Dinner and a Touch of Sci-Fi

2012.Feb.21 Tuesday · 0 comments

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

I’ve been a science fiction reader since I was kid. I might have one of the longest running subscriptions to Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine, having subscribed since the first issue in 1977 (I’m sure there are others too who’ve been regular readers since the beginning). These days, it arrives as if by magic, on my tablet computer via the Zinio magazine service – a fitting destiny for a publication championing the world of technology. Unlike many sci-fi readers who think it should be all space and robots and tech, however, I don’t eschew the world of fantasy fiction. And among my favorite writers as I was growing up was Andre Norton. Now, Andre, a.k.a. Andrew North and Allen Weston, was one of the first ladies of sci-fi and fantasy. In her heyday the field was a man’s world, and fearing that publishing under her own name, Alice Mary North, would garner little respect or readership, she published throughout her career under her three noms de plume. This weekend would have been her 100th birthday and although there was no influence on the cuisine, it seemed fitting to me to acknowledge the weekend as her centennial. She got close to making it, too, having passed away in April 2005 at the age of 93 and a few months.

Chilled Carrot Soup, Garam Masala Ice Cream

Chilled, spicy carrot soup with a garam masala ice cream – we gave this one a trial run during a private dinner a couple of weeks ago and it was really well received. This time too!

Seafood gratin

Mixed seafood gratin – cubes of salmon, scallops with their coral, and shrimp. Topped with a reduced white wine, cream and heart of palm mixture – a little garlic and onion in their for good measure, then over that a good grating of pecorino romano cheese and slivered almonds – into the oven and baked until golden brown.

Artichoke and Caper Risotto

Vegetable stock and white wine risotto finished with chopped artichoke hearts, grana padano cheese, and then topped with fried capers, toasted sunflower seeds and ground sumac.

Hake with Chickpeas in Sofreito

Brought back a favorite – baked hake over a spiced zucchini puree, chickpeas cooked in sofreito with lemon, pink peppercorn spiked yogurt and smoked paprika oil.

Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse Tartlet

Almond crust, dark chocolate olive oil mousse, moscato infused caramel, pink Hawaiian sea salt. Anything else need be said?

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