Marsupial Surprise

I do admire Neelix’s ability to conjure up delicious dishes out of practically nothing. In this case, an unnamed marsupial! This is obviously a popular dish, as two kilograms of the marsupial wasn’t enough to satisfy demand (VOY: Survival Instinct). In this recipe, the marsupial is kangaroo and the surprise is how delicious it was. Neelix definitely knows what he is doing!

If you’re in the US, kangaroo meat is at least available online - I would be interested to know how widely available it is in shops. Kangaroo is very lean, so like many lean meats, it either needs to be cooked very quickly or for a very long time. In this case a kangaroo stew is slowly cooked before being covered by parsnip mash to create a kangaroo shepherd’s pie variant. If you can’t get kangaroo, you could substitute venison or beef - although that might take away from the ‘marsupial’ part of the surprise! 

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(Serves 2-3)

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Rodeo Red’s Red-Hot, Rootin’-Tootin’ Chili

I am always impressed by Neelix’s cooking. He’s able to draw great flavours out of the most boring ingredients, isn’t afraid to experiment and - as we see here - turns to history as a source of inspiration. In this case classic American cuisine in the form of chili con carne (VOY: Message in a Bottle). And, given the crew members’ reaction, it sounds like Neelix’s chili packed quite a punch!

Making chili is an all day affair, but all of the work is done at the start. After you’ve got all the ingredients in, it’s just a matter of time. Given Neelix’s description of his chili having lots of jalapenos in it, I’ve made sure that the primary chile used is chipotle. You can also up the jalapeno quotient by adding fresh or pickled jalapenos once the chili is done. I’ve added a combination of other chiles too, to provide more flavour and variety in spice level. Just remember to have some antacid on hand to avoid any uncomfortable reactions from nearby crew members!

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(Serves 4, based on the Homesick Texan’s Texas Chili)

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For First Contact Day: Cheese pierogi

It’s time to celebrate First Contact Day! On April 5, 2063, Vulcans will detect the warp drive on the Phoenix and come to visit the person who created the ship (Star Trek: First Contact). It’s bound to happen and we are one year closer to warp drive becoming a reality. I live in hope!

This year we’re celebrating First Contact Day in the fine manner of the Starship Voyager with these cheese pierogi (VOY: Homestead). Known to be Zefram Cochrane’s favourite food, these are bound to cheer up any First Contact celebration. And to drink, there is always the Zefram Cochrane cocktail, although I advise you get any speeches and First Contact recreations out of the way before you start imbibing these - they are quite strong!

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(Makes approx 25-30 pierogi)

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For Christmas: Neelix’s Fruit Compote (Rumtopf)

I realise that Christmas isn’t really celebrated in the Star Trek Universe, but if it was, Neelix would be leading the celebrations. He’d be the one putting up the decorations as soon as possible and organising a Christmas carol singalong in front of the holodeck fireside. And of course he would be making all sorts of deletable Christmas treats, including his famous fruit compote (VOY: Mortal Coil).

In this case, the fruit compote is made by soaking fruits in alcohol for several weeks or even months - as Captain Janeway notes, it can sometimes be so strong that people get lightheaded. I have therefore taken inspiration for Neelix’s fruit compote from the traditional German dish known as a Rumtopf, where fruits are soaked in rum, sugar and spices for months before being opened and consumed at Christmas time. It is quite strong and not for the faint-hearted, but will definitely improve everyone’s Christmas cheer. I am sure Neelix would approve!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you wonderful readers! I hope your days are filled with happiness, friendship - and Star Trek, of course. 

Replicate your own
(Makes 1 Rumtopf which will easily serve 10-15 people)

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Vulcan Spice Tea

Although this spice tea is clearly enjoyed by Tuvok and Captain Janeway (VOY: Alliances), I would also like to think that it is a common drink on all of Vulcan, because it is refreshing, spicy and logical all at the same time. I am a little suprised to see Janeway drink anything other than coffee, but can understand why a coffee drinker would enjoy the strong flavours of this tea. 

While I have listed quantities of spices below, the recipe is very flexible - if you want more of any spices, feel free to add it! Remember to steep your spices for a few minutes to allow the flavours to develop. It is a bit difficult to only make the amount of spice needed for a single cup, so I suggest you make the quantities below and store the mix in a jar - pre-made spice tea, whenever you want it! The recipe below does have quite a spicy finish - if you want to lower that a little, use less peppercorns and ground ginger. 

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(Makes about 1/4 cup of the spice mixture)

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Jibalian seven-spice omelette

Neelix can teach us all sorts of things about cooking. How to make the best of unusual ingredients. How to keep Captain Janeway fed while she’s on the bridge. And this time he teaches us about the importance of balancing spices - and remembering the salt. This omelette is great for whipping up for breakfast for the whole crew, as long as you have all seven spices on hand (Voyager: Prototype). 

You can choose if you want to mix the spices into the omelette or arrange them on top as in the photo below. However you choose to arrange your spices, I would suggest sprinkling the salt on the top of your omelette. It is traditional to fold the omelette in half to serve it, although I think that Neelix would prefer my display. 

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(Serves 2)

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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. 

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(Serves 3-4 if served with bread)

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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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(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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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.

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

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Tera nut souffle

Apparently I’m in a souffle-making mood. Specifically, souffles from Voyager. This one was made by Tuvok when he temporarily lost his memory, and like his other desserts made during this time, is another culinary triumph (Voyager: Riddles). Essentially, if you like nutella, you’ll like this souffle - because that’s what it tastes like. No wonder Neelix continued to make and enjoy this souffle after Tuvok’s accident was long past. 

This recipe makes 2 or 3 super rich individual souffles or the size shown below. Honestly, if I made these again, I’d probably make them in smaller containers - they really are that rich. If you wish, you can only use half of the chocolate custard mixture and have some slightly lighter, less rich souffles. The remaining chocolate custard can be frozen until needed for more souffles.

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