For Valentine’s Day: Tellurian Mint Truffles

I’m posting this before Valentine’s Day so if you so desire, you can make it for you or your Valentine. However, a word of advice: maybe before handing over the truffles, double check your Valentine has not been taken over by a Pah-wraith (DS9: The Assignment). I will say that Miles O’Brien was on the right path - having especially ordered these truffles as an apology to Keiko after destroying her bonsai plants, but unfortunately for him it went rather wrong. 

The basic recipe for these truffles can be used to make a variety of flavours - just substitute the essence flavouring of your choice. Additionally, instead of dipping them in chocolate, you can roll them in cocoa, icing sugar, coconut or crushed nuts. While these truffles are not difficult to make, you will need to ensure you have set aside enough time to properly chill the chocolate between each step - I made these over about a day and a half. 

Replicate your own
(Makes 16-20 small truffles or 12 large ones)

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Makara fizz

Going into a holodeck can sometimes be a confusing experience. People dress funny, the scenery is weird, and sometimes they don’t even have your favourite drink on offer. This is the situation Kesha found herself in, when accompanying Jake to the holodeck to visit Nog (DS9: It’s Only a Paper Moon). As we know, the reason the drink wasn’t served was because they were at Vic Fontaine’s, and to the loss of everyone and in particular the local bar scene, the makara fizz was not known in Las Vegas. 

It was definitely a loss, as this cocktail is delicious. It is essentially a gin fizz, but with bay leaf syrup replacing the plain sugar syrup normally used. This is the first time I’ve made bay leaf simple syrup and it was so tasty I’m definitely going to make it again. You can use the same method for making any herbal simple syrup - I think they are great to have around and flavour cocktails. If Vic Fontaine ever had a taste of a makara fizz, I’m sure he’d add it to the menu at his lounge immediately. 

Replicate your own
(Makes 1 cocktail)

45ml / 1.5fl oz (3 parts) Gin
30ml / 1fl oz (2 parts) Fresh lemon juice
20ml / 0.7fl oz (1.5 parts) Bay leaf simple syrup (recipe below)
80ml / 2.7fl oz (5 parts) Soda water
Icecubes

Add the gin, lemon juice and bay leaf simple syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is cold to the touch. 

Fill a highball glass with icecubes. Strain the mix in the shaker into the glass, and top with soda water. Garnish with a fresh bay leaf. 

To make the bay leaf simple syrup:
6-8 fresh bay leaves (do not used dried)
100g / 3.5oz sugar
100ml / 3.4fl oz water

Put the bay leaves, sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool, leaving the bay leaves in the syrup until it is completely cooled. 

Store in a sterilised container in the fridge or at room temperature. 

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. 

Fanalian toddy

If you’re interested in getting the attention of a certain doctor, having an illness is certainly one way to go about it. And having an illness which can be miraculously cured by a drink from Quark’s is even better (DS9: Explorers). In this case, Doctor Bashir is able to ‘prescribe’ Leeta a Fenalian Toddy to cure her cough. All flirting aside, this is a lovely drink if you do have a summer cold, or to help warm you up on those cold nights in space. 

There are plenty of recipes out there for hot toddies and the recipe is certainly very adaptable. For a different flavour, I have used juniper berries and cardamom pods, but you could certainly use cloves or nutmeg if you prefer. Adding a slice of lemon or orange peel is also a nice variation. 

Replicate your own
(Makes 1 drink)

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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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Chicken Paprikash

Benjamin Sisko apparently only cooks Hungarian food when he is in a good mood (Deep Space Nine: Family Business). I can definitely understand this, as Hungarian food is hearty, easily shared and delicious - all things conducive to good moods. So what better way for Sisko to celebrate the beginnings of an ambassador exchange program, than by cooking chicken paprikash?!

Chicken paprikash is a traditional Hungarian recipe so it is very good to see that it has survived until the 24th century. This version uses chicken thighs but you could also use legs with the bones still in. The flavour is also very variable so feel free to add more paprika or black pepper to taste.

Replicate your own
(Generously serves 2)
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)

400-500g chicken thighs (you can also use legs, or a combination of both), preferably with skin on
1 large or 2 medium onions
Salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the dumplings:
4 eggs
1 cup (approx) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Arrange the pieces of chicken on a plate and salt well. Leave the salt to draw out moisture while you prepare the onions. Cut the onions into thin slices.

In a large saucepan or casserole dish/dutch oven, melt the butter. Pat the pieces of chicken dry with paper towels and place them skin-side down in the butter. Cook them for 4-5 minutes on that side until they are well browned, then turn them over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl.

Next add the onions to the pan (you might need to melt a bit more butter), scraping up any browned bits left by the chicken. Cook the onions until they are soft and begin to brown, about 7-10 minutes.

Add both types of paprika and some black pepper into the pot. Add the chicken broth, and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the pieces of chicken back into the pot, and cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, so the chicken is cooked but not completely falling apart.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and stir in the sour cream. Taste and add more sour cream or salt or pepper as needed. Return the chicken to the pan and turn the pieces to coat them in the sauce. Set the pot aside and prepare the dumplings.

To make the dumplings, start by adding the baking soda to the flour, and set aside. Crack and beat the eggs in a separate bowl, then begin to add the flour/baking soda mix. You want the mixture to be the same consistency as pancake batter, so add enough flour to achieve this. If your mixture gets too thick, thin it with water.

Working in batches, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into a saucepan of boiling, salted water. These will float to the top of the saucepan almost immediately but need to be cooked for 3-4 minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. Remove cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon onto a plate or bowl until all dumplings are cooked.

To serve, reheat the chicken if needed. Place a spoonful of the dumplings in a bowl and top with the chicken. Spoon sauce on top and dust with more paprika if wished.

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.

Broiled Krada legs (seafood combination)

Broiled Krada legs: a Klingon dish which is mentioned but never seen or eaten onscreen. Kira Nerys mentioned she craved some, which leads me to think they are delicious and well worth eating (Deep Space Nine: The Sound of Her Voice). While it is never seen, I have assumed that the Krada is a type of creature, that has enough meat in or on its legs to be eaten. I figured it probably had a shell, so that the Klingons could appropriately rip apart and crunch through the shell before getting at the meat underneath.

I decided to make a variety of seafood parts which could be put together to form a Krada. I used spider crab legs and Moreton Bay bugs to create the creature. I am pretty convinced that Moreton Bay bugs are aliens anyway, so it helped with the dish. This is a simple dish to put together which has the added bonus of spooking anyone not familiar with Klingon food!

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Replicate your own
(Serves 2 as  starter)

2 Moreton Bay bugs
3 or 4 spider crab legs
Small bunch of parsley, chopped fine
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Turn your oven broiler (or what I would call the grill - you want top-down heat) so it can heat up while you prepare the seafood. To start, mix your chopped parsley into the butter, and set aside.

Start by cutting apart the spider crab legs (if needed) and place them on a tray covered with aluminum foil. Place them under the broiler for about 3 or 4 minutes, until the shells have turned pink. Flip over and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and set aside.

With a heavy knife, chop the Moreton Bay bugs in half, and prop them up on a baking tray so the meat is facing up. Spread the butter mix over the meat. Put these under the broiler and cook for about 5 minutes, until the meat is firm and the butter has melted in.

Arrange your crab legs and Moreton Bay bugs in a suitably Klingon manner (which now I think about it, probably means chucking randomly on a plate!) and serve.

Notes:

  • If you can’t find Moreton Bay bugs, you could substitute crabs or even lobsters
  • I left the crab legs whole primarily for photographic purposes - you can always split them open before broiling which makes it easier to get the meat out
  • Pre-cooked crab legs would work here too, just heat them up before serving.
  • I served this with a fish ceviche to make a full meal.
Jellied gree-worms

Ahh Ferengi. Always good for helping you spend your latinum and finding recipes for worms and bugs. This time, we’ve got some jellied gree-worms, which are definitely a delicacy. Gree-worms can apparently be served either fresh or jellied - although I’d suggest that jellied are clearly more of a delicacy. These are great to serve to the Grand Nagus, powers behind the throne and of course potential customers.

In thinking of how to present these, you’ll probably be pleased to read that I quickly discounted using real worms. Sweet jelly worms seemed a natural fit for the recipe - with just a bit of sourness to remind you to never cross a Ferengi.

Replicate your own
(Based on Alton Brown’s recipe for super sour gummies)

You will need a squeeze bottle and some baking trays or cake tins.

6 cups sugar, plus an extra 3/4 cup (keep these two separate) sugar
2 tablespoons citric acid
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup cold water, divided
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 teaspoons flavoring oil or essence
Food colouring, as desired

Start by dividing the 6 cups of sugar across the baking trays or cake tins. Set aside while preparing the gummy worms.

Mix together the gelatin and 1/3 cup water in a medium-large saucepan. It will clump up and absorb the liquid. Set aside.

Combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, corn syrup, and remaining 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Clip on a candy thermometer and heat to 70°C / 160°F, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour this mixture over the gelatin, and heat gently, stirring, until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Remove from the heat and add the flavoring essence, food coloring (if using a single colour - see notes below if you want to use multiple colours) and citric acid and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle and cool until it slightly solidifies, before squeezing out lines or shapes onto the prepared sugar pan. Leave the worms to set for at least 30 minutes (1 hour is better) before removing from the sugar.

If the gelatin thickens too much to squeeze out, you can reheat it by dipping it into a bowl filled with warm water. If there’s extra gelatin left in the saucepan, this can also be reheated to liquify it if needed.

Once the worms have solidified, toss in more sugar so they are covered, and let them dry at room temperature overnight.

Notes:

  • I used orange essence to flavour mine
  • You can add more citric acid to the sugar if you want them sourer (or add more to the worms instead)
  • I found the easiest method was to draw squiggly shapes in the sugar with the handle of a teaspoon, then gently squeeze out the gelatin - it then fell into the grooves left by the squiggles
  • Sometimes, the worms sunk into the sugar a little bit - you can go back and add another layer of gelatin if necessary (also a good way of making weird multicoloured ones!)
  • I found it easier to use smaller baking tins as this meant the sugar came to a higher level in the tin, and there was less chance of the gelatin sticking to the bottom of the tin (but it does mean it takes longer while you wait for each batch to dry)
  • To make the different coloured worms out of the same batch, I left the main supply of gelatin in the saucepan. I poured a little bit into the squeeze bottle, then added the gel colour and shook it up. When this was used up, I added more of the gelatin and began again with a new colour.