'Movie Menus:' Food for Film Buffs

New Book Serves Up Recipes from Current and Classic Cinema

Cover of 'Movie Menus'

'Movie Menus' looks at recipes to complement current and classic movies including 'Seabiscuit,' 'Lord of the Rings,' and 'Gone With the Wind.' Steven Vaughan. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Studios and Miramax Film Corp. hide caption

itoggle caption Steven Vaughan. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Studios and Miramax Film Corp.
'Master and Commander'

'Master and Commander' Credit: Steven Vaughan. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Studios and Miramax Film Corp. hide caption

itoggle caption Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Universal Studios and Miramax Film Corp.

Want to get closer to your favorite movies, without donning a toga or battling Orcs? Culinary historian Francine Segan has put together a cookbook of meals designed to compliment the cinematic experience, from minty garlic spread for Cleopatra to old fashioned southern-fried chicken for Gone with the Wind.

NPR's Neal Conan talks with Segan, the author of Movie Menus, about food in the movies and what to serve at this weekend's Oscar party.

Master and Commander Dessert:

Sally Lunn Cake (serves 10)

2 packages active dry yeast

2 cups milk, warmed

4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Jam

Whipped cream (optional)

1. Generously grease a 12-cup bundt pan and set aside.

2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt, making a well in the center. When the milk mixture begins to bubble, pour it into the flour along with the eggs and butter. Stir briskly until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared Bundt pan, cover, and allow to rise at room temperature for an hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Bake the cake for about 20 minutes, or until light golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.

6. Serve with your favorite jam and whipped cream, if you’d like.

Lord of the Rings Appetizers:

Individual Meat Pies (serves 10)

8 ounces ground pork or beef

2 tablespoons currants

2 tablespoons pinenuts

6 dates, pitted and finely chopped

3 prunes, pitted and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 17-ounces box frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 large egg, beaten

1. Place the meat, currants, pinenuts, dates, prunes, nutmeg, brown sugar, liqueur, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Refridgerate for at least an hour so the flavors can mingle.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Roll out the puff pastry to 1/8 of an inch thick on a floured work surface. Using a 2 ½ inch round cookie cutter, press out about 30 dough circles. Place 1 teaspoon of the meat mixture on each circle, fold in half, and pinch the edges to seal. Brush the top with egg and place on a dry nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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