For several months, we at the Cantina Scene had tossed back and forth the idea of doing an Alien-themed meal. When it was announced earlier this month that H.R. Giger, the man responsible for the famous look of the Alien films, had passed away we determined that now was the time to do a meal in his honor. This is not the simple type of meal we normally create, and I will admit spending a bit more time and money to construct this. We say goodbye to Mr. Giger, and thank him for giving us such an amazing style and personally impacting so many of the artists we have grown to love over the years.
Let’s Talk About the Bonus Situation: Appetizers
You Will Need:
1 sheet of puff pastry or unbaked pie crust
Jar of chunky tomato pasta sauce or brushetta mix
Pack of hot dogs
Preheat the oven to 350 F or whatever your package of puff pastry recommends. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. When working with puff pastry, it’s important to remember to thaw it before you work. However, if too warm, the pastry can fight back and become sticky and difficult to work with. A refrigerated temperature works best, so usually I defrost the pastry in the fridge the night before.
Slice hot dogs into two small sections. You may skip this step if you’ve opted for little smokies or another brand of tiny sausage. Cut a small mouth near the top of one of the rounded hot dog edges as well as slice two slits for eyes. These will become more prominent as they back.
Using a drinking glass (if you’re broke like me) or a circular biscuit cutter make 8-10 circles out of the pastry and set them a few inches apart on the cookie sheet. Set one of the small hot dog creations in the center, pressing it in enough to make it sit upright Using a small amount of bruschetta mix or chunky pasta sauce, encircle the hot dog inside the puff pastry. Use only a small amount or it will leak out. Using your fingers, close the pastry around the upright hot dog, so that it appears the hot dog is bursting out of the pastry.
Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes, waiting for the pastry to be golden brown. If the hot dogs fall over during baking, you can right them again using toothpicks. Just make sure to warn guests that your creation has toothpicks inside.
Serve with warm pasta sauce or brushetta mix for dipping.
Here Comes the Floods: The Main Course
Anyone Ever Tell You, You Look Dead, Man?: Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
You will Need:
Steak, a cut of your choosing
1 cup Italian Parsley (packed)
½ cup Olive Oil
⅓ cup redwine vinegar
¼ cup fresh cilantro (packed)
2 peeled garlic cloves
¾ tsp crushed red pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt
Grill your steak to your level of satisfaction. I never tell someone how to cook their meat. Hey, maybe you like to put it up on the wall of a spacecraft for a while until it begs for death. Who am I to judge?
Place all other ingredients into the food processor and blend until you get a thick green sauce that smells of vinegar and fresh veggies. Use a spoon to drizzle it over your steak. This sauce can be made up to two hours ahead.
It’s Full of Leathery Objects; Like Eggs or Something: Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
You will need:
Fresh whole brussel sprouts
5 strips of bacon
Slice bacon into small pieces and begin to heat in a deep sauce pan. Cook the bacon and set aside. Place Brussel sprouts into the microwave with a small bit of water. Make sure they are covered with plastic wrap. Cook until they are soft. Place Brussel sprouts in with the cooked bacon and bacon grease. Toss and add garlic salt to taste. For a special treat, use truffle oil to get that extra fancy kick. Line the outside of a plate with the cooked Brussel sprouts like the eggs Kane finds in the derelict ship.
This is Ripley, Last Survivor of the Nostromo, Signing Off: Drinks and Dessert
Special Order 937 (Absinthe)
The best part about having nerdy friends is the fact that they are so creative with drink ideas. Though we toyed with many drinks, including some that were named for aliens, we determined that the feel and taste of absinthe just fit the theme the best. What other drink is shrouded in so much mystery?
Thanks to my local specialty alcohol shop, Hi-Times in Orange County, CA, I was able to order a bottle of Absinthe Ordinaire. With a classic absinthe taste and a perfect green color, it is a moderately priced option. American Absinthe has Southern Wormwood, while European Absinthe still uses the real thing. Choose accordingly.
Place an ounce of two of absinthe in the bottom of a glass. Place a sugar cube on the top of a spoon (absinthe spoons are the best for this, but often hard to find) and begin to drip purified water over the top of it, drop by drop. Slowly, the sugar water will mix with the absinthe, turning it from a bright green color to that of a milky white-green concoction. Give the concoction one final stir and enjoy.
Warning, real Absinthe is very high proof and can cause intoxication quickly.
If We Let It In, The Ship Could Be Infected: Braided Apple Creamcheese Facehugger
Given the option, I doubt I will ever make this again. The Facehugger was a labor of love and took me three hours to create, bake and construct. If you choose to make this, give yourself time and several deep breaths.
You Will Need:
3 frozen pie crust or puff pastry sheets
1 egg lightly beaten
Cream Cheese Mix:
6 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
2 Tbs sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 large baking apple
½ tsp cinammon
1 Tbs Sugar
pinch of salt
Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until creamy. Set aside.
Cut up the baking apple into small squares. If you want to get really fancy, peel the apple first. Mix in cinammon, sugar and salt. Set aside.
Here is where it gets tricky. I suggest working with one sheet of puff pastry at a time so you don’t accidentally murder everyone walking into your kitchen as you fly into an unearthly rage. Keep the other sheets in the fridge so that they stay pliable but do not melt into a sticky mess.
Cut the first pastry into a large upside down isosceles triangle. Reserve the remaining pieces to fill in tears in the pastry as you work. This comes in handy more often than you would think. Make thin slices along the sides of the triangle to form tabs to fold over your premade dessert innards. Take the cream cheese mix and make a thin layer over the unsliced portion of the triangle. Sprinkle this with the apple mixture. Slowly, fold over the tabs of pastry to tuck inside the filling and to give it an odd woven texture. Use some of the remaining pastry pieces to form two large air sacks for the Facehugger. Fill these with the cream cheese and apple mixture and press to the bottom of the narrow portion of the triangular woven pastry body.
Take the second pastry sheet and cut it into 4 strips, attempting to make two about ⅔ the size. Separate these strips and work on them individually. Line these on one side with creamcheese and apple mixture, then one by one pinch the two sides together to form legs. This will be the longest portion of the process. Repeat with the final portion of puff pastry. Using the remaining puff pastry, roll out a strip longer than the others and form a tail.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. We found that we could not bake the entire creation on one sheet, so we had to get creative with how we placed the legs and tail onto a cookie sheet. Take the lightly beaten egg and brush the top of the pieces and body. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let the pieces sit until cooler. Line the legs around the body and place the tail at the end. Serve and watch all of your friends squeal and get really nervous when they cut into the pastry.
Log of the Nostromo:
- This meal cost about 30$ to make without alcohol and it fed four people. The absinthe was about $26 out the door.
- Give yourself a good chunk of time and use a big oven if you want to make the Facehugger. This thing was huge!
- If you’re playing Alien in the background, always be surprised that there is a Time Lord, an Amityille victim and a Hobbit in the film…I mean, just not in those forms.
- Sigourney Weaver is a badass.
The Cantina Scene is a monthly column written by Lady Victoria Irwin featuring a nerd themed meal that you can pass off to your non -nerdy friends and family. All meals are designed to be done inexpensively, so you’re not breaking the bank. We would love to hear your ideas for themes, recipes, and plans to take over the world.
Alien is a Ridley Scott film with the rights owned by 20th Century Fox. I’m just a nerdy Fangirl making themed meals based off of the things I enjoy. Special thanks to Lisa Weaver for her patience and help in constructing this meal. While I was heavily focused on the fillings of alien creatures, she made sure things didn’t burn and helped problem solve one or two last minute issues. She also was the keeper of a fantastic absinthe server and provided us with three additional flavors of absinthe.