Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Aliens Dinner Experience

Usually I'm all talk. Usually.

My epic Aliens themed dinner was finally actualized several weekends ago. It must be said up front that extreme thanks goes to my friends Adam K & Nate F who both played the role of sous chef for the evening and who wound up doing a majority of the work day of. I am also very grateful for the GWS house for letting me hijack their most excellent kitchen and for all my friends who kindly consumed the food, said nice things about it, and were chill enough to sit back and let me freak out in the kitchen (mostly) by myself. Also, thanks to Jon for snapping the crazy awesome photos I include in this post. I have much love for his mad macro photo skills.

Course 1 : The Egg

Aliens Themed Dinner :  Egg stage
All good Aliens films start with an egg. It holds the promise of impending doom.
Steamed bun, stuffed with diced vegetables and a single whole cherry tomato.
Aliens Themed Dinner : Egg stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Egg stage

Course 2 : The Face Hugger

Aliens Themed Dinner : Facehugger stage
Such an iconic silhouet- the face hugger always immediately follows from an egg. Wicked is their grasp, and wicked is their acid blod.
Followers of the blog will recognize the cracker shape from when I initially made it. It is paired with an asparagus puree.
Aliens Themed Dinner : Facehugger stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Facehugger stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Facehugger stage

Course 3 : The Chest Burster

Aliens Themed Dinner : Chestburster stage
Dramatic, bloody, gory, and violent, the chestburster will eventually "arrive" and make a scene.
Beet leaf salad, roasted beets, vegetables, and egg that has been extruded through a syring into boiling water.
Aliens Themed Dinner : Chestburster stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Chestburster stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Chestburster stage

Course 4 : The Adult Alien

Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage
Black & chitinous. Slimy & evil. It's the point of it all, and what we love most.
Squid ink pasta and muscles. Diced parsley and a single cherry tomato. Side of freshly made squid ink bread.
Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage

Course 5 : Androids

We can't talk about the Aliens francise without acknowledging the androids in that universe. Quirky, diverse, and always filled with a milky goo that will eventually get splattered everywhere before the film is over.
Aliens Themed Dinner : Adroid Aliens Themed Dinner : Android
Tapioca pudding with a hint of mint, served in a cleaned out eggshell.
Served after the viewing of Aliens

So, that all said, let me back up a bit...

It was some time around the New Years, I think. Maybe. A good while ago, at least. I was probably contemplating Aliens, as I am occasionally want to do, when a vision of an inky black meal just sort of blossomed in my mind's eye. This is after The Silence of the Lambs and lamb burgers dinner & movie pairing, so I on the lookout for another good match....

While the initial idea that struck me was that of the aliens' darkness, the driving concept behind the meal was the multiple stages of a xenomorph's life cycle. At this point I've typed up and deleted five different paragraphs. I have a lot to say about the meal, just ask me about it some time if you want to hear about it.

If you're interested in technical details or having the party yourself (recommended!) you can marvel at all the nerdy prep effort that went into it by checking out my cooking timeline, ingredient list, and recipe collection all bundled together in one helpful Google spreadsheet!

And final notes/comments/thoughts:

  • For the love of god, do NOT get 6 pounds of muscles!! We needed HALF of that, perhaps less.
  • Crumple tin foil under the face hugger crackers to get the "pounce" look
  • Forgot to dye the egg red before boiling it!! Lost some of it's "guts" look... but was still pleasantly gross enough
  • The beet leaves were used because the chest burster comes from the human? See? There's symbolism there! Don't you get it?!? ... in other news, apparently everyone but me hates the taste of beet leaves
  • Only needed 1.5 packages of pastas (had bought 3)
  • Used brown sugar for egg stage buns rather then the called for white. An improvement on the original recipe, some claim (not I)
  • There were 6 sit-down-only guests, 2 helpers who ate afterwards, and myself who could barely eat anything. It was a good number, 2 smaller then I originally planned... I think I could have handled the planned 2 more, but that definitely would have been max
  • I learned a lot about how much work goes into making a large meal for many people. Educational, fun, but a very stressful experience. Did I mention how grateful I was for my helpers?
  • Nerdy prep work is fun! I shopped at the grocery store with my laptop open in the shopping cart. It made me feel good.
  • YES, we did watch Aliens after the dinner. We watched the extended directors cut addition thing. Recommended for true/existing fans, but *not* recommended for casual or first-time viewings (there were actually several folks who had not seen this one before!) Bill Paxton is more awesome in it then you probably remember. Also- Ripley is the best role model ever in action films!
  • Formal cooking for friends is fun! I definitely hope to try it again some time (NOT any time soon!)
    Aliens Themed Dinner : Adult stage

1 comment:

  1. I love this so much, the mussels worked beautifully. Now I want to think of film/food pairings!