Vegetarian Week: Sontaran Soldiers
Your Kitchen Overlord is sneaking away a great train caper. Rather than leave you hungry in my absence, this week I’m reprinting five of my best vegetarian recipes in honor of the fact that I’m traveling from the hipster enclave of Austin to the hippie rainforest of Portland in a retro-futuristic style the Victorians would’ve admired.
Today, Strax rejoices as many fine Sontaran warriors are slain in the ongoing battle against the evils of gluten.
Admit it. The first time you saw the Sontarans, you found yourself craving a fresh baked potato. Luckily for you, that means you have a super simple, easily recognizable, totally Whovian recipe that doesn’t require any special ingredients and can be instantly configurable for vegans, vegetarians, or gluten free guests. As a bonus, it’s even made of things people will actually eat. If any of your guests don’t instantly recognize these guys, they’re lying about their love of Doctor Who.
6 russet baking potatoes (jacket potatoes for UK readers)
6 tbsp/180 g butter
12 tbsp/180 g kosher salt or coarse sea salt
12 blue cupcake tins
small frozen blueberries
½ cup or equally sized small serving bowls of toppings such as:
fake’n bac’n bits
There are two ways to make baked potatoes; the fast way and the delicious way. The fast way is to simply poke the potato with a fork a few times and microwave it into oblivion. You can do that if you’re really crunched for time, but for the purposes of this recipe, I’m going to pretend you opted for the delicious way instead.
Preheat your oven to 400F. While it’s heating, give your potatoes a good, firm scrubbing. You want to get rid of any residual dirt and, as it happens, texturize the skins slightly at the same time.
Once all your potatoes are nice and clean, rub each one down with a tablespoon of butter. It’s okay if you have some butter left over as long as you’ve thoroughly coated the potatoes. Now that they’re nice and buttery, rub each potato down with two tablespoons of coarse kosher or sea salt.
Arrange your potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake them at 400F/205C for one hour.
While your potatoes are merrily baking away, fill half a dozen small serving bowls with your choice of baked potato toppings; butter, bacon bits, chives, sour cream, salsa, cheese, diced onions, or whatever you like on a potato.
When the baked potatoes are finished, take them out of the oven and let them rest for at least 10 minutes. Brush off the excess salt, cut each potato in half, and put the halves cut side down into a blue cupcake tin. If you’re really lucky, your grocery might even have the blue metallic cupcake tins, which add a really nice touch. Either way, your potato in its blue collar already looks like a Sontaran. Complete the effect by adding a couple finishing details.
First, push the almond into the upper middle of the face for the nose. Next, cut two horizontal slits just above the nose. Push your frozen blueberries in place for the eyes. Don’t use fresh blueberries. You want something that can stand up to some pressure. To make the mouth, carve a squared frown just below the nose. Pull the skin out slightly and add a little catsup to really define the mouth.
You now have a dozen Sontaran soldiers to serve your guests, should they be worthy. All hail Sontar!
You can find plenty of recipes for your Doctor Who viewing party (plus plenty of other recipes that look like familiar aliens) in Dining With The Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook.
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