easily doubled or tripled if needed)

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A conspiracy dinner part 1: mealworms

I know whenever I am planning a conspiracy to take over Starfleet, controlling key personnel with parasites and sending messages to my brethren to come and join me from our home planet, it’s important to ensure everyone is well fed. In this case - mealworms for all (TNG: Conspiracy)!! Unfortunately, neither Captain Picard or Commander Riker had the opportunity to taste these mealworms, which is a shame, because they are delicious.

If you are concerned at all - never fear! These appetising worms are nothing but pasta in a balsamic glaze sauce. They are perfect with a side of parasite bread and perhaps a salad (but let’s not get too carried away with vegetables). Come back next week to learn how to make the parasite breads but in the meantime please enjoy these mealworms as you plot your next takeover. 

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(Serves 2 but the recipe is easily increased if needed)

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Miles O’Brien’s potato casserole

Miles O’Brien – keeping the recipes of his childhood alive. We have already seen his fondness for corned beef hash, and now we have another dish from the O’Brien household: potato casserole. I am not sure where Miles (or was it his mother?) got the idea of adding capers to the dish, but unlike Keiko, I think they are a great addition.

This dish is essentially a scalloped potato recipe where the potatoes are diced rather than cut into thin slices. It is super rich but very delicious – so I am not surprised Keiko found it a bit overwhelming. I should note that this dish was requested by a reader and that I have a few more reader requets coming up! If there is a particular dish you would like to see, get in touch and I will add it to the list of upcoming dishes. 

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(Serves 3-4 as a side dish)

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A Bringloidi meal for two (Irish Stew)

If you’re on the Enterprise, you clearly never know when some new friends are going to drop by. In the case of the Bringloidi, they will drop by with all their family members, their equipment and of course their farm animals (TNG: Up the Long Ladder). While many human settlements have obviously embraced the food replicator, the Bringloidi have not. If the Bringloidi truly embrace their agrarian roots, it should come as no surprise to see an Irish Stew on the menu. 

I do realise this episode is probably not a favourite, and it certainly has its share of issues. However, this Irish Stew is nothing to sneer at! The recipe below is for goat, but you could definitely substitute lamb very easily. I thought of this as a meal for two to share (perhaps for Riker and Brenna) but it is easily doubled or even quadrupled if a bunch of Space Irish suddenly drop around. 

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(Serves 2 as a main meal)

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Tribute cookies for Captain Picard Day

This upcoming Monday (June 16) is Captain Picard Day! That great day where we can celebrate the achievements of one of our favourite captains in any and every way possible. This year I thought I’d go with a contribution to the Captain Picard Day display in the form of Captain Picard-related cookies.

While Captain Picard may not be so keen on his face turned into an egghead, surely he can’t object to some Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, or with the instruction to Bake it So?! If he is not impressed, maybe put the cookies aside and instead offer him an Earl Grey MarTEAni or some Earl Grey tea cupcakes. However you celebrate it, I hope you have a great Captain Picard Day!

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(Makes approx 25 cookies)

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Bio-enzymatic supplement (rice crackers)

It is understandable that if you visit a new species as part of a cultural exchange, you want to try all of their most delicious culinary offerings. In the case of the Iyaarans, this meant eating so much chocolate that even Counselor Troi could not keep up (TNG: Liaisons). This is doubly understandable when, as in the case of the Iyaarans, your normal daily food is a form of bio-enzymatic supplement.

While nothing can replace chocolate, I do have to say that these bio-enzymatic supplements were actually quite nice! I thought that rice crackers were a good standin for bio-enzymatic supplement as they were relatively plain. You can add whatever spices you wish so feel fee to play around with the flavours. This is not a difficult recipe but you do need to leave enough time, first for the rice to soak and then for the crackers to dry. 

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(Makes 12-16 crackers)

You will need to start a day in advance.

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Bularian Canapes (Blini)

If there is a better way to soften the hearts of passing Admirals than serving Bularian canapes, I’d like to know what it is. In particular, if you are Jean-Luc Picard and you have Admiral Nechayev coming on board, you could do far worse than ordering up a plate of these (TNG: Journey’s End). I think these canapes are perfect for discussions and negotiations: small enough that you can pop one in your mouth without interruption, the great canape base can be used for a variety of toppings certain to please any alien race and they are sturdy enough to avoid any embarrassing spills down the front of uniforms. 

I decided that the best way to make Bularian canapes was to use a blini recipe. Blini get their earthy flavour from the buckwheat flour used in the batter and they make a great base for a variety of toppings. I do completely understand Admiral Nechayev is so fond of these, as they are really tasty and it is very easy to eat lots of them! I used salmon and sour cream as toppings for my blini, but you could use whatever you like - some suggestions are grilled or pickled vegetables, peas and fetta, pesto with a slice of tomato, small pieces of bbq chicken with some chutney - and of course caviar is traditional. 

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(Makes 40-50 small blini)
(Based on this recipe)

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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!

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

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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!

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

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Keiko vs Miles pt 2: Plankton loaf, kelp buds, sea berries

After last week’s corned beef hash (beloved by Miles O’Brien), let’s move on to Keiko’s breakfast. As she says to Miles, she ate this almost every day growing up (TNG: The Wounded). We are of course talking about plankton loaf, kelp buds and sea berries.

I’ve taken some liberties with this one, trying to match the look of the dish as the starting point. The plankton loaf is basically a savoury mochi, with a filling of small shrimp and other flavourings (and I acknowledge that this is definitely the easy/cheat’s way to make mochi!). The plate is garnished with various pickles, including pickled ginger. As for the verdict: delicious! But I’m not sure I’d want it every day for breakfast - although, while I love corned beef hash, I don’t know if I could cope with that every day for breakfast either. 

So overall, I definitely enjoyed both of these breakfasts, but wouldn’t want them every day. Keiko’s was certainly different to what I normally have for breakfast but very tasty nonetheless. 

Replicate your own 
(Serves 2 - makes about 5-6 large mochi)

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