These came in the mail for me on the same day:
I have a feeling Star Wars: The Force Awakens will break all the box office records, or at least the December ones. It’ll probably break all the merchandising records as well. Heck, I want to get my older grandson a BB-8 and he has no idea about any of this stuff at all. Yet when I showed him the photo, he was immediately attracted to it, oohing and aahing, as if he knew all about droids. That’s okay—I can think of worse franchises to hook youngsters on. I’m just really hopeful that the new trilogy will be great, or at least tolerable… surely die-hard fans will find much to criticize. They always do.
But this is a blog about FOOD! (Mostly.)
I recently viewed the six Star Wars films for some food ideas. However, the Star Wars world (and its characters) is not exactly obsessed with food, certainly unlike the Middle-earth milieu, whereby our most popular characters constantly discuss food and the lack thereof. In Star Wars, it’s often a matter of a particular creature eating another creature—no bacon, butter, or baking involved. If you do an internet search for “Star Wars Foods” you’ll see all sorts of basic foods with clever names and shapes, though many mimic Princess Leia’s hair buns. Lots of other characters are sculpted out of Jell-0 or are simply referred to by wordplay (Boba Fettuccini and Hanburger Casserole stand out).
For Legendarium, I created three recipes in honor of the premiere. I figured I’d go ahead and present all of them in one blog post for you, since they go together very well as a complete meal. Make the dessert first and set it aside. Then start the pasta dish and make the pea pods at the same time.
Happy Holidays and see you next year!
Perhaps when Chewbacca needs some comforting food—such as when he seems on the verge of losing an important game while traveling around the galaxy—he might like to nibble on these decadent treats. These have the added bonus of being excellent winter holiday cookies!
- ⅓ cup soft salted butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons 1% milk
- 8 ounces chopped sugar dates
- 4 ounces chopped pecans
- 1 cup dark corn syrup
- 4 extra large eggs
- 2 teaspoons dry orange peel
- 1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 ounces shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9″ square pan with foil, leaving a couple inches overhanging on two sides. Spray the foil and pan sides. Combine the butter, sugar, flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and milk in a large bowl on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until well mixed. It will be somewhat crumbly. Press into the pan evenly and bake 10 minutes. Reuse the bowl; don’t bother washing it. Combine the dates and pecans in the bowl and sprinkle all over the baked crust. In the same bowl, whisk together the corn syrup, eggs, orange peel, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and ½ teaspoon salt until they are well combined. Pour mixture all over the dates. Sprinkle the coconut all over evenly and bake 35 minutes. Place on a rack for 2 hours. In a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar, orange juice, and ½ teaspoon vanilla well and drizzle all over. Lift out with the foil and cut into 24 pieces. Cover and keep at room temperature.
“Ménage à Millennium”
I’m imagining the Millennium Falcon household consisting of three people for awhile, in a sort of cozy, cooperative alliance. Pair it with the Yoda Pods if you need to feed four people. Although the recipe is presented in three parts, one person can easily put it all together while the pasta is cooking. Good nutrition and fast preparation are important when you’re on the run (or when you just happen to have a busy schedule!).
Part One (Leia):
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- A large seedless English cucumber
Combine everything but the cucumber in a large bowl with a whisk. Peel the cucumber, cut off the stems, and cut it into 2″ long julienned strips. Add to the vinegar mixture and combine well. Let it stand.
Part Two (Luke):
- 6 ounces chow mein stir-fry noodles (chuka soba—spaghetti will work as well)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Prepare the noodles in a 4-quart pot as directed. Drain and place back in the pot. Combine with the oil and soy sauce; cover and set aside.
Part Three (Han):
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 cup chopped scallions
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon aji-mirin (sweet rice wine)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon crushed ginger
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray. Fry the pork and scallions over high heat until the pink is gone. Whisk the remaining ingredients in a 1-cup glass measure well. Add to the meat and boil 1 minute, mixing till well combined.
Divide the pasta between 3 bowls or plates. Top with the meat mixture. Stir the cucumber mixture and add to the plate. For an optional garnish, you can sprinkle it all with some black sesame seeds (1 tablespoon should do it) and serve. Cover and chill leftovers. Serves 3.
Recently I’ve heard spicy food can actually help you live longer. This must explain why I have a relative who is currently 102 years old and has smoked cigarettes since she was 12, but has also eaten green chiles since she was 2. All of that delicious vitamin C in those chiles must have counteracted the nicotine. Perhaps Master Yoda has discovered this secret as well! Spicy food might help to counteract whatever dark forces might be operating in one’s life. Here’s a recipe designed exclusively for Yoda—it packs a SPICY punch, has plenty of nut protein and some much-needed fiber and vitamins in those vegetables. And if you’re just not sure about the spice, prepare it with half the chili paste. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away. Add or add not—there is no try. Maybe “when 900 years old you reach, look as good, you will not.” But you might end up looking pretty good at 90…
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili paste with garlic (or chili garlic sauce)
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 8 ounces fresh snow pea pods
- 2 cups scallions, cut into 1″ diagonal pieces
- 2 ounce dry roasted and salted peanuts
Combine the water, soy sauce, and chili paste in a 1-cup glass measure with a whisk; set aside. Place oil in a wok or a 5-quart deep skillet over very high heat. Stir-fry the peas and scallions over very high heat for 2 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and boil for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the peanuts and mix. Serve immediately. Cover and chill leftovers. Serves 4-6.