The Danish/French Babette’s Feast is based on a story by Isak Dinesen, also the source of the very different Out of Africa (1985). Stephane Audran plays Babette, a 19th century Parisian political refugee who seeks shelter in a rough Danish coastal town. Philippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martina (Birgitte Federspiel), the elderly daughters of the town’s long-dead minister, take Babette in. As revealed in flashback, Philippa and Martina were once beautiful young women (played by Hanne Stensgaard and Vibeke Hastrup), who’d forsaken their chances at romance and fame, taking hollow refuge in religion. Babette holds a secret that may very well allow the older ladies to have a second chance at life. This is one of the great movies about food, but there are way too many surprises in Babette’s Feast to allow us to reveal anything else at this point.
Almost impossibly expensive and difficult to re-create, the title meal in Babette’s Feast was a grand gesture of gratitude. Molly O’Neill, writing for the New York Times, simplified the movie’s main dish so that a home cook could relish the experience.
Quail in Puff Pastry
- 1 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted 20 minutes at room temperature
- 4 quails, boned
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 12 ounces foie gras (French for “fat liver”, is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose), of which is cut across in 8 slices, the rest cut into 2/3- inch cubes
- 1 1-ounce black truffle, sliced as thinly as possible, at least 12 slices
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup demi-glace (a rich brown sauce in French cuisine)
- 16 black figs, quartered
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 5-inch rounds from the pastry. Make a 3-inch circle in the center of each round, being careful not to cut to the bottom of the dough. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Carefully lift out the 3-inch round from the center to create a nest with a top. Set aside to cool.
- Raise the oven to 450 degrees. Season the inside of the quails with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Lay 1 slice of foie gras in each quail cavity followed by 3 truffle slices and top with the remaining foie gras. Truss the quails. Season the outsides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear the quails, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Turn the quails and roast for 5 minutes more. Remove and keep warm in a covered dish.
- Place the skillet over high heat on top of the stove. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and demi-glace and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the figs and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the 1/4- inch cubes of foie gras and simmer, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to 2/3 cup. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, put each quail in a pastry nest. Drizzle with sauce, top with the pastry round and surround with the figs.
When Lucy Whitmore wakes up in the morning, she has absolutely no recollection of the day before. She eats waffles at the same diner every morning. She encounters the same people who know exactly who she is, but for her she’s meeting them for the first time. One year ago, Lucy was in a car accident that resulted in permanent short-term memory loss.
Henry Roth is a marine-life veterinarian living in Hawaii. He is afraid of commitment, thus enjoys the company of vacationing women, which offer short-term relations with no strings attached. Everything is going smoothly until he meets Lucy. A love connection is made and after years of living it up as a bachelor Henry thinks he has finally found the girl of his dreams. But when he finds out about Lucy’s memory condition his hopes for a future with her come to a halt.
He’s won her heart once, but can he do it, um, everyday?
One thing Lucy can count on is her daily serving of Belgian waffles. So, make yourself a plate and watch this unusual love story unfold where every date is like the first.
Belgian Waffles Recipe
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 3/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 egg whites
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the warm milk and the melted butter. Stir in the yeast mixture, sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk alternately with the flour, ending with the flour. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks; fold into the batter. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the waffle iron. Brush with oil and spoon about 1/2 cup (or as recommended by manufacturer) onto center of iron. Close the lid and bake until it stops steaming and the waffle is golden brown. Serve immediately or keep warm in 200 degree oven.
Cooking time: 15 minutes. – Servings: 8. – Back to Top
Doughnuts are doh’licious! Who other than Homer Simpson would know better? The Simpson movie has finally landed on earth with a big and loud impact. People have been waiting for it since the first appearance of our beloved yellow American family on the little screen.
Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie are your extra-ordinary family that, against their will, ends up in the most indecent and outrageous situations. What have they done this time? D’oh! Just the most incredible adventure ever!
Springfield is dealing with environmental problems that concern the hole globe and is determined to make a change. Lisa, of course, is head of this new movement and in particular is trying to save the over-the-top polluted lake of the town. After having all the neighborhood doors slammed in her face with, Lisa is able to convince the mayor to have the lake cleaned up. For the first time in years, the citizens of Springfield are making an effort and doing their best to succeed in this “mission”.
Meanwhile Homer’s father, has a revelation about the imminent future: ”horrible things are about to happen”, “a thousand eyes” and “ trapped forever” is what he repeats infinitely. But nobody believes him and every-day life continues. Homer saves a pig and brings it home, as a new member of the family ( Spider Pork )! Part of his job is to get rid of the excrements without doing any damage to the environment. Nothing could stop Homer from his duty except his oldest weakness: yes, mmm..donuts! Once again there’s an aberration of the original plan.
Homer prefers to rush at a free donuts sale, dumping the stinky container in the lake! This leads to the banning of the Simpson family from Springfield and the occurrence of Homer’s father’s prediction. Although Alaska, the police and the government get involved, the Simpson family saves the day after all.
Whose fault? Homer’s? Absolutely not! The doughnuts are the tempters. You’ve seen them in all the episodes and they play a fundamental role in the movie. Pink, sugary and glossy: Homer loves them as well of all of us. No wonder there are doughnut eating contests all over the United States. Check out the real cartoon recipe and be tempted like Homer!
Baked Doughnut Recipe
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 2 Eggs
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- Oil for deep frying
- Powdered sugar
- Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, milk, salt and vanilla. Beat these together and gradually work on the flour. Roll out on a floured board to about 1/4 inch or a little thinner if preferred.
- Cut the dough into 2 x 4-inch strips and simply make 3 or 4 slits in the center of each. Fry in deep oil until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Mixing time: 60 minutes. – Servings: 2. – Back to Top