How to Recover from a Ginger Scald · 16 May 2011
Science fiction and fantasy transport us out of our comfort zones, into imaginary worlds where the normal rules don't apply. I try to do the same in my food adaptations and (as is to be expected) sometimes living outside the rules has consequences. The latest side effects of trying to push the cooking envelope were the left over ingredients from the Ginger Scald.
Fortunately, the ginger oil has proved a bit more reality friendly than the Scald and I've incorporated it into several tasty vegetable dishes, including the super simple spinach side below. The sweetened radishes proved a bit more difficult, but after a bit head-scratching I came up with a salad I'll be submitting for the Bookalicious Feeding America cookbook.
If you too decided that having the experience of making a Ginger Scald was worth some inconvenience in the kitchen and found creative ways to use up the left overs, I'd love to hear about it. I've still got a half cup of ginger oil left and I'm looking for a new adventure.
Spinach Salad with Garlic Ginger Oil Dressing
- One pound fresh spinach
- 4 Tbsp. ginger oil
- 2 Tbsp. garlic (or more to taste)
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
Heat ginger oil and garlic in saucepan over high heat until garlic is slightly browned.
Add spinach and stir, thoroughly coating leaves. Stir continuously until spinach is wilted but not fully cooked (about 2 minutes).
Remove pan from heat, pour in soy sauce, and stir until mixed.
I Am Not Dead · 19 September 2007
I am only crazy.
I am going on vacation.
I am going on vacation in the middle of a semester in which I am taking a full load of classes and working full time.
I have started thinking in bullet-point lists titled, "Assignments Due," "Things to Pack," "Bills to Pay Before Leaving" and taken to reading in brief moments guiltily stolen while doing other things that shouldn't be paired with reading (like sleeping).
I have taken to eating crunchy green peas as comfort food because I can't sit still when I have so much to do and they are "active food."
Nothing so unnaturally green can possible be great for you, but I figure it's better than pigging out on potato chips.
I will probably not post much of substance until I return from my trip.
Science Fiction Party Food · 25 June 2007
When last seen, I was promising new and exciting insight into the world of pasta and gelatin based products. (I was also whining a bit, but I’m better now, thank you very much).
What could motivate such a seemingly unrelated (and not very tasty sounding) combination? A blogging event of course! Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness has come up with an event that I couldn’t ignore, a Sci-Fi Party.
So much of what I make here on Honeyed Words is motivated by my reading of science fiction and/or fantasy, but the food is usually very down-to-earth. I try to explore the different themes of the books I read and draw relevance to them through food that is exciting, but accessible.
The Sci-Fi Party has as its premise a completely different spin. Stephanie has challenged the food blogging community to come up with cocktail appetizers and drinks that are visibly “science- fictionesque.” Instead of doing what I normally do here, trying to convince everyone that science fiction is meaningful, and not scary, I’m going to succumb to the stereotype, creepy aliens!
I had a lot of fun thinking up food that looked like it didn’t belong on Earth. Food is all in how we think about it, after. Things that are “alien” to one culture are perfectly commonplace in another. I tried my best to come up with ideas that didn't betray a North American slant and would seem unusual to any culture. Of course, I was limited to earthly ingredients, but modern food science has helped turn even our home-grown ingredient into a few truly unusual products.
In order to get that “real alien feel,” I brainstormed a few tried and true alien features to attempt to incorporate into the food. Here was my shortlist of characteristics that would define “alien food.”
- Includes tentacles and/or other strange protuberances
- Squishes in your mouth
- Brightly colored
When it comes down to it, do I think that aliens would actually eat the dishes I concocted? No. I think the Jell-O® treats are most likely to be served at a kid’s birthday party (you all remember green and purple ketchup right?) and that if there is carbon-based life on other planets, they’re probably eating something that is not too different from what we eat.
And do I think that I’m selling my mission down the river? No way. I hold that it’s a good rule of thumb not to take yourself too seriously. And though I do want people to stop pigeonholing science fiction and fantasy into some second-tier genre, I want them to do it because they find the genre fun and thought provoking, not just academic. So, get into the kitchen, and have some fun with these alien inspired dishes.
Oozing Flying Saucers and Tentacle Creatures
The alien version of stuffed quail, an animate flying saucer with its large brain oozing out of the top. Accompanied by a seafaring tentacle creature. (No actual aliens harmed in the making of this dish.)
- 1 oz uncooked rice noodles
- Red and yellow food coloring
- 2 small pattypan squash (for Flying Saucers)
- 2 small globe squash (for Tentacle Creatures)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp dry bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp fresh minced basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a small saucepan with sufficient water to generously cover the rice noodles. Place rice noodles into the water, completely submerging them. Add approximately 8 drops red food coloring and 6 drops yellow food coloring (adjust as desired for a more red or more yellow color). Let noodles sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Slice the tops off the squash. On the pattypans, remove the entire area on the top, above the “ridges” of the squash. On the globe squash, remove approximately the top 1/3 of the squash.
Scoop out the squash seeds, being careful not to pierce the outer rind. Discard the seeds.
Dab a bit of olive oil on the bottom of the squash, then place the squash, bottom-side down in a 9” x 9” baking pan. If necessary, cut off a bit of the bottom of the squash to provide a flat bottom surface.
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until tender. Add basil and cook for 1 additional minute.
Remove onions, garlic, and basil from heat. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in ricotta, Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper until blended.
Spoon mixture into the prepared squash shells. The mixture should be “bulging” out of the top of the pattypan squash. After spooning the mixture into the globe squash, level it off with a knife so that the mixture is flush with the squash top.
Bake 25 minutes, until sides are tender; then broil 3 minutes, until tops of the squash are golden.
While squash are baking, bring the water with the rice noodles to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for approximately 6 minutes or until noodles are tender, then drain.
When square are baked, arrange noodles as “tentacles” on top of the globe squash. Serve hot.
Jell-O® Blob Monsters
What better way to represent gooey alien delicacies than with Jell-O®? The stuff hardly looks like it belongs on earth, with its unnatural colors and jiggly texture. I jazzed up the already alien looking concoction with some fun textured candy to suggest the idea of a slimy, bumpy, alien invertebrate.
- 1 package Jell-O®
- Several small molds
- Brightly colored candy (watermelon licorice used here)
Prepare Jell-O® according to package directions.
Pour into small molds.
Place in refrigerator and set timer 1 hour. After 1 hour, stir in chopped up candy pieces.
Replace in refrigerator until finished setting.
Important note: Jell-O® is not vegetarian. The vegetarian tag on this article refers to the squash.