The Cantina Scene is GLaD you could join us (har har) for another edition of nerdy themed meals that won’t break the bank. After exploring the inner workings of the Aperture Science labs, you build up quite an appetite. Armed with our portal guns, and careful to avoid turrets, The Cantina Scene has put together a quick meal that feels loaded with cheat codes, because it’s so easy.
We Can Put Aside Our Differences for Science (You Monster): Appetizers and Drinks
Now You’re Drinking With Portals
These are two drinks that work well together. Be warned, you may find yourself flying through the air like an eagle piloting a blimp.
You Will Need:
- Blue Curacao
- White Rum
- Orangina or Orange juice
Mix 1 part Blue Curacao and 2 parts Sprite, 1 part White Rum and two parts Orangina in separate glasses. Set these glasses side by side. Now you’re drinking with Portals!
I’d recommend you do this more as a shot, because Blue Curacao doesn’t really taste like alcohol and it will sneak up on you. Portal 2, but these potato skins are so tasty we will tempt her wrath.
You Will Need:
- 6 medium sized russet potatoes
- Olive oil
- 3 pieces of bacon
- Cheese to your liking (we used pepperjack)
- Green Onions and Sour Cream (Optional, for purists)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the potatoes to get off any excess grime or dirt. Rub the potatoes with the olive oil and then place them on a cookie sheet in the oven for 1 hour.
While your potatoes are baking, cook the bacon. Place it in a skillet and heat on high until bacon is crispy. Place it on a plate covered with paper towels to drain the excess grease. When bacon has cooled, crumble it into bits.
Take your potatoes out of the over and let them sit until they are cool enough to handle. Fair warning, you can burn the heck out of your hand doing this, so I gave it about twenty minutes while I ran to the store to grab a missing ingredient.
Turn the oven up to 450 degrees while you prepare the potatoes. Slice potatoes in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the innards of the potato, leaving a ¼ inch around the whole potato to keep the skin strong. Rub with either canola oil or olive oil on the inside and outside of the potato and place face down in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove the potatoes. If you have tongs, use them to flip over the potatoes, so that they are facing up like small boats of deliciousness. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Here’s the fun part. Fill these little potato boats with cheese and then form a small GLaDOS style eye in the center out of bacon. As you can see from the pictures, at some point I decided I just wanted to sprinkle on bacon and be done with it. Don’t beat yourself up; it’s potato skins. Return the potatoes to the oven for a couple minutes to get the cheese bubbly. Remove from oven and top with sour cream and green onions if you so choose.
A Cave Johnson Prerecorded Rant: Dinner is Served
“Combustible Lemon” Dijon Chicken
Instead of burning someone’s house down, we decided to turn those lemons into something tasty, and provide a maindish that will get you ready to enter the test chambers again.
You Will Need:
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 lemon (preferably not engineered by Aperture Science)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon white flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon spicy Dijon mustard
Cut chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Melt butter in a skillet at high heat. Add chicken, flour and salt. Cook the chicken until all the pieces are browned.
Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water. Prepare three slices of lemon. I added the juice from the remaining lemon to the bouillon mix. Put the bouillon mix, lemon slices and dijon mustard in with the chicken in the skillet and mix them together. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.
Atlas and “Pea”body’s Vegetable Meadley
No meal is complete without a side dish. With a little help from our robot pals Atlas and Peabody, we got together two veggies. They taste great with a little leftover sauce from the Combustible Lemon Chicken too!
You Will Need:
- Half a bag of baby carrots
- Frozen peas
The frozen peas are easy. Most bags of them in the freezer aisle now have special bags that you pop into the microwave for a few minutes.
To steam the baby carrots, add just enough water to cover the bottoms of a microwave safe bowl. Add carrots. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the microwave for 2 minutes. Test the carrots with a fork to see if they are soft enough for your liking. I not, place back in the microwave for an additional minute. Repeat until they are to your liking. Serve with the chicken.
Please Place Yourself in the Party Escort Submission Position: Dessert
No Portal meal would be complete without the iconic “Lie” cake distributed throughout the game.
- German Chocolate Cake Mix
- 3 Eggs for Cake Mix
- Vegetable Oil
- Chocolate Frosting
- Vanilla Frosting in a squirtable tube
- Dark Chocolate Bar
- Dried coconut (Optional)
- Jar of Maraschino Cherries
- A single white birthday candle
(we left out the fish shaped solid waste, bethylenzene and rhubarb for your satisfaction)
Follow the instructions on your German Chocolate cake mix. If you can’t find one, just go with straight chocolate. It’s fine, I promise you. I used two 8 inch round cake pans to get the right thickness for the cake.
Let the cake cool for about an hour and a half. This makes it WAY easier to frost and you won’t get those weird peeling moments where the cake crumbles into dust as you try to frost it. Coat the bottom layer with chocolate icing and then sprinkle a thin layer of coconut over it. Set the second layer on top and frost the entire thing with chocolate icing. I found that if you don’t have a spatula or special frosting spreader, you can use the back of a regular old metal spoon and it turns out just fine. Cover the sides of the cake with chocolate frosting.
Using either a zester or the finest grating setting on a cheese grater, grate the dark chocolate over the top of the cake. This should make for a rougher, more videogame-like appearance.
Using the tube of squirtable vanilla frosting, form 8 equidistant circles around the top of the cake, as well as an additional one in the center. Using a paper towel, dry excess juice off of the maraschino cherries and place one in all the vanilla frosting circles except for the one in the center. Place the white candle in the center of the cake.
Light candle when serving and play the song Still Alive by Jonathan Coulton. Celebrate your tremendous success.
- Make the cake ahead of time to save yourself from pouting around the kitchen waiting for it to cool.
- The potato skins will go quickly; make sure to snag one for yourself.
- Blue Curacao is dangerous.
- Minus alcohol this meal cost about 30$ to make. With alcohol, it was a bit pricier.
- This was a triumph. I’m making a note here, HUGE SUCCESS. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.
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.
Portal and Portal 2 are registered trademarks of the Valve Corporation. I’m just a nerdy Fangirl making themed meals based off of the things I enjoy. Special thanks to my roommate and Michael Cantin for helping me eat the meal.