Have you ever seen Funny Girl, the classic musical mocie starring Barbra Streisand? I hadn’t – but had heard a few of the songs – so when I acme to guest host Food ‘n’ Flix in September, I thought it would be a great choice. It isn’t a movie specifically about food, but there is all sorts of inspiration that can be taken from it and translated into cooking – at least I thought so!
The film is peppered (pun intended) with food references, for instance Fanny Brice, describing herself as something of a misfit, says: "I'm a bagel on a plate full of onion rolls!".
Food also serves to underline the naivety of Fanny in contrast with her future husband Nick’s worldliness and experience; for instance he takes Fanny to a restaurant in Baltimore for lobster, which she has never eaten before and falls upon with gusto, and in another scene they are eating dinner together and Nick orders filet de boeuf, sauce bordelaise.
Fanny: I would have ordered roast beef and potatoes.
Nick: I did.
The locations – New York and Baltimore, the era, the world of vaudeville and theatre, the cruise ship they travel on, their wedding and indeed any of the songs (including Cornet Man – you could make ice cream cornets!)- all provide a starting point.
I visited Baltimore last year so was keen to make something from that city, which is famous for its seafood, in particular crab, and also a seasoning called Old Bay. I have a large bottle of Old Bay that a colleague brought back when they visited our office in Baltimore (I used to work for the London office of a company that was based there, but I have since changed jobs). Old Bay seasoning – named after the Chesapeke Bay area around Baltimore, where it is made – is a blend of herbs and spices including mustard, paprika, bay leaf, red pepper, nutmeg and ginger, and is used as a seasoning for crab but afficionados use it on all sorts of things.
I have been very pushed for time recently, having moved house at the very end of August and spending the whole of September redecorating and unpacking. So I was in a bit of a hurry to find a recipe and had a hunt around on Google and found this recipe on AllRecipes.com for Chesapeke Bay Stuffed Rockfish. I used cod instead of rockfish and changed the quantities slightly as it seemed a lot of mayonnaise but otherwise largely followed the recipe as it was given.
This is what I did:
Mixed the cubed bread with fresh parsley, Old Bay seasoning, dried mustard, black pepper, lemon juice, 6 drops of Tabasco (I didn't think it was coming out and realised afterwards it was, and I'd used too much!), mayonnaise (I left out the butter) and a tin of crabmeat.
Mix all the ingredients well in a small bowl.
Lay out a piece of fish and spoon half the filling onto the fish (there is enough filling to serve two)
Roll up and bake in the oven
Serve with vegetables and a nice glass of white wine. This was a delicious dish that was very easy to make but tasted fantastic; I will definitely do it again. Hopefully it's a dish worthy of Fanny Brice!
This is my entry to the Food 'n' Flix challenge which I am guest hosting this month, you can see my announcement post here. The round-up will follow in October - I should do it by the end of this month but you will have to forgive me as I have just moved house, am redecorating and haven't even unpacked yet!