Wednesday 13 March 2013

Lamb in Cherryade Glaze - Meal from How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

I've recently come across the Food 'n' Flix blog challenge where a film is chosen every month and the participants cook something inspired by that film. I took part in January with the Hunger Games and was quite pleased with the meal from the film and book that I recreated.

This month's film, chosen by Tina from SquirrelHead Manor, is the Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey romantic comedy How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. I'd seen the film before - in fact I have it on DVD - so I settled down one Sunday night to watch it again. There are only a few key food scenes but also lots of other little moments where you see people eating. When Andie and Ben first meet, they go out to dinner and eat lobster (which I am not going to attempt to cook!) and the other main food scene is when Ben cooks Andie dinner at his house. He makes an amazing rack of lamb with a cherry glaze... and Andie tells him she's vegetarian.

However, Heather - the brains behind this challenge -explained to me that the challenge doesn't only centre around recreating food that actually features in the film. She said: "You can draw inspiration from a town or a setting...from a memory or a reference...from a color or a building.  I see food in everything - usually where others do not.  Sometimes you have to draw inspiration from the tiniest of a spark.  What we head into the kitchen to make inspired by a film does not have to come directly from the screen."

I like the way she thinks - and as the film is all about dating, one way of approaching this challenge would be to cook a romantic meal suitable for a first date or special occasion - like this Valentine's day dessert here, or this New Year's eve meal here. Another way to approach it is taking the film's title literally.... When Ben cooks the lamb he doesn't know Andie is vegetarian (in fact she isn't, if you haven't seen the film this won't make much sense - she is writing a magazine column on how to drive a man away). Cooking something your date doesn't like never gets an evening off to a good start.... As I can confirm! I remember one of the first meals I cooked for my boyfriend was boeuf bourguignon, having checked in advance if he ate beef - but he probably thought I meant steak, as he really didn't like the boeuf bourguignon, and I also put onion and diced carrot in it, both of which he hates! And I think if I cook any more cakes with bacon in our relationship might be on shaky ground... I made these bacon brownies on the basis that sweet and salty flavours are supposed to work well together, but let's just say they didn't. And now whenever I present my boyfriend with a cake, he eyes it suspiciously and asks if it has got bacon in it! It's become something of a running joke so he probably thought I was kidding when I said I was going to make these Elvis cakes - but I did anyway, and they were very nice (though I gave him one without bacon!).

In the end however, I decided that rather than cook a romantic meal suitable for a date, or make something that would make my boyfriend want to dump me (or at least not eat dinner at my house again), I would stick to a faithful recreation from the film. Which left me with only one real option: the lamb in cherry glaze that Ben cooks for Andie. He uses a rack of lamb, which looks great, but as I was only making this for myself I decided it would be a bit much for one person. Also, I don't eat cherries, and had the idea of adapting the recipe to use some fizzy Cherryade that I had from another recipe.

I pretty much made it up as I went along; for the glaze you need:
half an onion
1 tsp dried sage
100ml red wine
100ml cherryade
1 tbsp Splenda sweetener/ 2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp cornflour

Chop the onion and sweat it in Fry-Light

Add the sage, then the red wine and bring to the boil

Add the cherryade and simmer until the mixture starts to thicken

I decided to strain the sauce to remove the onion, which I kept to one side, then used a little cornflour to thicken the sauce a little more. Finally add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

I was in too much of a hurry to eat and served the sauce before it had properly thickened. I oven cooked the lamb, served the onion from the sauce on the side, and had this with roasted new potatoes and vegetables (which I was too impatient to eat to photograph!). The sauce had a lovely flavour and was perfect with the lamb. The leftover sauce that I had left in the pan (though not on the heat) had thickened beautifully by the time I had finished my dinner, but I'm afraid you'll just have to take my word for it!

I'm hosting this challenge in August and have already picked out the film I'm going to use - When Harry Met Sally. It's a very foodie-theme - and I don't just mean the 'I'll have what she's having' scene! Check out the main Food n' Flix page to see the other challenges in the meantime.


  1. i wouldn't have thought of using cherryade in so many things.good ideas.

  2. What a good idea and how creative of you! I love your story about the bacon and brownies :-) Thank you so much for participating this month. Looking forward to your hosting in August.

  3. :) thanks so much for you kind words...I'm so happy that you cooked along with us (and the flick) again this month! And such a fun idea to use cherryade in place of cherries (though I love cherries - they're my favorite fruit). Your lamb looks very tasty.

  4. Fun post! The lamb dinner scene is one of my favorites in the movie. ;-) I love that you used the cherryade in the glaze too.

  5. The glaze sounds so fun! Loved your stories about attempts at exposing the boyfriend to new foods. Sometimes, it is just better to let sleeping dogs lie. :) Welcome to FnF!


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