In space, no one can hear you burp

Mary
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Astronauts on the International Space Station got a taste treat last month that would make plenty of Earthbound proles jealous: a meal from Emeril "BAM" Lagasse, who'll be chatting with (and hopefully getting four-star reviews from) the spacemen tomorrow. On the menu: jambalaya, mashed potatoes with bacon, green beans with garlic, rice pudding, and mixed fruit. Hungry yet?

If the cuisine has as much spice as Lagasse is known for, all the better for the astronauts. In space, some astronauts say that food tastes blander than on Earth. One of the most requested space foods is shrimp with cocktail sauce because of its spicy kick. The ISS has a stash of hot sauce, garlic paste and Thai hot sauce to spice up food. According to astronaut Ed Lu, who lived on the ISS in 2003, the station has "enough hot sauce to feed all of Thailand."

I guess that explains why Tang is so, well, Tangy. After the jump, a recipe for space cornbread dressing you can make at home, courtesy of NASA.

Space Cornbread Dressing

12 cups cornbread, prepared, crumbled
3.75 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups onions, chopped
1.5 cups celery, chopped
.25 cups butter, unsalted
.75 tsp salt
1.25 tsp poultry seasoning
.5 tsp black pepper
2 tsp parsley flakes, dried
1 tsp sage, rubbed

Preheat convection oven to 325° F. Conventional oven should be heated to 350° F.
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Peel onions and puree in food processor. Place in bowl. Set aside.
Finely chop celery in food processor. Add to onion puree. Set aside.
Heat sauté pan over medium heat. Melt butter and sauté onion and celery mixture until soft (about 5 minutes).
Add to crumbled, prepared cornbread. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine salt, poultry seasoning, black pepper, parsley and sage.
Add to cornbread-sautéed vegetable mixture.
Add chicken broth. Mix well. Spoon dressing into prepared baking pan.
Bake for approximately 35 minutes at 325° F or 350° F, depending on oven.

For space flight preparation: Baked dressing is transferred to metal tray and freeze-dried accordingly. One serving of cornbread dressing shall weigh approximately 145 g prior to freeze-drying and 50 g after freeze-drying.

* Please note: This recipe is based on the "formulations" for actual space flight missions. Actual measurements are estimates.

* It should also be noted, "space flight food" recipes are designed with significant flavoring to compensate for the freeze-drying process.

* Space Flight Food recipes are created using "formulations" instead of traditional recipes. This is because formulations are more "reproducible" than traditional recipes. Formulations use percentages and weights, which are exact measurements, as opposed to typical U.S. recipes that are more subjective and more susceptible to user errors.

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August 9, 2006 - 3:49am
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