Star Wars is huge right now, but for those of us who cried at the age of 5 until their parent took them to see A New Hope, we have believed in The Force for a whole lifetime.
A Wedding in a Galaxy
Far, Far Away…
I dreamt of a Star Wars wedding, but until the geeks took over the cool room in the house, it was always my fear that the Daily Fail would get the pictures and poke fun, but no longer!
Yes, Star Wars IS cool and if you want Darth Vader to walk you down the aisle, you go girl.
I am a very proud member of the 501st UK Garrison and although it has been over 5 years since I last “trooped” I know that the Imperial might would take centre stage for me at any celebrations in the future.
So what does one serve a Sith for dinner? How do you ensure the Wookies don’t shed in the food? And most importantly, how does Darth enjoy the whole thing without Force choking anybody?
Hands up, I love TFA, but I am an Original Trilogy girl, so my menu takes on the three greatest films ever made.
A NEW HOPE
The first in the original trilogy needs to be your starter!
So a trip to the Cantina for your starter and arrival drink is a must. Whilst the band play along with “that” song, it is time to enjoy Blue Milk to your heart’s content (if you can book Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes then you are a true Jedi!)
I always think of Blue Milk as a twist on a Pina Colada, but I think it needs a hot holiday in Tunisia twist:
• 50ml Blue Curacao
• 50ml coconut milk
• 50ml Boukha (Tunisian Fig Brandy)
• 75ml fresh apple or pear juice
Shake them all together and serve over ice. So my starter took such a short time to choose, as I have been sharing this joke for years.
Admiral Ackbar Mon Calamari
Served in little paper cones, made from home printed Rebel Alliance newspapers, emblazoned with “it’s a snack”, these crisp fried squid rings would be served with wedges of fresh lemon and an aioli dip.
Not wanting to leave out our veggie guests, I turned to Aunt Beru, who can clearly be seen preparing Fennel in the Lars Homestead.
Aubergine Chips with Fennel Yoghurt
Sliced chunky chips of aubergine are dipped in egg and then seasoned panko breadcrumbs before deep frying.
These are served with a dip made from fresh pureed fennel, yoghurt, coriander, mayonnaise and lemon juice.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
The main course HAS to be Empire!
So do we go for Ham Solo, C3-Pea-O, or something that is not Chewie or on the Dark Side? Nope, I want to have something that has been created by a master of all things; Root Leaf Stew thanks to Yoda.
In my last blog I talked about a sharing experience, that will allow people to pick and choose what they want, as well as get people who might not know each other, talking. The same is true here and I have created a table feast for all based on Master Yoda’s original dish, so I give you Curried Stews of Root and Leaf thanks to Yotam Ottolenghi (who I also love more than I should!)
Curry roasted root vegetables with lime
I’d definitely make an effort to track down some fresh curry and lime leaves for this.
They will transform the dish in ways dried ones could only dream of. Serves four.
• 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 6cm x 2cm batons
• 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 6cm x 2cm batons
• 1 small swede, peeled and cut into 6cm x 2cm batons
• 60ml olive oil
• 3 tbsp lime juice
• 2 tsp curry powder
• Salt and pepper
• 6 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or frozen, very finely shredded
• 30 fresh curry leaves, kept on the stem
• 10 spring onions, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 6cm segments
• 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Heat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put the carrots, parsnips and swede in a large roasting tray (around 30cm by 40cm is ideal).
Add the oil, half the lime juice, the curry powder, one and a quarter teaspoons of salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Mix well and roast for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice along the way.
Add the lime leaves, curry leaves and spring onion, and roast for a further 10 minutes, until the vegetables have taken on a nice golden-brown colour and the spring onions have softened.
Remove the tray from the oven, pour over the remaining lime juice, sprinkle over the coriander and serve hot.
Vine leaf and lamb pie
Don’t be intimidated by vine leaves – they’re only hard work when you have to stuff them individually.
This dish gives you all of the flavour advantages with none of the fiddle. The sweet currants or barberries cut the richness of the lamb. You can get vine leaves and barberries from Middle Eastern stores or online. While this pie is lovely warm, if anything it’s even better at room temperature. Serves four to six.
• 400g minced lamb
• 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground allspice
• 130g arborio rice
• 1 medium tomato, diced
• 30g pine nuts, toasted
• 30g currants or barberries
• ½ tsp dried mint
• 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, shredded
• Salt and black pepper
• 30 vine leaves in brine
• 500ml vegetable stock
• 90g Greek yoghurt
• 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. In a large bowl, mix the lamb, onion, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, rice, tomato, pine nuts, currants, and dried and fresh mint. Add half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper, mix with your hands, then set aside.
Rinse the vine leaves in running cold water and pat dry. Cut a circle of greaseproof paper to fit the base of a 24cm high-sided ovenproof sauté pan. Lay the paper on the base of the pan and on top lay two-thirds of the vine leaves, shiny side down and slightly overlapping, so they cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Press in the lamb mix evenly and fold the edges of the leaves over the filling. Lay the remaining vine leaves, shiny side up this time, over the top and sides, so the lamb is sealed and the ensemble looks like a neat cake.
Pour over the stock and place a plate or pan lid on top, to keep the pie gently pressed down and immersed. Put the pan on the stove, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, by which time only a little stock ought to remain.
Remove and leave to rest for five minutes, during which time the cake should soak up the last of the stock. Invert on to a clean plate, remove the paper and serve with the yoghurt and lemon on the side.
Place the pies and vegetables on the tables, with breads, salads, rice and yoghurt, for people to dig in and share. Imagine you are sitting down to dinner in Cloud City, just not with Darth Vader dropping in unannounced, oh and serve it all with Jawa Juice!
RETURN OF THE JEDI
It is time to think of cute teddy bears, original endings before Hayden Christiansen came and ruined everything and Klatooine Paddy Frogs (which just don’t work as a dessert!).
Now I have made lots of fun Star Wars cakes, my favourite is Sticky Toffee Vader, but for a plated pud, this just wouldn’t work… “oh look mummy, I got Vader’s left eye socket!”
I decided to get creative and made a trio of desserts and let me childish side loose:
• Meringues piped in the shape of Jabba the Hutt, served with a Hoth vanilla Ice Cream and a berry coulis
• Wookie Cookies (yes, they’re Chewie) which if you are feeling adventurous you can sandwich two cookies either side of a ball of ice cream to create a TIE Fighter!
• Han in Carbonite Jelly, which is a green jelly with little jelly babies inside.
May the Force be with you
So there you have it, an idea that my Star Wars brain got carried away with.
Until next time… May the Force be with you xxx