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Recipe Revue

Dinner and a Movie
by Frances Largeman, RD

You don't have to wait for the Oscars to celebrate food on film. Any "movie night" is a great time to gather your friends together for an evening of stargazing and celebrity-worthy cuisine. We've nominated our own favorite recipes from food-studded movies. So, don your apron—it's time to prep for your role as Best Leading Cook.

Big Night

When Italian brothers Primo (Stanley Tucci) and Secondo (Tony Shalhoub) need to turn their floundering restaurant around with a gala event, they don't skimp on ingredients or courses. From the zuppa to the dolci, Primo serves up remarkable dishes one right after another. Start your Big Night with our Eggplant Soup with Parmesan Cream. Next is our trio of green, white and red risottos. The fresh parsley brings the green hue to Joyce Goldstein's Asparagus Risotto with Gremolata. The Vegetarian Risotto with Fava Beans is always a favorite and you can't go wrong with Risotto with Scallops in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. Arrange all three on a platter to resemble the Italian flag and wow your guests with your food styling skills.

For a banquet like this, you can't forget a side of Roasted Asparagus and Beet, Orange, Onion and Olive Salad. You could stop now or live up to the challenge and offer your guests Herb Crusted Cornish Hens. The finishing touch on such an amazing meal could only be an Italian classic like our Amazing Low Fat Cannoli.

Tortilla Soup

Based on Ang Lee's "Eat Drink, Man Woman", "Tortilla Soup" focuses on a Mexican-American master chef and his three single daughters. Every Sunday Martin Naranja creates lavish dinners for his daughters, Carmen, Leticia and Maribel. All of the recipes from the movie were created by The Too Hot Tamales—FoodFit Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. One of these creations is Tortilla Soup, a sort of Mexican leftover soup. Martin (Hector Elizondo) elevates this simple soup to a whole new level by using the finest fresh tomatoes from the garden, freshly fried tortilla strips for garnishing, and a dried chipotle for a touch of smokiness.

When daughter Carmen (Jacqueline Obradors) decides to return to her roots, she cooks Chicken Pibil, a pibil-roasted dish from the Yucatan. Pibil (pi-beel) roasting traditionally involves a backyard pit, but this dish can be made right in your oven. Achiote paste, a bright orange seasoning paste made of ground annatto seeds, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, pepper and cloves, can be found at Mexican markets. The traditional accompaniments are rice, black beans and vinegary pickled red onions.

A classic appetizer from The Too Hot Tamales, Plantain Empanadas are sweet and savory turnovers. Martin serves them to his daughters at the first dinner in the movie. These empanadas freeze well and are perfect for passing at parties.

Chocolat

This film may be one of the most bittersweet and chocolate fantasy-inducing movies ever made. When single mother and chocolatier, Vianne Rocher (Juliette Binoche) moves to a small, prudish French village, she and her decadent creations are shunned by the townsfolk. But soon Vianne's sweets win over even the most pious curmudgeons, as well as dashing Roux (Johnny Depp).

A steamy mug of Mexican Hot Chocolate is sure to bring back pleasant thoughts of childhood and melt away stubbornness, like it did with hard-nosed Armande (Judi Dench). There's no chili powder in our version, but you can experiment at home if you want to add some fire. Vianne sent a harried housewife home with a few decadent truffles to spice up her love life and it worked so well she scurried back for more. Try your hand at cupid's arrow with these rich Bailey's Irish Cream Truffles. Woo your guests like Vianne did at her chocolate-with-everything dinner. Anything is better with some Chocolate Sauce and our molten Warm Chocolate Fantasy is the way to ensure that everyone has sweet dreams.

Finale

Choose one of our food-on-film classics and make the movies come alive in your own living room. What better way to watch a cinema classic than while enjoying a grand meal? As Primo says in "Big Night", "To eat good food is to be close to God". Our sentiments exactly.

You'll be the star of the show with this stellar line-up:

Eggplant Soup with Parmesan Cream
Asparagus Risotto with Gremolata
Joyce Goldstein
Vegetarian Risotto with Fava Beans
Risotto with Scallops in a Spicy Tomato Sauce
Roasted Asparagus
Beet, Orange, Onion and Olive Salad
Herb Crusted Cornish Hens
Amazing Low Fat Cannoli
Steven Raichlen

Tortilla Soup
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA
Chicken Pibil
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA
Plantain Empanadas
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA

Mexican Hot Chocolate
Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA
Bailey's Irish Cream Truffles
Chocolate Sauce
Warm Chocolate Fantasy

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