Welcome to June’s round-up for Food ‘n Flix. Every month one of the members picks a film for the elite membership to watch. We watch, become inspired, and create some down right darn delicious food. The best part about Food ‘n Flix is anyone can play along.
I hosted this month and chose Moonstruck, a 1987 nominee for Best Picture. Imagine an old-school extended Italian family living in Brooklyn. Picture Cher as a plain-Jane, thirty-something widowed bookkeeper. See her settle for a comfortable marriage proposal. Imagine her parents steering through some extramarital dalliances. Throw in the typical ever-brooding Nicholas Cage-type character as a romantic spoiler.
You have Moonstruck. (My apologies for the short ‘n sweet synopsis which really doesn’t do the film justice at all. If you have not seen it, find it as soon as you are able. )
Now for the food. There are the typical Italian food references in the movie so let’s get to it and see what inspired everyone this month. (Just to change things up a bit, I am listing these in chronological posting order.)
Culinary Adventures with Camilla wins the prize for posting first! She loved “the portrayals of the Italian-American families. They are emotive, explosive, passionate, and protective. They are also steeped in tradition.” Camilla found inspiration in the simple breakfast Rose cooks for her daughter: Uova in Carrozza (“Egg in a Carriage” ). I love that she used heart-shaped cookie cutters.
(If you haven’t been over to Camilla’s site, you must read her conversation with her brilliant and logical son regarding twins. It will make you smile.)
Caroline Makes was next up. She was not a big fan of the film but found inspiration nonetheless, especially at Ronny’s bakery. Caroline writes, “There are a lot of scenes in restaurants and over dinner or breakfast; true to the Sicilian American heritage, I noticed spaghetti, tiramisu and the like. But I decided instead to go with the bakery that Ronny works in, and to make a loaf of bread – luckily you’re not very likely to get injured making bread in a domestic kitchen!” (She is referencing Ronny’s tragic yet humorous wooden hand.) Her Classic White Bread looks stupendous and wouldn’t it make great Uova in Carrozza?
Next to post up was Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy was taken aback that Moonstruck was so acclaimed in 1987. She made me smile with, “I guess it must have been a pretty lame movie year. Not that I didn’t enjoy the movie, I did. I laughed out loud several times but I did not see any award winning moments of any kind in this movie. ” But, true to the Italian traditions in the film, Wendy whipped up a healthy and delicious Moonstruck Minestrone with Pesto.
Let’s move along to Tina at Squirrel Head Manor. This film caused Tina to reminisce about her youth: “Growing up south of Philly I was always invited into the homes of my childhood friends. I was looked after, fussed over, fed and fed some more. I listened to the conversations I couldn’t understand but loved the cadences of the Italian language as the family had a passionate discussion. And there was music…always music playing somewhere in the house. ” She focused on pasta, Pasta alla Norma, to be exact, a delicious combo of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, basil and ricotta salata (a new ingredient reference for me).
Elizabeth at The Law Student’s Cookbook was also inspired by Rose’s breakfast. This recipe struck home with her and took her back to her college days. “Birds in a nest became a big part of our breakfasts in college. They were easy and yummy. Whenever I make them now, all I think about is the good old days of when I started to cook for myself.” I present her “Eggs in a Nest,” a truly yummy meal anytime.
Heather at girlichef pulled inspiration from one of her favorite scenes. (It is my favorite scene as well so I have to include it here.) Heather writes, “After Loretta listens to Ronny’s boo-hoo rant in the bakery, she goes with him to his apartment so they can talk. Ronny fiddles with opera on the record player as Loretta brings him a cup of espresso. As she walks back into the kitchen…”
Ronny: What’s that smell?Loretta: I’m making you a steak.Ronny: I don’t want it.Loretta: You’ll eat it.Ronny: I like it well-done.Loretta: You’ll eat this one bloody to feed your blood.
Here is her truly inspired Pan-Seared New York Strip with Whisky Herb Compound Butter.
Coming next was myself with “Big Pizza Pie–That’s amore!” Sicilian Pizza. You see, I just couldn’t get past the Dino classic, “That’s Amore,” that opens the film. It had been a number of years since I had seen this film and I fell head-over-heels in love with it again. I mean, come on, it’s Cher.
Last but definitely not least is Deb at Kahakai Kitchen. She was inspired by pasta and most specifically “a Nigel Slater recipe sketch from Notes From the Larder–a simple but unique little pasta sauce with some of my favorite ingredients in it. Not at all from the movie but I figure the slightly sharp and tart sauce represents Loretta, while Nicolas Cage’s character Ronny is a little nuts, so the pine nuts are for him, and finally, the baby orange tomatoes I added to Slater’s dish represent the big old full moon that inspires such passion.” I agree, Deb. Here is her Tortellini with Creamy Basil-Caper Sauce, Toasted Pine Nuts, & Golden Tomatoes.
Joanne from What’s on the List ran into a few difficulties and posted late but I definitely wanted to include her in the round-up. Joanne entitled her post “Does Pasta Fazool Make You Drool?” (See, she was inspired by “That’s Amore” as well.) She enjoyed the film because it was set in Brooklyn and depicted an old-school Italian family. I loved the quote that Joanne found: “One of the funniest lines I read about a review is Moonstruck is ‘something of a classic romance film featuring an accurate portrayal of Italian Americans that does not involve them murdering each other.’ —via The Corner Critic.” Prepare to drool…
So to sum up, what a great round of breakfasts, pasta, soup, steak, pizza and bread! Looks like the makings of a great (and huge) Italian family-style dinner
Thanks to everyone who played along and posted this month. Please, please, please join us next month for a classic, Like Water for Chocolate. Elizabeth at The Law Student’s Cookbook is hosting for July. I have read the book but I have not seen the film and am excited to do so. I can’t wait for July to see what kind of truly inventive dishes this culinary group posts.