Pasta al fiorella

As one of Geordi La Forge’s favourite meals, you would think he’d get the name right. Is it pasta al fiorella, as he ordered at the Deep Space Nine Replimat (TNG: Birthright, Part I), or pasta alla fiorella, the traditional dish? Either way, the Replimat seemed to understand him when he ordered two servings for him and Worf to enjoy. 

Unfortunately for Geordi, the Replimat produced a dish that tasted like liquid polymer - but Worf definitely liked it. I must say, I am getting a little skeptical of the Klingon palate (or maybe it’s just Worf) as he also enjoyed the 'Owon eggs that everyone else found so disgusting. This recipe is very flexible - add more or less of any ingredient in the sauce as you wish. I’ve provided a recipe for homemade pasta below but you can always use store bought too of course. 

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Replicate your own
(Serves 2 as a main course)

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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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Replicate your own
(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. 

Replicate your own
(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!

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

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Keiko vs Miles pt 1: Corned beef (hash) and eggs

Newlywed life, as Keiko and Miles O’Brien discovered, can have its ups and downs. One minute, you’re in marital bliss, and the next, you’re wondering what on earth your wife has served you for breakfast. In this two-part series, I’m going to look at both their breakfast choices and determine which is superior. First up: Miles O’Brien’s corned beef and eggs!

I have interpreted Miles’ “Corned beef and eggs” for breakfast as corned beef hash and eggs. If you prefer, you can always slice up some corned beef and serve it with eggs, but I felt that corned beef hash made a better breakfast. This is certainly a hearty start to the day!

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Replicate your own
(Serves 2)

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Rokeg Blood Pie

***Red alert! This post discusses the preparation of blood. If you don’t want to read about this, I suggest reversing your engines, changing course and coming back next week!***

So let’s get one thing straight. Rokeg Blood Pie, in my opinion, should be made with…blood. None of this raspberry puree stuff. I just can’t imagine a bunch of battle-weary Klingons sitting down to a delicate raspberry pie as part of a main meal. Blood, on the other hand, has all sorts of iron-enhancing properties which I am sure is good for preparing for battle. 

This pie is essentially black pudding/boudin noir filling inside a pastry crust. The best way to describe the flavour is to say it is like eating a very rich sausage roll. You will need a few Klingons to help finish this pie, as you’ll only need small slices as it is quite rich. 

I made 2 versions of this pie - for the first, as you see below, I made a traditional pie, with pastry and the Klingon insignia as decoration on the top. The second is at the end of the post and reflects how the pie appears in The Next Generation (A Matter of Honor). The filling is the same in both cases. 

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Replicate your own
(Makes a pie to serve 8-10 people)

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An Earl Grey Tea Party for Captain Picard Day

As you’re probably already aware, the 16th of June is celebrated as Captain Picard Day. He’s a role model! Captain Picard Day is usually celebrated by making artwork of all types which somehow represents Captain Picard. But I got to thinking: surely there needs to be some food for Captain Picard Day too! Taking inspiration from his favourite drink, I present - an Earl Grey Tea Party for Captain Picard Day.

For our tea party, we have some Earl Grey shortbread biscuits, an Earl Grey MarTEAni (made with Earl Grey infused gin and served in a teacup, or a martini glass if you prefer), and some Earl Grey cupcakes with lemon icing. Not shown: some actual Earl Grey tea, hot! The beauty of all of these recipes is that if you don’t like Earl Grey tea, you can substitute for any other black tea you like.

The full recipes and more photos are under the break, but here’s a handy clickable list to go straight to a specific recipe:

Earl Grey MarTEAni
Earl Grey Shortbreads
Earl Grey Cupcakes with lemon icing

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Replicate your own

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Balso Tonic (cucumber juice)

This drink comes to us from the Trill homeworld, where it is enjoyed for its medicinal qualities. While it was not available via the Federation food replicators (TNG: The Host), I think this is definitely a drink that can be enjoyed far and wide.

Balso tonic is not shown on screen, only mentioned. In coming up with a suitably healthy drink for the Trill, I decided on a base of cucumber juice. Cucumbers are not only refreshing, they have all sorts of health benefits such as helping to rehydrate you, assisting with skin and hair care and can apparently also help relieve joint and arthritis pain. The additional benefit to this drink is that it is delicious and great in the heat! So next time you’re feeling like you need to exchange host bodies, make yourself some balso tonic, and hopefully your next joining will go as smoothly as possible.

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Replicate your own
(Makes about 400ml of cucumber juice)

1 English cucumber
Juice of 1 lemon
3-4 sprigs of mint (a good handful)
100ml water
1 teaspoon sugar (optional, to taste)
Soda water (optional)

Coarsely chop the cucumber and throw the pieces into a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 3-4 minutes until it is smooth. 

Strain the juice into a jug, pushing the pulp down with a back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.

To serve, add more lemon juice or sugar as needed (to taste), and top up with soda water if desired. Garnish with a piece of cucumber and an additional sprig of mint.

Notes:

  • I prefer to blend everything together so it is well integrated, but you could also blend the cucumbers first so you have a neutral juice base you can then add other flavours to.
  • I don’t bother peeling the cucumbers before blending, as they’re all going to be strained anyway, but you can peel the cucumbers if you wish.
  • The cucumber juice also makes a great cocktail base - Hendricks gin is recommended!
  • Add some yoghurt to the leftover pulp and you will have a smooth, raita-like dipping sauce.
Thalian chocolate mousse

Hearing Ensign Wesley Crusher describe Thalian chocolate mousse (The Next Generation: The Dauphin) definitely makes me want to try it. Cocoa beans which have been aged for 400 years?! This really sounds like it would make good chocolate mousse. No wonder this was the dish Wesley chose to impress Salia, the new leader of her planet travelling to her destination.

While there’s lots of shapeshifting (including a quick appearance by Shelly from Twin Peaks!) and other adventures going on in this episode, I have always wondered about this chocolate mousse, and was keen to try it. The resulting recipe did not disappoint: it’s quite rich, chocolate-y, and quite light. The perfect combination with which to impress new leaders!

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Replicate your own
(Makes 6 individual servings)

250g dark cooking chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
25g butter, at room temperature, chopped into a few pieces
300ml cream
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Generous pinch of salt

For the optional topping:
4-5 tablespoons dessicated coconut
6 packets of pop rocks (one for each mousse)

Start by melting the chocolate. You can do this either in the microwave, in short 20 second bursts, stirring each time; or via the double boiler method on the stove. To do this, place a saucepan of boiling water on the stove, and place a second saucepan or glass bowl over the top. Stir while the chocolate melts. With either method, ensure that no water comes into contact with the chocolate as this can cause it to seize.

Once the chocolate is fully melted, stir in the butter. This may cause your chocolate to look like it is starting to seize and it may come together into a lump. Don’t panic!

Stir in the cream bit by bit, mixing as you go, and your chocolate should revert to its smooth liquid state. Next add the egg yolks and stir to combine, and sprinkle in the salt.

Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar, and continue whipping until you have firm peaks.

Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. You want to keep in as much air as possible. Be gentle but make sure that the egg whites are completely mixed in.

Spoon your mousse into individual serving glasses or bowls and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours, or overnight.

When you are ready to serve the mousse, make the topping (which is optional, but awesome): Mix together the dessicated coconut and the pop rocks in a small bowl, then spoon onto the top of the mousse. You need to do this once the mousse is set otherwise the pop rocks will dissolve into the mousse.

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You will end up with a deliciously rich and smooth dessert, with a topping which is literally out of this world! Certainly something for young ensigns to impress passing young leaders with!

Crumpets

Along with Star Trek, I am also a big fan of traditional detective stories. Therefore, when Star Trek is combined with the work of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I think it’s fabulous. I am, of course, talking about Data’s adventures with the Sherlock Holmes world, and more specifically Processor Moriarty in The Next Generation. This time, we’re focusing on the first time we see Professor Moriarty in Elementary, Dear Data. I always liked Daniel Davis’ rendition of Professor Moriarty - super intelligent and potentially dangerous, yes; but also concerned with keeping his hostages safe and feeding them lots of tea and crumpets.

So we turn to today’s recipe: crumpets! I know this isn’t your exotic Klingon or Ferengi food, but crumpets definitely hold their own in the satisfaction stakes. The crumpet batter does need time to rise so you’ll need to start about 1 hour before you want to eat them. I like all kinds of crumpets and definitely thought these were an improvement over the store-bought kind.

Replicate your own
(Makes 15-18 crumpets depending on the size of the mould you use)
Based on the recipe at Sunday Hotpants

You will need to start about 1 or 1 1/2 hours ahead. You will also need some metal circular moulds such as crumpet, egg moulds or round cookie cutters to help shape the crumpets while they’re cooking.

300g milk
10g sugar
7g dried yeast (one sachet)
375g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
200ml water
Pinch of salt

Mix together the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl, and make a well in the centre. Add the milk and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place, until the mixture has doubled in size, about 1 or 1 1/2 hours.

Once doubled, in a small bowl mix the baking soda with the water, and then add this to the mixture and stir in well.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and melt some butter into the pan. You also need to grease your moulds - I used cooking spray to do this.

When the frying pan is hot, place the moulds on, and add 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into the moulds. The mixture will start rising up the moulds and small bubbles will form on the surface. Once the bubbles begin to pop, you can remove the mould (with tongs! it’s hot!) and then flip the crumpet over.

Cook the crumpet until it is lightly browned on both sides, then remove to a plate while you continue cooking the rest.

The crumpets can be served warm or cool, and can be gently toasted. Suggested toppings include jam, honey, maple syrup, melted chocolate, Nutella - or just eat plain. Serve with a lovely cup of tea and hope that if you ever meet Professor Moriarty, he will treat you to this lavish feast.

Notes:

  • You can start by heating the milk until it is lukewarm, adding the yeast and sugar, and leaving this for 10 minutes to activate the yeast if you wish. I am impatient so therefore skipped that step.