10 Memorable Movie Meals (and How to Make Them)

10 Memorable Movie Meals (and How to Make Them)

May 07, 2014

With Chef arriving in theaters (and it's a movie you do not want to see on an empty stomach), it's time to go on a tour of some of the more memorable movie meals and drinks throughout the movies. Whether you want to consider this a full 10-course evening or just a list of one-off suggestions, these are 10 of the most iconic and delicious dishes to ever appear in the movies... and more importantly, we have recipes for each and every one of them.


The Vesper Martini (Casino Royale)

The Scene: James Bond is a man of many vices, but the most famous of them is his trademark beverage of choice: a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred). In the 2006 series reboot Casino Royale, his love (need?) for this drink gets the full origin-story treatment. He drinks this cocktail because it reminds him of Vesper Lynd, the woman he loved before she betrayed him. Now, every time you see Bond saddle up to the bar, you realize that he's not drinking to forget -- he's drinking to remember.

The Recipe: 

- 3 measures of Gordon's Gin

- 1 measure of vodka

- 1/2 measure of Kina Lillet

- Lemon peel for garnish

Combine ingredients in shaker. Shake well until ice cold. Pour into glass and add a large, thin slice of lemon peel.

(Courtesy of About.com)

Fried Green Tomatoes (Fried Green Tomatoes)

The Scene: It's hard to set a film predominately in a diner without making food a central subject to the film. It's even harder when the title of the film is actually is the name of a dish. Interestingly, the food itself is rarely central to the dramatic comings and goings at the heart of Fried Green Tomatoes, but the various dishes that are prepared at the Whistle Stop Cafe provide, color, texture and yes, flavor to the film. Naturally, the dish that stands out when the credits roll is the one in the title.

The Recipe:

- 3-4 green tomatoes

- 1 1/2 cups flour

- 1/2 cup corn meal

- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

- Milk

- Vegetable oil

"Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Add enough milk to create a thick batter. Heat two inches of oil in a large skillet. Batter each tomato slice, and wipe off excess. Carefully place in hot oil, browning on both sides (may or may not need turning, depending on the amount of oil). To cool, drain in a colander to keep tomatoes from becoming soggy. Salt to taste."

(Courtesy of Whistle Stop Cooking)

Ratatouille (Ratatouille)

The Scene: The title of Pixar's Ratatouille is pretty much a pun, using the name of a notable French dish mainly because the main character of the film is a rodent named Remy who dreams of being a chef. However, the actual dish ultimately does figure into the plot. In the film's climax, Remy and his massive family of fellow rats all team up to run a kitchen, save the day and appease the terrifying critic Anton Ego. The dish that blows Ego's mind and rekindles his love for cooking? Ratatouille, of course.

The Recipe:

- 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste

- 1/2 onion, chopped

- 1/4 cup minced garlic

- 1 tbs olive oil

- 3/4 cup water

- Salt and ground pepper to taste

- 1 small eggplant, thinly sliced

- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced

- 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced

- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

- 3 tbs olive oil

- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

- 3 tbs mascarpone cheese

"Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Spread tomato paste into the bottom of a 10x10-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with onion and garlic and stir in one tablespoon of olive oil and water until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper.

Arrange alternating slices of eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell pepper and yellow bell pepper, starting at the outer edge of the dish and working concentrically towards the center. Overlap the slices a little to display the colors. Drizzle the vegetables with three tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with thyme leaves. Cover vegetables with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside.

Bake in the preheated oven until vegetables are roasted and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese."

(Courtesy of All Recipes)

Timpano (Big Night)

The Scene: With their Italian restaurant on the verge of failure, brothers Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondo (Stanley Tucci) decide to go for broke when they receive news that a celebrity singer will be visiting their establishment. After spending every penny they have left on ingredients, they prepare the cinematic feast to end all cinematic feasts in a sequence that cannot be watched on an empty stomach. It all climaxes with the preparation of their special Timpano, a baked pasta dish that looks complicated enough to bring even the most seasoned chefs to their knees. It's prep and reveal is an enthralling as any action scene.

The Recipe:

- 1 batch pasta sauce

- 1 pound ricotta

- 1/4 head escarole, grilled

- 1 raw egg

- Pinch of salt

- Pinch of chili flakes

- 4 cups dried ziti, penne or rigatoni, cooked

- 1 pound meat such as sausage, pancetta or meatballs

- 3-4 boiled eggs

- 1/2 pound mozzarella

- Cooked pasta sheets

"Chop grilled escarole. Mix it together with your ricotta, a raw egg, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of chili flakes. Pipe this mixture into your cooked pasta tubes using a pastry bag.

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Butter or grease an oven-proof mold really well. I used a smaller mold (six inches in diameter and four inches tall).

Line the mold with the cooked pasta sheets, making sure you have enough hanging over to cover the top once you're finished adding layers.

Line the bottom with the ricotta-stuffed pasta.

Add the tomato sauce, then tap the mold down onto the counter to make sure the sauce settles. The less pockets of air in the timpano, the better its structure will be.

Top with meat. Tap down again. Top with a thin layer of mozzarella.

Add another layer of the ricotta stuffed pasta and tap again. Top with the egg, then another layer of sauce. Tap down again.

Top with mozzarella. Top with another layer of ricotta-stuffed pasta. Top with sauce, and tap one last time. Cover top with remaining pasta sheets and egg wash to seal.

Bake for 45 minutes to an hour -- a larger mold will need more time in the oven.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes, run a small off set spatula or thin knife around the side to make sure it’s not stuck to the mold.

Cover with a plate and flip over to unmold. Do so as gently as possible. Allow another 10 minutes before cutting into it."

(Courtesy of Food 52)

Liver with Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti (The Silence of the Lambs)

The Scene: Hannibal Lecter's meal of liver and fava beans (with a nice Chianti) may be the most famous movie meal we never get a chance to see... and that may be for the best. In one of the most quoted moments in cinematic history, the psychotic but suave cannibal informs FBI agent Clarice Starling that he once made a meal of a census taker for trying to analyze him. It's a horrifying moment, but let's get real: at one point or another, everyone who has seen the movie has wondered what liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti would actually taste like. Of course, you'd want to replace the human liver with an animal liver. Well, you'd hopefully want to make that switcheroo.

The Recipe:

- 2 cups small brown fava beans

- 4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

- 1/2 tsp ground cumin

- 1/2/ tps crushed red chile flkaes

- Salt

- Vegetable broth

- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

- 1/4 cup chipped parsley

- 6 scallions, chopped

- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

- 2 lemons, quartered

- Extra-virgin olive oil

Cook fava beans for 40 minutes using water amounts and cooking times recommended on package. Drain liquid from beans. Place beans in strainer.

Cook vegetable broth and garlic in saucepan and cook for two to three minutes.

Transfer beans to the saucepan. Add garlic, cumin, chile flakes and salt. Cook on low as you combine the ingredients.

Run half of mixture through food processor and return to the pan.

Prepare cilantro, parsley, scallions, tomatoes and lemons for topping.

Prepare liver separately according to tastes. Open a bottle of Chianti.

(Courtesy of Watch Hatch Fly)

The Italian Prison Feast (Goodfellas)

The Scene: About halfway through Martin Scorsese's gangster masterpiece Goodfellas, a significant portion of the film's cast finds themselves locked up in prison for various offenses. But since they're well connected and wealthy, they get to live like kings. In their large quarters, they lounge around all day, preparing elaborate Italian meals with food they've had smuggled in. If you can watch this scene without getting hungry, you don't deserve to ever eat Italian food again. The close-ups of Paulie slicing the garlic with a razor blade so that the pieces are thin enough to dissolve in the pan may be one of the most strangely appetizing shots of food ever committed to film. Feel free to modify the the recipe below -- Ray Liotta's Henry notes that the sauce tended to have a few too many onions.

The Recipe:

- 6 onions, peeled and finely diced

- 75g olive oil

- 1 tsp sale

- 300g minced beef

- 300g diced veal flank

- 250g beef or brown chicken stock

- 10 cloves garlic, peeled

- 100ml white wine

-150g tomaoe puree

- 750g ripe vine tomatoes, chopped

- A pinch of salt

- Black pepper

Place pan on medium heat and add olive oil, diced onions and salt. Cover with a led turn down to a medium low heat. Stir every three to five minutes. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent (will take 25-30 minutes).

Peel and finely slice the garlic and dice the tomatoes.

Place large frying pan on high heat and add oil. Prepare the minced beef, pork and veal to your liking. Drain each batch of meat into a colander to collect the juices.

Cook garlic on medium heat for one to two minutes until it breaks down. Add white wine and boil until it has been reduced. Add chicken stock. Turn up the heat and reduce.

Add tomato puree to your onions. Turn up the heat and stir continuously for one to two minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes, cooked meats and garlic. Stir. Place the lid back on pan and cook on a low heat for two to three hours.

Season to your liking.

(Courtesy of Shortlist)

Caille en Sarcophage (Babette's Feast)

The Scene: Few films will make your mouth water quite like Babette's Feast and picking just one dish from the film's lineup of astonishing dishes is a difficult task. However, the honor has to go to the Calle en Sarcophage, which not only looks delicious, but helps repair and forge relationships across the entire table. It's not often that films center entirely around cooking and it's even more rare for a film to focus on a single meal that costs a literal fortune to prepare. That makes Babette's Feast a foodie fantasy, the kind of movie that connoisseurs dream about.

The Recipe:

- 1 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted

- 4 quails, boned

- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

- Freshly ground white pepper

- 12 ounces foie gras, of which is cut across in eight 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

- 16 black figs, quartered

"Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut four five-inch rounds from the pastry. Make a three-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 three-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 one slice of foie gras in each quail cavity followed by three 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 five 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 one minute. Pour in the stock and demi-glace and simmer for three minutes. Stir in the figs and simmer for one minute. Stir in the 1/4- inch cubes of foie gras and simmer, stirring, for one to two 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."

(Courtesy of the New York Times)

Five-Dollar Shake (Pulp Fiction)

The Scene: In Pulp Fiction, John Travolta's Vincent Vega seems to subsist entirely on hard drugs, so it's no wonder he balks at the overdecorated and overpriced novelty restaurant Jack Rabbit Slim's. In one of the film's most quotable scenes, he takes issue with Uma Thurman's Mia ordering the "Five-Dollar Shake" from the menu, explaining that nothing that's just milk and ice cream can be worth that cost. As anyone who's had a truly great milkshake knows, Vincent is very, very incorrect on this front. To his credit, he ends up admitting as much later in the scene when he actually tastes it, but he'd probably be happier saving money and making one of his own at home.

The Recipe:

- 1 medium banana

- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste

- 300gm clotted ice cream

- 200gm natural yogurt

- 250ml whole milk

- 2 tbs clear honey

- 5 cubes of ice

- Pinch of salt

- 4 cherries

Add ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Pout into glass and garnish with cherries. Drink.

(Courtesy of Shortlist)

Marshmallow Mermaid Pie (Waitress)

The Scene: Just as food has the ability to change our mood, the creation of food can be an expression of who we are and how we're feeling. Like any art form, cooking is an extension of the artist and what they create says volumes about their beliefs and loves. This is the predominant subject matter of Waitress, which follows a down-on-her-luck waitress/pie genius who falls in love and finds a new lease on life. Instead of creating pies that reflect her loneliness and dissatisfaction with existence, she starts making things like the Marshmallow Mermaid pie, which acts as an extension of her newfound happiness. Because yes, nothing makes you feel better about things than a great dessert.

The Recipe:

- 9 graham crackers

- 1/2 cup sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted

- 5 tbs butter or margarine, melted

- 34 marshmallows

- 1/2 cup whole milk

- 1 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, grated

"Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine coconut and graham crackers in food processor until coarse crumbs form. Combine crumbs and butter with fork.

Press mixture to bottom and side of nine-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.

Heat marshmallows and milk in three-quart saucepan over low heat until smooth, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat. Cool completely.

In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream with grated chocolate. Spoon filling into cooled crust.

Refrigerate pie at least three hours or overnight. Top with mini marshmallows, maraschino cherries and rainbow sprinkles."

(Courtesy of Taste of Home Community)

Plain Toast (Five Easy Pieces)

The Scene: After drinking all of those martinis and milkshakes and eating all of those rich French and Italian dishes, you'll want to eat something very simple and light for your next meal. So let's turn to one of the most famous scenes in film history: Jack Nicholson's Bobby orders toast in a diner and is informed that toast is not on the menu. The resulting dialogue exchange is some of the finest screenwriting and acting of all time, pulled off so perfectly that it makes you want to walk into your local restaurant, order something that's not on the menu and talk your way into making your request possible. 

The Recipe: Make an omelet, plain, and a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast. No mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce. Hold the chicken, eat the toast, request a check for the chicken salad sandwich. Hold the chicken between your knees.




Categories: Features
blog comments powered by Disqus

Facebook on Movies.com