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Hindustan Times
February 25, 2012
First Published: 01:46 IST(25/2/2012)
Last Updated: 01:48 IST(25/2/2012)

Silver screen cravings

As you sit in front of your television and watch the Oscars this year, complete that experience by preparing a spread that brings out the films’ true flavours. Moreover, call your family and friends over, bring out that chequered table-cloth and have an Oscar-themed food festival.

Let The Help inspire you to whip up your own version of finger-lickin’ fried chicken. And what better accompanies a fried finger-food than a dizzying cocktail? Stir up a Liquid Luau in tribute to the George Clooney-starrer The Descendants, a white-rum and amaretto based cocktail that echoes the laid-back vibrancy of the film’s Hawaiian setting.

Lastly, to add variety to the mix and duly represent Paris, where two of this year’s Oscar-nominated films are set, create la gastronomie française in your own kitchen to capture the essence of Hugo, which is set in 1930s Paris, or Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
 
— Sucharita Kanjilal


Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken, 1/4 cup refined flour, 1 egg yolk beaten, 4 egg whites beaten, 2 pinches freshly ground black pepper, to taste, 2  pinches salt, 2 tbsp sunflower oil (oil for frying)

Method:
Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the eggs and egg whites in a bowl. Dip the chicken into the flour and coat. Next, dip the chicken into the beaten egg mixture, and then into the flour again, coating evenly. Fry the chicken on medium heat until golden brown, approximately 4 minutes per side. Place chicken on a paper towel to drain excess oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

(Courtesy: Danesh ashraf, senior chef de cuisine, renaissance mumbai
convention centre hotel)

Ingredients:
8 thick slices of baguette/French bread, 1 packet white button mushrooms, 1 tblsp fresh thyme or rosemary, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tblsp worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp brown sugar, a small bunch of parsley, 1/4 cup pepper flavoured Boursin (cream cheese available off the shelves), 1 tblsp honey, 1/2 tblsp French mustard, olive oil, sea salt to taste

Method:
Cut any large mushrooms into half and keep the tiny ones intact. In a bowl, smash the garlic with the herbs and add the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, parsley. Mix well and continue smashing with the pestle for a smoother paste. Season with a little salt and toss in the mushrooms. Mix until well coated and lay out in a single layer on a piece of foil. Pop this under a grill or an oven set to 200 C. Cook till it’s well roasted.
Prepare the Boursin by adding the honey and mustard to the cream cheese and mix well, keep aside.
Brush some olive oil onto one side of each baguette slice and pop under a grill or oven. Remove while it’s hot and spread a layer of honey-mustard pepper Boursin. Top with the hot roasted mushroom, sprinkle a few parsley leaves for garnish and serve hot.
(Courtesy: nikhil merchant, a blogger on www.nonchalantgourmand.com)


Toto recall

There is a direct link between the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz and Rushdie’s Haroun and The Sea of Stories, and that link is a rainbow.

When Rushdie as a ten-year-old in Bombay watched the colour infused fairy-tale cum fantasy-adventure cum musical, he was struck (“When I first saw The Wizard of Oz, it made a writer of me.”). As a grown-up writing about the film in 1992, the spell remained.

Rushdie enters the piece through the lens of nostalgia. His fiction, infused with magical realism is consciously and unconsciously influenced by the film, he writes “[It] was my very first literary influence”. Rushdie’s interest however, is not purely autobiographical and the piece veers between competing impulses. It extends to a work of criticism, a deep foray into popular culture, a history of an iconic film and also a coming-of-age short story all at once.

Other thematic concerns that most affect Rushdie are the questions of exile and the inadequacies of adults. The Wizard of Oz is pure magic and to read Rushdie on Oz is to savour that magic and feel it doubled: watching a film through the eyes of the ultimate artist in his avatar as the ultimate fanboy.

In 1939, the film came out in theatres despite a shocking and unfortunate series of events including accidents, cast and crew changes, make-up and set fiascos. That the film released at all was a marvel, and that it continues to be watched and loved despite the anguish and indifference that went into the making of it, is an even greater marvel.

— Bhavya Dore


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