Thursday, 30 April 2015

Interstellar Food - A Meal with the Stars

This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong said this and started jumping around on the moon. Whenever I watch this video, I feel as if in the end, everybody loves ‘space’ to jump around (pun intended!). Let it be on earth or on the moon.
Astronauts stay in space for days and sometimes even months. It’s like a home away from home but just ‘too’ far away. So the question which always grills my mind is - WHAT DO THEY EAT IN SPACE? Though I knew that they used to have those toothpaste like tubes to have the food from times are changing and so is the ‘Interstellar Menu’. To keep the food edible for longer missions, it is dehydrated and packed in a solid form. Imagine taking a ‘bite’ of your chicken stew. All the fluid items like milk, soup etc. are dehydrated too in a powdered form. 
Thanks to the NASA scientists, who made it possible to hydrate the food by mixing hot or cold water when in space and make food a ‘bit’ tastier. But no matter what, the mesmerizing aroma of the food drifts away before it can stimulate an astronaut because of almost zero gravity. So the exulting sensation of the food felt by the tongue and the nose is absent. But these men and women, do all this ‘in the name of science’. I respect these guys because if I would have been an astronaut, my kitchen would’ve followed me. Since food is important, astronauts are invited for tasting session where they can recommend the dishes for future missions. Though these days they have freeze dried sausage patties and much more but there is one thing Buzz Aldrin enjoyed in one of the missions - “Shrimp Cocktail”. From the word cocktail, I remember that I am very fond of preparing hot or warm cocktail recipes. He had something to say about it- “they were chosen one by one to make sure they would be tiny enough to squeeze out of the food packet, and they were delicious!” Let’s try this appetizer for our brave astronauts ‘in the name of science”.
For Court Bouillon:
1 lemon,
2 bay leaves,
1 diced onion,
5 sprigs thyme,
2 diced carrots,
1/2 bunch parsley,
10 cups cold water,
2 diced stalks celery,
5 diced garlic cloves.
For Shrimp:
Cocktail Sauce,
Lemon wedges,
1 pound rinsed shrimp,
1 tablespoon kosher salt.
For Cocktail Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1 juiced lemon,
Hot sauce to taste,
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish,
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.
Preparation Method for Shrimp Cocktail:
  1. Add water, onion, garlic, lemon, parsley, carrot, celery, thyme and bay leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add shrimp into the liquid. Turn off the heat. Cook shrimp. Stir occasionally for 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel them. Refrigerate if you are not serving immediately. If refrigerated, bring shrimps to room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
  3. To serve put the cocktail sauce in glasses as shown. Loop the shrimp over the edge of the glass. Top the glass with sauce. Garnish with the lemon and serve.
Preparation Method for Cocktail Sauce:
  1. Combine ketchup, lemon zest, juice, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish in a bowl.
  2. Add hot sauce. Mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
     So do you want to enjoy food in space?

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