Bowing down to Battleborn's Jennerit with an elegant dinner
In a far-flung future, the universe is dying. While there are scientific theories saying this is inevitable, the end is coming much sooner than originally planned in “Battleborn.”
The first-person shooter from Gearbox Software and 2K lets players be saviors by taking on one of more than two dozen different characters to battle an enemy attempting to extinguish every star in the universe. While this force has been dimming the skies, worlds battled amongst themselves, trying to claim any planet that could still keep them alive.
Around the final star, Solus, and at the last battlefield, five different groups have ended their long war and joined forces to keep the lights on. These survivors will combine their unique skills and abilities to defeat the darkness and continue to survive around the last source of light in the universe.
But what were these different groups like before they banded together? What were their worlds like?
More importantly, what did they eat? By taking a look at the heroes, I got a sense for what they liked, what they didn’t like and what they expected on their dinner table. While I’m sure their own planets had their individual animals and plants to consume, I was left with figuring out what earthbound dishes might be appealing to them.
The fifth and final faction in Battleborn is the one responsible for the war between light and darkness. The Jennerit Empire, a powerful and regal group, was once led by the Empress Lenore, before a rebellion tossed her out and installed a new leader, Rendain.
He foresaw a darkness enveloping the universe, and he wanted the Jennerit to survive. He set out to help bring about the end of all light by using the numbers and might of the Varelsi, leaving only Solas as the last beacon in an ever-dimming universe.
However, not all believed in Rendain’s vision. Some rose up against him immediately while others came to view his plans as destructive, instead of saving, and ultimately turned against him.
Delicate Ambra and mesmerizing Rath were quickly betrayed by Rendain. Ambra, a healer, was a priestess with the Jennerit Silent Sisters, and Rath, brutally efficient with his energy blades, served as an elite guard to the empress. They quickly chose the path of resistance and joined the Battleborn to fight against the new leader.
Caldarius, a shock trooper, and Attikus, a member of the lowborn Jennerit Thralls, didn’t like how their cohorts were being treated under this new regime.
Deande was the last to rebel against Rendain. She initially helped spearhead his takeover as a spymaster and became one of his closest advisors. But she, too, realized the folly of his plan and decided to oppose, rather than support him.
The Jennerit resistance is a group that appears frail or overpowering, to extremes. Much like all regal attendants, they outwardly show one thing but have hidden skills and talents to make them worthy opponents.
They are also used to great food, which presented a challenge for me. What could I make that would appeal to the pallet of one so highly treated? It would have to be something special but with a hidden flavor to reflect their own unique talents.
It would take a dish I developed many years ago and have only pulled out for special occasions. It is seared scallops with an apple jalapeno sauce, a favorite for everyone who has ever partaken of it.
Ingredients (for 2 servings)
· 4 tablespoons butter, divided
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 8 sea scallops, fresh
· 1 granny smith apple, cored, cut into eight pieces
· 1 or 2 jalapenos, halved, sliced, depending on heat desired
· 2 cups of jasmine rice, cooked
· Salt and pepper
Prepare the jasmine rice as directed. You can really use any rice you like, but I prefer the jasmine rice for the slightly sweet flavor when cooked.
While the rice is cooking, lay the scallops out on a paper towel and pat them dry. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Cut the apple into eight pieces, removing the core as you go.
Cut the jalapenos in half, removing the inner ribs and seeds if you like less heat. Leaving some in will raise the temperature in your mouth upon eating. Slice each piece into small half-moons of jalapeno.
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil. When it gets hot, position the scallops inside and don’t move them for 2 minutes.
After time, flip them over and cook for an addition 90 seconds. Trust me, this is plenty of time to cook them all the way through without making them have a rubbery texture.
Remove the scallops from the plate and add the apples, cooking on the two raw sides, not the peel, about 3-4 minutes. After flipping to the other side, add in the jalapenos and the rest of the butter.
Let that all cook for another 3 minutes or until the jalapenos become fragrant.
To plate, place a layer of rice over the plate, top with 4 scallops and 4 slices of apple. Spoon the jalapeno butter sauce over the entire dish and serve.
The sweetness of the jasmine rice helps balance the heat from the jalapenos. Scallops, always a favorite in my kitchen, are a delicate, yet satisfying entrée that is fit for a royal table.
The goal with all of these dishes for the Battleborn factions was to provide something that would be similar to what they would have experienced on their home worlds. Hopefully, my kitchen provided them a much needed respite and nourishment as the work to save the universe.
Otherwise, I’m having dessert now.