As international cuisine has exploded in popularity I thought it might be nice to talk about a new trend in fashionable eating. It is not inexpensive, but you can guarantee your guests a unique treat with some tastes that they literally have never experienced before. Yes, we’re talking about interstellar cuisine.
Here is a pairing that only the gods could have dreamed up – the tangy meat of the hargneux combined with the soft, delayed explosive umami of the eclote make for an unforgettable dining experience.
The hargneux is found only on the planet Telemachus, which orbits the star Alpha Centauri B, and has only been recently named officially. AC B is part of a triple star group which is “only” 4.3 light years from Earth, making it about as close to us as it’s possible to get in interstellar terms. Because Telemachus is so close to AC B (only four million miles, versus the Earth’s 96 million from the Sun) the radiated intensity of the star makes it uninhabitable for Earthlike life, but some of the fauna there has been found to be quite tasty when it is prepared properly. The hargneux, which is poisonous and extremely bitter tasting in its normal state, becomes a very different entrée indeed when it is subjected to spangyfication (specific doses are important, but we’ve got that covered) and has become trendy lately, but there’s a reason for that – it tastes great!
Eclote bulbs come from much farther away; Achernar is 139 million light years off, but to a transport equipped with an Al Qalb generator the difference is immaterial, so obtaining the ceruleated bulbs from Eclote is not really much more difficult than getting your bit of hargneux. You just have to have a decent retailer in your neighborhood, and there are more and more of these today as the popularity of interstellar cuisine expands.
I do not have any hargneux handy to show you step-by-step photos of the dish, but the process is not complicated and you shouldn’t have any trouble following the directions, which are really very simple. I do have an old photo of some slices cut for another dish, though:
Telemachean Hargneux With Ceruleated Eclote Bulbs
Ingredients (Serves four)
6 hargneux tentacles, carapace removed (reserve the spongy brainlike matter for another dish)
1 medium eclote bulb, growth arrested (see note*) and sliced
3 large shallots, sliced
Several large cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons WD-40 (Important: DO NOT SUBSTITUTE ANYTHING ELSE or the dish may be poisonous; the WD-40 is neutralized by proteins in the bulb while they degrade and become incredibly tasty)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sherry
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Sauté the shallots in olive oil, then add the sliced eclote and garlic. When they start to soften add the WD-40, which will change the odor of the bulb, releasing an irresitable aroma. When this happens the WD-40 has been neutralized. Cook the bulb until it stops making sounds of any kind.
Meanwhile: slice the hargneux into cross sections about 1/4 inch thick. Spangyfy the hargneux before adding it to the rest of the dish; try a setting of 60 µ∆ for 20 milliseconds or until the slices change color. Important: do not overspange or their extradimensional protein hooks may change polarity, and while you probably won’t notice the difference, any Telemacheans present certainly would. Just allow the flesh to start to turn purple but stop before it changes completely.
Add the hargneux sections to the bulb, using a wooden spoon to stir; metal will react with the hargneux at this temperature, causing an unsightly stain. Deglaze with the mixture of orange juice, sherry, and fresh thyme leaves.
Serve with deglazed bits and sauce, side dishes of your choice, and enjoy.
*Stop the eclote’s growth as soon as you get it home by placing it in the freezer. It will not freeze, but it will stop expanding and if you do not do this you will soon feel like Mickey Mouse in The Sorceror’s Apprentice. In its arrested state it is easy to manage and it won’t feel the cuts as you slice it into medallions. Ignore the vocalizations.