Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dinner and A Movie: Moonstruck

Steak Diane
As explained here and here, and here, Marc and Susan run this brilliant event, called Dinner and a Movie.

This month's film was MOONSTRUCK.
An exuberantly Italian romantic comedy, it immediately - immediamente (1) - conjured up a quintessential Italian family meal. In particular one I've been meaning to cook for ages: Ossobuco. But you have to be fast (i.e. early) at Birmingham's market to get hold of the right cut of meat, and, yes, you've guessed it, 'fast' and 'early' are not in my active vocabulary.
So, back to my BH's suggestion of Steak Diane.
WHY? Well, the MOON, as in the title, plays an important role in the film, in particular the effect a full moon (2). Here, "she brings the woman to the man", which ties in with lunar deities being female in the Romance languages (3). Amongst the Roman Moon goddesses is not just Luna, but also Diana, hence Steak Diane.
As she is also known as the goddess of the hunt, I expected Steak Diane to feature a sauce containing mushrooms. But only 3 of the first 5 googled recipes did. Otherwise, they only differed in terms of quantities, herbs and methods used.

This is my amalgamation: (G & T Recipe #2)
(4)

Steak Diane (Serves 4)
Ingredients:


4 small fillet steaks
(5)
2 -3 banana shallots, finely diced
100g button mushrooms
1 fat garlic clove
Worcestershire sauce, splash
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp brandy
150 ml single cream
(6)

1 tbsp chives, snipped (7)
lemon juice, splash; optional
olive oil
salt, pepper

Method:
Season the steaks on both sides and smear with some of the mustard. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the steaks for 1-2 minutes, then set aside. In the same pan, saute the shallots, minced garlic, and mushrooms. (I sliced mine finely because The Boy hates them, but I think you could leave them whole if they're tiny.) Cook for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring. Add the remaining mustard, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Season. To add the brandy, you tilt the pan slightly away from you, and keep it at the far side. Ignite the brandy and wait until the alcohol has burnt off before incorporating it into the mixture. Pour in the cream and stir carefully , then heat steaks in the sauce for 2-3 minutes (or longer, depending how thick they are and how you like them).

I served them with potatoes sauteed with rosemary, and a lamb's lettuce salad with balsamic vinegar and hazelnut oil. (I have to add: nice as it was, the taste was too overpowering for the more delicate flavours of the Steak Diane.)

A steak was, of course, fitting because it is what Loretta (Cher) cooks for Ronny (Nicolas Cage) in the film when they first meet. Earlier, however, we see her in the family kitchen where her mother makes something that inspired my (strictly no-diet) starter.
Ciabatta Breakfast Starter
I used ciabatta bread slices, and immediately found that they had to be much larger for this fried bread-cum-egg. With larger slices, one could probably have used a circular cutter for the hole that is needed for the egg. As it was, a lot of the egg-white was left on top of the fried bread, and I had to stick it under the grill to finish it off. Apparently, this is called 'One Eye' (un occhio?), and you need the right kind of bread (which??) and you butter it before it goes into the pan (this information is from You Tube comments).

Having a starter, I felt I needed a dessert as well. With both dishes being highly calorific, this had to be low in calories. I like to experiment with Müller light for such desserts, and I chose their new Vanilla with Chocolate, which made me think of Stracciatella ice-cream. Espresso Dessert
To stay with the Italian theme, I also incorporated Espresso, coffee liqueur, ratafias and toasted hazelnuts. What's Italian about hazelnuts, I hear you ask. Ah! They remind me of a visit to Napoli, and our friend R.'s lovely parents. R's Mum had baked the nuts in their shell, which gives them this intense flavour of roasted, toasted hazelnuts without any burnt surface area. An absolute revelation!

I'm not going to add the recipe of the above dessert because it still needs further experiments in terms of quantities, textures, and - as you can see - presentation.

I can't wait to see everyone else's ideas! Thanks, Susan, in advance, for the round-up!
Alla Familia. Salute!
____________________
(1) No, I'm not trying to show off, I don't actually speak Italian; if anything I want to show off the usefulness of the old lingua franca Latin, and how a word derived from it, spoken in another language, can help with the spelling obstacles in English.
(2) There are a number of effects attributed to a full moon, see here under 'lunar effect'. In Germany, the full moon is also referred to as 'Säufersonne', the drinkers' sun.
(3) Mani of the Germanic tribes, Nanna or Sin of the Mesopotamians, Thoth of the Egyptians, the Japanese God Tsukoyomi, the Finnish Rahko and the Aztec Teccizacatl, are all male moon gods. Typically, these cultures feature a female sun goddess. Which explains why it is der Mond(m)/die
Sonne (f) in German, but la luna (f)/il sole (m) in Italian (la lune/le soleil in French).
(4)
= googled and tested; i.e. the essence of the recipe after googling, comparing the constituent elements, and tweaking them to our taste/requirements. Also, see January 22, Burns' Treatment here .
(5)
Most of the recipes suggested sirloin but personally, I'd rather have a small fillet than a larger sirloin.
(6)
Most of the recipes used double cream but I found single cream quite sufficient.
(7)
Alternatives: (flat-leaf) parsley, none

49 comments:

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

They all look fabulous, Zabeena! Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipes with us!

Zabeena said...

Thank you for co-hosting this fabulous event!Believe it or not, it was the first time I watched the film!!So, thank you for that, too!
I can't wait for the next one!

Andreas said...

Very nice menu.

Hadn't heard of Säufersonne before, but I guess you never stop learning. ;)

Zabeena said...

You hadn't heard of Säufersonne? Maybe it's a regional thing? I'm from the Ruhrgebiet.

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