Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 196,828,660 Issue: 944 | 17th day of Gathering, Y23
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Draik Day Decadence


by jess_scanlan

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Hey there Neopians! In honour of Draik Day, the kitchen staff at Meridell Castle are preparing a feast. I’m here to walk you through it so you too can celebrate these sons and daughters of Meridell at home.

     The feast consists of four courses starting with a Savory Cheese Drak Head paired with your crackers of choice. King Skarl won’t be eating this one himself but have no fear, the kitchen staff are preparing a special cheese-free starter for the King. Next up is the visually stunning, as well as totally delicious Draik Soup. For our entree, I’ll be walking you through preparing a delicious Draik Steak with mashed potatoes, gravy and asparagus. Finally, we’ll finish off the feast with a decadent Sparkling Draik Cake. So let’s get to it!

     First off, as fancy as a Draik shaped cheese ball may seem, it’s actually pretty simple to prepare. To begin, take two, eight ounce blocks of cream cheese at room temperature, put them in a medium bowl and mix, mash and beat them until they’re smooth. Toss in one and a half cups shredded cheese, one clove of garlic (minced), a half teaspoon of salt and a sprinkling of black pepper. Mix it all up then turn it out onto a piece of parchment.

      Using your hands, divide out one quarter of your mixture. Mold the three quarter portion into a ball. Roll the remaining portion into a cylinder, slightly wider on one end and rounded at the other. Press the wider end of your cylinder into the cheese ball. You now have a roughly Draik shaped cheese ball! At this point you should shape the finer details of eye orbits, nostrils and snout. Use two pieces of lettuce to form the ears, two large stuffed olives for the eyes and two small pieces of rhubarb stalk for the hair. Doesn’t that look almost too good to eat? Grab your favourite crackers and dig in!

     Next up, Draik Soup. This vibrant red soup is sure to tickle your taste buds so let’s get started. Start by mincing one onion and three cloves of garlic. Peel and chop enough fresh ginger to make one tablespoon. Peel and dice three large beets and one medium parsnip. Toss all of it into a large pot with four cups of chicken broth and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low for two hours to bring out all those lovely flavours. Strain into a Draik shaped serving bowl and voilà! Stunning Draik Soup.

     Got room for more? I sure hope so because as simple as this entree may seem, it is full of comforting flavours. Peel and chunk 4 raw potatoes into a medium pot of salted water and set on to boil until tender, about ten to fifteen minutes. While those potatoes cook, trim one pound of asparagus and coat with one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set that aside until your steak is cooked. Take a two and a half pound piece of prime rib and season it generously with salt and pepper. Pop that onto a hot grill and cook to your desired doneness.

     Keep an eye on it while it’s cooking and get started on your gravy. Melt a smatter of butter in a medium pot on low heat, whisk in one and a half tablespoons of flour. Whisk in one cup of broth, half a cup at a time. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

     Time to get that asparagus on the grill. Cook over high heat for two or three minutes. While those are grilling, strain and mash your potatoes with a smatter of butter. Your asparagus and steak should be done by now so get them off the grill.

     Pop your cooked prime rib steak onto your plate, garnish with some parsley for ears, hair and snout and two sliced pieces of Acorberry for eyes. Add a generous scoop of mashed potatoes to the plate and drizzle with gravy. Lay your grilled asparagus down in the remaining space and prepare to sink into a home-cooked coma.

     Just when you thought you couldn’t handle anymore, get ready because it’s time to bake a Draik Cake. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spread butter all over the surface of two round cake pans then dust the pans with flour. Mix two cups of flour, two teaspoons of baking powder, one and a half cups of sugar and a teaspoon of salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss in a cup of butter, one third at a time and mix until your batter looks like wet sand. Add half a cup of milk, four eggs and two teaspoons of vanilla extract. Beat that up until it is almost smooth. Divide your batter between the two cake pans and bake for twenty-five minutes. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean when it’s done. Pop the pans onto a cooling rack for at least fifteen minutes before you remove them from the pans.

     What’s a cake without delicious frosting? For our Draik Cake we’re making glittery blueberry frosting. Start off by pureeing about two cups of fresh blueberries. Put a cup of butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Add three cups of fine sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth between additions. Crush up two glitter moon candies and mix them in to give your frosting that beautiful sparkle. Drop in a teaspoon worth of vanilla and as much of your pureed blueberries as you want to reach your desired texture and flavour. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

     All that’s left to do now is turn your cakes and frosting into a dessert fit for a king! Take your completely cooled cakes and stack them with a layer of frosting between. With a sharp knife, gently carve away bits and pieces until you have a draik head with a snout. Cover completely with frosting and pipe on those cute snout features. I like to take a large milk chocolate A and carve it into two draik ears and use two glitter heart candies upside down for eyes.

     And there you have it! A Draik Day meal any Neopian can make for themselves at home. I hope you enjoy every bite.

 
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