Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Star Wars Day


Happy Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you. 

As the "holiday" approached, my family knew that we needed to celebrate, or at least commemorate, Star Wars day in some small way, but frankly, the observance was getting to be somewhat perfunctory. Frankly, I was getting bored with the Lucas Grand Vision. Sure, we could have watched A New Hope for the 100th time and recited the script. Sure, we could have made up a drinking game to go along with Return of the Jedi. Sure, we could have played Mystery Science Theater 3000 with Revenge of the Sith. Well, maybe we couldn’t have done that last one. Some things are just too painful to mock. It would be like mooning a person with terminal cancer. It just isn’t done.  

I figured at least we could model our dinner meal around Star Wars to at least show our geek patriotism in some way, but all of the Stars Wars-themed recipes on the Internet were pretty pathetic. Most were along the lines of “wookie cookies,” which, to my surprise, did not actually contain real animal hair. Clearly, it was up to me to create a proper Star Wars meal. So, with the help of my family, we did just that. Actually, my wife came up with most of the ideas. It was just left up to me to turn them into recipes and actually make the food.

The meal consisted of a Tatooine coconut curry on couscous (representing the sand and the exotic desert culture), a Dagobah swamp stir fry (watery vegetables all in shades of green and white), and a Hoth smoothie (frozen bananas, coconut, soy milk, and vanilla frozen yogurt). For dessert we had frozen yogurt with Magic Shell...to represent Han Solo in the carbonite. Clever, right? 

The Dagobah stir fry (water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, bok choy, green beans, tofu, and an experimental sauce that I will never again repeat) was not a big hit, but most of the family members loved the curry and the smoothie. The recipes for both of them follow. 

Of course, now that Star Wars Day is over, I need to get going on tomorrow’s menu for Cinco de Mayo. Maybe I’ll make some wookie enchiladas. Without the animal hair.

TATOOINE COCONUT CURRY WITH COUS COUS

3 green onions
2 cloves garlic
2-4 carrots (about 1 cup chopped)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
15 oz can coconut milk
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can chick peas
1-2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 cup dried cous cous
1 cup water

Chop the onions and press the garlic. Saute both in  large frying pan in the oil about 1 minute, then add the carrots and saut√© a couple more minutes till the carrots are just tender. Drain and rinse the chick peas. Stir into the pan the curry powder, cumin, coconut milk, tomato sauce, chick peas, and Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce) and simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook cous cous to directions separately and fluff with fork.  Serves 6-8. Or possibly 3-4 if you are hungry.

Note: I actually made homemade paneer (Indian cheese) and added chunks of the cheese to the curry. However, the chunks dissolved in the curry, simply thickening the sauce. I personally don’t think the paneer is necessary for the curry, but I leave it for y’all to decide when you make the recipe yourself.
 

HOTH SMOOTHIES

3 frozen bananas
¼ cup finely shredded coconut
2 cups soy milk
2 cups vanilla frozen yoghurt

Blend all ingredients in blender till smooth but not melted. Serves 4.

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