Stars of the local stage offer recipe suggestions for a winter-weather move night.
Provided by Tracey Johnston-Crum
I will always own a couple of movies for forever viewing, including The Dark Crystal, L.A. Story, Fargo, and Pulp Fiction. But I inevitably find my way back to All About Eve. This 1950 film is Bette Davis (Margo) at her best. It’s peppered with amazing characters articulated by phenomenal female actors. All About Eve is the only film in history to receive four female Oscar nominations. Cocktails play a striking role, and specifically a gin martini known as the Gibson. A cocktail onion replaces the olive here. In a pivotal scene, Margo plucks the onion from her cocktail, then drains the glass with a flourish. “Fasten your seatbelts,” she says, “it’s going to be a bumpy night.”
Tracey Johnston-Crum recently performed in The 45th Annual Bernstein Christmas Spectacular (The Magnetic Theatre) and Titus Andronicus (Montford Park Players).
2 1/2 ounces Gin
1/2 ounces Dry Vermouth
Stir with ice in a mixing glass, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add a cocktail onion for garnish.
SCALLOPS WITH BACON
Provided by Tracey Johnston-Crum
3 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 lemon, 2 wedges and the rest zested
Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Coarsely chop and set 3 pieces of bacon aside. Increase heat to high.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add scallops to drippings in pan. Cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-high.
Add onion and garlic to pan. Sauté 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add half of spinach and cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining half of spinach and cook 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Divide spinach mixture among 2 plates. Top each serving evenly with crumbled bacon and 3 scallops.
Serve immediately with a pinch of the zest sprinkled over the dish and a lemon wedge. The acid cuts the fat and brightens the spinach.
EARL GREY CUPCAKES WITH LEMON BUTTERCREAM
Provided by Devyn Ray
My favorite movie is 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, the first movie in the “blood and ice cream trilogy.” It is a zom-rom-com (zombie romantic comedy). It is clever and very funny, while being a delightfully British homage to zombie and horror films. The movie follows the painfully mediocre Shaun, who realizes his potential as a hero only as a zombie apocalypse unfolds. There are a thousand things you could make to pair with this movie: bar snacks, chips and dips, fish and chips. But I love making cupcakes, and I’d suggest a batch of Earl Grey cupcakes with a lemon buttercream. It’s a great way to embrace your inner Anglophile.
Devyn Ray is Associate Artistic Director of Montford Park Players. She recently performed in Julius Caesar, Pride and Prejudice, and Much Ado About Nothing (Montford Park Players).
2 cups whole milk
5 Earl Grey tea bags
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces by weight) butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups (1 pound, by weight) powdered sugar
6 tablespoons heavy cream or chilled infused Earl Grey whole milk
2 teaspoons lemon extract
To Make the Cupcakes:
Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Scald the milk (heat until it is steaming and many tiny bubbles have formed in the milk around the edge of the pan. Add the tea bags, remove the pan from the heat and put the lid in place. Let the milk cool to room temperature like this. When the milk is cool, squeeze the excess liquid from the tea bags and discard them. Measure one cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cooled infused milk and reserve the rest.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl with an electric hand-held mixer) beat together the butter and sugar until lighter in color and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/egg/sugar. Beat on low just until combined. Add about 1/3 of the infused milk that you measured. Again, beat just until combined, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and repeat -flour, milk, flour, milk- until both flour and milk are completely incorporated.
Line 24 muffin/cupcake wells with cupcake liners and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the liners about 2/3 full of cupcake batter.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until they spring back when pressed lightly or a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
To Make the Lemon Buttercream:
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer) beat the butter on high until it is light and fluffy. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until incorporated. Then, with the mixer on high, whisk in the cream or infused milk and the lemon extract until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Use an offset spatula to smear the buttercream on the cupcakes or load it into a pastry bag with a big tip to pipe on the frosting.
MARILYN’S CHICKEN CURRY
Provided by Lucia Del Vecchio
I just never get tired of The Royal Tenenbaums, a dark comedy by director Wes Anderson about a deeply dysfunctional family that comes together when their seemingly ailing and neglectful father reappears at their childhood home. I’m all about dark comedies, where you’re laughing one minute and then slightly dying inside the next. And I love to cook. For this movie, I’d make a family favorite: my mother’s chicken curry. The secret ingredient is bacon! It feeds an army—or just your relatives you love to hate, or hate to love. Whichever applies.
Lucia Del Vecchio is the Managing and Associate Artistic Director of the Magnetic Theater. She recently performed in Glengarry Glen Ross with the Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective.
1 large chicken
12 slices bacon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup diced onion
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons curry powder
3 large garlic cloves
6 tablespoons lemon juice
6 cups chicken broth
Boil chicken and bone, breaking all meat into small and medium size pieces. Cook bacon, remove from pan. Brown onions and garlic in bacon fat. Combine all dry ingredients in one container. Combine all liquids except chicken broth in another container.
Add dry ingredients to onions, garlic, and bacon fat over heat. Stir until the mixture blends completely and thickens. Add combined liquids (still leaving out chicken broth); stir briefly until thickening starts. Add broth, let simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken meat and crumbled bacon; simmer 30 minutes. May be served immediately, warmed up later, or frozen and served much later. Goes well with boiled rice. Will serve 6 adults.
Garnish with peanuts, plumped raisins, chutney, sliced bananas.