Not only is Kevin J Anderson one of the giants in the SF writing world, but his publishing house, Wordfire, is a bright new light in the field. When I asked him for a dish and a title, he was gracious enough to send it along, and I was delighted to see what was in store for me. “For the book, the just-released anthology 2113, stories inspired by the music of Rush, edited by me and John McFetridge. It has new fiction by me, Michael Z Williamson, David Farland, Brian Hodge, Brad Torgersen,Dayton Ward, Mercedes Lackey, and more. (And it’s got a naked guy on the cover.)”
It does indeed, although he’s facing discreetly away, and one hopes the water isn’t too cold. I found myself intrigued by the concept of the anthology – discovering that there were science fiction songs, about a decade ago, was a revelation to me. (Yes, I know, but my contact with pop culture has been intermittent and odd. Comes of growing up with no TV and certainly not that kind of music.) As an adult, discovering songs like Red Barchetta was a delightful surprise, as are some of the stories in this anthology.
The dish that Kevin sent me was also a pleasure.
Spaghetti Squash with Peanut Sauce
As my regular readers know, I love cooking Thai food, and have done a peanut sauce before in ETWYRT (Dan Hoyt) but this whole recipe is super simple, with very little cooking involved. I wound up using it as lunch on a lovely late spring day. It would work very well as a side dish. I have, of course, made some minor alterations to the magazine clipping recipe I was given.
I started with the squash, since it needed to actually be cooked. The squash I was using was on the smaller side, and I was able to cut it in half with very little difficulty, although some instructions suggest microwaving it whole (poke a fork in the rind to release steam) for 5 minutes before attempting to halve it. I then place it cut-side down in a glass baking dish with a little water, and microwaved it for 15 minutes.
While the squash was cooking, I assembled the sauce ingredients.
- 2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth, although I suppose you could use chunky)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- a garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 tsp garlic chilli sauce (more if you like spicy! This made it ‘mild’)
- chopped peanuts for topping
- julienned mint and cilantro for topping
In the blender, combine all the sauce ingredients and puree.
Pull the squash out of the microwave and carefully scrape up the ‘noodles’ with a fork. They will still be a little crispy to the bite, but that’s ok. They aren’t pasta, and they won’t feel like pasta in the mouth, but they are still good. Toss the noodles and sauce together, put it on the plate and sprinkle desired toppings over it.
Serve with mango nectar. The peach-and-turpentine flavor of mango actually works really well with the rich, slightly tart, a little spicy, flavor of the sauce.
Great summertime lunch when you’re tired of salad! Could be really lovely on the side with grilled chicken, too.