There are those who serve, and there are those who are served. This article is a little bit about both.
We are speaking here of the most ideal food that can be envisioned, affectionately nicknamed “long pig” by its fans, which provides 100% of the nutritional requirements for the fortunate diner. There are many cooking techniques that their devoted adherents swear by. There are many alien races who favor it exclusively even when the highest quality beef, pork, and tofu stocks are plentiful and much easier to procure. The surest guideline is to practice the same general procedures you would with any other meat of a primate nature, with the added feature that your subject once professed sentience.
- Choosing your fare. If there is any one common lesson to all the great cuisines of the world, it is that the freshness of your produce is paramount. Do try to obtain the freshest possible ingredients, giving him a slap if necessary. Look for the bright and intelligent look in the eye, flesh which is firm to the touch without seeming unduly tough, and clear, supple skin. If you find that your budget obliges you to do without the prime specimen you desire, a few hours of tenderizing over a gently bubbling chemical solution may work wonders.
- Marinate. Cold sweat is the traditional one, though many find that the prefer an acid bath with a sprig or two of herbs to tenderize the fare. There are a number of off-the-shelf seasoning mixes specifically for serving man that you might like to try and decide on your favorite.
- A few words before we begin. It is a nice touch to inform the guests of any special circumstances leading to the occasion, a very brief biography of the featured guest, and/or any notes on the cooking methods employed by the chef. Do not prolong this recitation overly lest the guests become restive.
- Presentation. When serving our creation at an elegant feast, increase the wow factor by proper application of garnish, consisting perhaps of the individual's suit of armor or treasured McGuffin. Elegant tableware that emphasizes the provenance of the fare (for example featuring their coat of arms or a photographic likeness) add a little frisson to the dining experience. For a simpler, less formal, function, a homestyle presentation where the guests serve themselves from the platter leads to a more convivial atmosphere among those in attendance.
Strokes of genius
- Raw. Try this if you are very confident in the excellence of your specimen, or if you are particularly interested in the screams of protest during the feast. Certain species both of this Earth and from beyond it swear by the simplest and most natural means of preparation, making it something we humans might consider to our own advantage as well. One caveat regarding the avoidance of parasitic pathogens is in order however, something a health care professional with good diagnostic equipment can determine in advance of the feast.
- Roasted. Done to a turn on a spit, Lord of the Flies style, coated with a mustard glaze perhaps, leading to a most delectable flavor which may be paired with a robust red wine.
- Boiled. Either whole, in a large bubbling cast-iron cauldron or simmered in parts in a Dutch oven (the pieces may be browned in advance for a richer, braised dish), many account this as the most healthful of all the alternatives. A fine broth flavored with herbs and vegetables is highly prized by chefs as well. Note that boiling in oil is more of a deep-frying operation.
- Using every part. Our friends in the animal world understand well that a mature carcass should be respected as representing all the time and calories that went into its development and that none of it should go to waste. Whether reworked into items of adornment, feedstock for the menagerie, or fashioned into musical instruments, the miscellaneous parts of your victim can prove their worth in many a creative fashion.
Traps for mere fools
- Toughness. The kind of specimens that a supervillain is likely to have fall into his or her hands often display this defect. Whether it is due to a rugged life, a diet poor in nutrients and overexposed to poisons, or due to the circumstances of slaughter, it is something that the resourceful cook can often mask with the proper techniques.
- Escape. When you are out choking a chicken or slaughtering a boar, usually you have complete dominion in the situation, but if you need to go up against a wily victim, you ought really to think through every avenue of escape one might turn one's imagine toward, since the motivation to find the minutest flaw in the security system is so great. You may find it easiest to turn deaf ears to any last-minute entreaties and bargaining if your chosen butcher is, in fact, deaf or impaired in other sensory ways. Worst of all is the case where the dinner contrives to bite back.
- Lethal injections. These can lead to an off-flavor in the end and are frowned on by most chefs.
Precious and needful
- Large black cauldron. The kind you've seen in so many comic strips will do. It is best to season the cast iron before using it for the first time using a generous amount of fat, which you should have in abundance.
- Metal spit. For roasting, nice and evenly all around. To garnish, choose a nice red apple to be placed between the teeth (extra points if it's obviously wormy).
- Side dishes. Parsnips are an economical and often overlooked vegetable to accompany stews and roasts and which complement long pig admirably well. Crusty Italian bread serves very well to cleanse the palate between banquet courses and to mop up the juices. For appetizers, meatballs. For salad, thinly sliced headcheese. For dessert, ladyfingers.
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- Image credit Tough Heart, Tender Heart by Heather Lucille
- Image credit Baby Food by randem
- Image credit And You Thought I Was So Innocent by goodnight_photography
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