Monday, June 25, 2007

To boldly eat...

I’m already running late for this month’s blog party, I’ve had a crazy busy work week and yet again I’d forgotten to get the components for a suitable themed drink, always the most tricky part of the challenge for me each month.

When Stephanie came up with the theme for the blog party of Sci-Fi I think she thought I'd be as thwarted with the crockery decisions as I had been for the Wild West event but little didn't she know that I'd recently procured some little vintage black polka dot plates and rather spookily some silver sputnik shaped knife rests from fine emporium of eBay and been looking for an opportunity to premier them so I don't thwart that easily!
And as for food, I guess I need plenty of star shaped food and then place my spotty plates on a star strewn tablecloth.
So my first thought for my foray to the dark side of the moon was tiny pointy crab sandwiches, I was thinking of Cancer the crab as being a suitably starry theme but ran out of similar star sign food tie-ups unless you can stretch the analogy of the smoked salmon and cream cheese topped toast stars being 'Pisces'! But oh what to do for Virgo? I can vouch for the extreme difficulty of cutting out star-shaped toast bites with the star cutter, preserving all the five points was troublesome, however I got there in the end.

I then started thinking a little esoterically; what sort of food and Sci-Fi tie-in could I conjure up? And then it came to me in a kind of dream, I remembered the Devil’s Tower inspired mash potato sculpture from the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Perhaps I could recreate my own miniature mashed potato mountain with some little forks to mine little mouthfuls. And I think it turned out quite well, I didn’t start seeing beaming lights through the window or hearing doo, doo doo, do, doooo and mash potatoes is obviously always a good thing in my mind. I am going to gloss over the fact that I may occasionally dream about mash potato, maybe I need to get myself to Joel Robuchon's L'Atelier!

I had this idea for the last plate of nibbles to be some Parma ham and brie moon shaped croissants. And they were delicious but they weren’t the beautiful moon shaped as I’d envisaged, I think I shrunk them down a little too much and they completely unfurled whilst they were baking and I ended up with puffed triangles with tongues of rosy Parma ham sticking out. Not gorgeous, though tasty but they weren’t good enough for my blog bites. At the same time I baked some puff pastry Parmesan stars which didn’t do anything untoward in the oven and no-one ever going to reject a cheesy bite.

To compensate for my lack of croissant moons, I cut out some toast moons (yes, I do have a moon shaped cutter as well as a constellation of different sized stars) and top these off to make tuna pâté toasted moons.

And for a sweet finale I’d been pondering the rather tasteless rice paper flying saucers or tongue tingling fizzing space dust but I could only find them on retro websites and I left it too late to order any. So I visited a few places that sold pick’n’mix to see if anything inspired me but no green jelly Martians, candy rockets or sugared spaceships. But over on the confectionery counter there are a couple of suitably spacey chocolaty things that could be deployed – maybe a Mars bar or a Milky Way, but then I spotted a new sweetmeat – Mars “Planets”, hmm that might do the trick. They are kind of a deconstructed Mars bar spilt into different sized spheres. One has a soft fluffy centre, one the caramel and one was crispy – I haven’t had a Mars bar for many years but I don’t recall a crispy bit. The chocolaty spheres reminded me of a dessert we’d been offered years ago where our French chef had suggested a dish of ‘ice cream with balls’, the balls turned out to be Maltesers but he didn’t know the word Maltesers. So this is my spacier take of the ice cream with balls.

And for the drink/cocktail, the part I always struggle with – I tried to think of a spacey cocktail and thinking of the Red Bull strap line “Red Bull gives you wings”, I thought a drink that makes you believe you can fly would make a perfect finish. A Chambord Energiser has Chambord, raspberry vodka and Red Bull. I didn’t have any raspberry vodka so I made it slightly more virginal (ooh have I squeezed a Virgo reference in there?) with a good slug of Chambord, sugar free Red Bull (okay I may be clipping my wings slightly here but Red Bull does give you a massive sugar high, hence the flying I guess) and loads of frozen raspberries. I couldn’t find any suitably astro-themed cocktail stirrers so went for a favourite black sparkly brooch attached to a chopstick. Out of this world!

Sorry I was so tardy Stephanie, I’ve emerged from the black hole that was this week and I’m here and I’m feeling all kind of ready to boldly go where no blog has gone before.


Melanie Surplice said...

Hi Jo - this meal looks truly inspiring. You blog automatically makes me hungry!

J said...

You are so sweet, I enter the blog parties each month and seem to get strangely obsessed by the themes! I know, I probably need to get out more! Jx

Anonymous said...

Darling J

Love the mini mash mountain. Remember, the truth is out there!

Love M

J said...

Yes indeed and "the owls are not what they seem" (hardly Sci-Fi but still a classic!)
In case you haven't spotted it, the Taste of London is now up to date, you need wait no more!

DD said...

Star light star bright! Cute!