Surrealist Recipes

By Claudia Long | @ClaudiaLongSays
Illustration by Meg McKenna | @MegMcKenna97

Would Salvador Dali settle for Saladas? No he would not.

It’s not a party if there isn’t food. At least, not a party worth going to. Impress all your cats friends with party snacks that aren’t crackers or leftovers from the latest round of King’s Cup.


Upside down cake – Stranger Things


You couldn’t have missed this hit show from last year, even if you lived in the upside down.

Bake this cake, and you’ll have a fairly tasty dessert as well as a tv reference that’s only slightly dated.

We’ll be using pineapple for the fruit – although you can replace it with pretty much anything – because it’s cheaper to get in a can than fresh fruit and those youth allowance dollars ain’t gonna get you anything fancy.


For the topping

  • 50g softened butter
  • 50g light soft brown sugar
  • 7 pineapple
  • Rings in syrup, drained and syrup
  • Glacé cherries


For the cake

  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs


For the atmosphere

  • A criminal amount of fairy lights


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas
  2. For the topping, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Spread over the base and a quarter of the way up the sides of a 20-21cm round cake tin. Arrange pineapple rings on top, then place cherries in the centres of the rings.
  3. Place the cake ingredients in a bowl along with 2 tbsp of the pineapple syrup and, using an electric whisk, beat to a soft consistency. Spoon into the tin on top of the pineapple and smooth it out so it’s level.
  4. Bake for 35 mins and leave to stand for 5 mins.
  5. Cut a slice and ponder what’s more frightening: a demi-gorgon or a bunch of 12 year olds being more successful than you’ll be at 50.


Salty dog cocktail – Un Chien Andalou


If you really want to up your surrealist cred, mix up one of these drinks as a reference to Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali’s movie Un Chien Andalou a.k.a An Andalusian Dog.


If you like ants, jaunty horn music and watching someone’s eye get cut open – as we all do – then chuck on the movie in the background on Youtube.


To make enough for two or for one bad day, you’ll need:


  • Coarse salt
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup vodka or gin
  • 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice


  1. Pour coarse salt onto small plate and moisten rims of 2 highball glasses.
  2. Tell everyone you’ve moistened them, just to keep the atmosphere extra weird.
  3. Gently dip rims into salt to coat lightly.
  4. Fill glasses with ice cubes and four 1/4 cup vodka over ice in each glass.
  5. Divide grapefruit juice between glasses and serve.


Toasted kale chips – Soylent Green


Ah yes, the snack for people that hate themselves. Bring out these bad boys (bland boys?) with a bit of dip and some olives, but be prepared for that one sanctimonious friend to tell you how they eat these, like, all the time before hearing about their new fitness regime for approximately 40 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back.


Best served with a side of dread, to make these “chips” you’ll need:


1 bunch of Kale

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Some salt


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner.
  3. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  4. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cry, the tears will salt the chips so that they actually taste like something.


Noodle soup – Blade Runner

Do your friends enjoy furrowing their brows and looking moody in the rain? Then do we have the recipe for you!

This is a pretty cost effective dish, so if you’re really into channeling that whole neo-noir thing every day of the week, then why not let this noodle soup help you live your dreams before giving up on them and dying inside a la Rick Deckard?

It’s a shame your goals and aspirations won’t live, but then again, what does?


To serve two, you’ll need:


  • 450g fresh thin hokkien noodles
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 3cm piece ginger, peeled, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 small red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 500g chicken breast fillets, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 bunch baby bok choy, chopped
  • Green onions, finely shredded, to serve


  1. Place noodles in a heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 3 minutes or until tender. Drain and separate noodles.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger, garlic and half the chilli. Cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups stock. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken. Cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer chicken to a chopping board. Slice crossways into strips.
  3. Add remaining 4 cups stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar to soup. Cover. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to the boil. Add green onion and bok choy. Cook for 1 minute or until leaves just wilt.
  4. Divide noodles between bowls. Top with chicken. Ladle boiling broth into bowls. Top with shredded green onions and serve with remaining chilli on the side.


To complete the meal, chuck on the film’s Vangelis soundtrack and look moodily into the distance. If anyone asks, just say it’s a replicant thing.


Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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