Featuring some of the hottest celebrity chefs, Dinner & A Download introduces a complete home entertainment experience from the kitchen to the couch. Each episode features five great movie selections along with unique culinary dishes our chefs were inspired to create.
Meet the Chefs
Chef Richard Blais
Watch the Willy Wonka of the culinary world work his magic with Fizzy Lifting Fish Tacos and Holy Mole Chicken. With more than a few tricks up his sleeve, it's no wonder his movie theme is "Reinvention. Reimagination."
The feisty sugar fashionista and classically trained pastry chef knows “Life is Short. Eat Dessert First” Which is exactly why she gives you two tempting desserts with her Pig Candy Waffles and Dessert First Fontaine.
2 cups of Easy Fizzy Lifting Batter (recipe below)
½ lb sustainably harvested cod, cut into strips (or similar white flaky fish)
1 cup kale, sliced extremely thin
½ cup mayo
4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp raw garlic, minced
2 tsp raw ginger, minced
4 tbsp sliced scallion
2 tsp kecap manis (Indonesian soy) or sweet soy sauce
1 freshly squeezed lime
1 gallon peanut oil for frying
pitch of lime zest
Easy Fizzy Lifting Batter
1 ½ cups rice flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
10 fl oz light beer
10 fl oz vodka
Heat peanut oil to 325 – 350°F in a fryer or large Dutch oven.
Mix the ingredients for the Easy Fizzy Lifting Batter in a medium bowl, set aside. In a bowl, squirt in the soda water. Note: Alcohol in batter will burn off when cooking, making it safe to eat for children.
Dust the ﬁsh with a little rice ﬂour and pat dry. Then dip the ﬁsh in the batter and fry in the hot oil until golden brown. Once the ﬁsh is done, remove from the oil, place on a plate, and immediately season with salt and lime zest.
To make the sauce for the "kale"-slaw, whisk the ginger, garlic, scallion, sesame oil, lime juice and mayonnaise together. Pour over thinly sliced kale and toss. (Sauce can be prepared a day ahead of time.)
Warm ﬂour tortillas. On top of each tortilla, place some slaw and top with the fried ﬁsh.
10 oz (about 5 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 cup (about 6.5 oz) sesame seeds
1 cup rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable oil, plus a little more if needed
6 oz (about 12 medium) mulato chilies, stemmed, seeded and torn into large ﬂat pieces
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 white onion, sliced
1 cup almonds
1 cup raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp anise
¼ tsp cloves
2 slices ﬁrm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
2 oz Wonka Chocolate, roughly chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
⅓ cup sugar
Peel tomatillos. On a sheet tray in a hot oven or broiler, char the tomatillos in some lard or vegetable oil.
Meanwhile, toast the dried chilies in a skillet, then soak them in warm water for 30 minutes or until plump.
In a sauce pot on medium heat, cook the onion, garlic, almonds, sesame seeds and raisins for a few minutes in lard or olive oil. Add the cinnamon, black pepper, anise and cloves, and cook for one minute more. Next, add the tomatillos [remove half of the sesame seeds] and the soaked chilies. Discard the chili water. Finally, add the bread, sugar, broth and chocolate. Simmer uncovered for 60 – 90 minutes.
Pour mixture into a blender and puree. Strain the pureed mixture, making the sauce as smooth as possible.
To prepare the chicken, simply season the breasts with olive oil and seasoning. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes.
Remove chicken breasts and top generously with molé sauce. Can be served family style or on individual plates. Chef’s choice!
20 lbs quahog clams, or a combination of quahogs, steamers, and razor clams
¼ cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
½ tsp black peppercorns
¼ lb salt pork, skin removed, cut into ¼" dice
¼ lb bacon, cut into 1" dice
2 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, partially peeled and quartered
2 large sweet onions, cut into 1" dice
4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus more for serving
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tarragon for garnish
Cook bacon on low or salt pork down to cracklings in a small pan. Remove bacon and set aside.
Chop onions and potatoes into chunks of roughly the same side. Next brown potatoes in bacon fat for about 5 minutes then add onion, sauté the onions until brown, about 5 minutes. Add a little olive oil if necessary. Season with thyme and pepper.
Put clams into another pot in a few inches of water and steam until clams open.
Use clam stock from the bottom of pot and pour over the onions and potatoes to cover them. Let cook until the potatoes begin to soften. Remove the clams from their shells, chop them into chunks, and place to the side.
Add cream and begin to thicken using spoon to mash a few of the softened potatoes against the side of the pot. Season then add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce and dill. Add the clams and let the chowder set. Serve and add cracklings to top.
In a large pot, add 2 inches of water. Put in the onion halves cut sides down and add the coarse sea salt, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Put in the lobsters heads up, the ﬁrst 2 sitting on the onion halves, and loosely stack the other 2 lobsters, making sure all the lobsters are evenly spaced apart. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until bright red all over, about 6 minutes. They will be a little undercooked for a reason!
Transfer the lobsters to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool. Work over the sheet to collect all the lobster juices and fat. Twist the tails and the claws from the bodies. Pull off the tail ends or ﬂippers from the tail shells and push the tail meat out of the shells with your thumb. Cut down the tops of the tails and discard the dark vein. Twist the knuckles from the claws. Cover the claws with a kitchen towel and, with a mallet or the back of a large knife, gently crack the claws on both sides to loosen the shells from the meat. Break the shells off of the claws and pull out the meat, preferably in one piece. Break up the knuckles and push out the meat.
Cut the tails down the center and give all of the lobster meat just a few chops; the meat should be in nice chunks. You should have about 5 cups of meat. Put the meat and the collected juices in a large skillet and set aside.
Now heat a griddle. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic powder and stir. Open the hot dog buns and brush only the insides with some of the garlic butter. Toast the buns on the hot griddle on medium-high heat until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium if the griddle gets too hot.
Very gently, reheat the lobster meat over low heat until barely hot. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the mayonnaise, and season with ﬁne sea salt. Pack the lobster meat into the toasted buns and drizzle each with a little more of the garlic butter. Sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning and serve right away. You should have a nice pink-orange sauce developing around the meat as a result of the mayo and lobster juice cooking just a bit.
The cooked lobster meat and juices can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature, then reheat very gently if you are assembling the rolls the following day. Save the lobster bodies and shells for bisque or stock. Store in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Note: Lobster rolls should taste like lobster, not celery! Just use good, sweet hot dog buns, big chunks of lobster, a little mayo and some butter, and you will have perfection.
Preheat broiler on high and place rack onto upper third of oven.
Prepare soy meatballs. Soak breadcrumbs in Half & Half in a small bowl until absorbed. Set aside about a quarter of the Soyrizo and add the remainder to an extra-large bowl. Combine Soyrizo with the soaked breadcrumbs, plus half of the chopped onions, egg, and tomato paste. Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined.
Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Divide the sticky meatball mixture into 1-inch balls and place them evenly on the baking sheet. Spray nonstick spray on the meatballs and place in the preheated broiler for 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked all the way through.
Cook pasta by following the instructions on the package. In the meantime, make the tomato sauce. Sauté the onions and Soyrizo, then add garlic, in a large saucepan on high heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, red pepper ﬂakes, and oregano and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
Drain the pasta and divide between dishes. Place soy meatballs on pasta and ladle a good serving of tomato sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate baking squares, melted and cooled
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh raspberries
Framboise liqueur (a raspberry liquor)
Assembly and Phyllo Prep
1 package of phyllo dough
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
Mixed berries, fresh or frozen
Prepare the cake mixture by sifting dry ingredients together. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, melted butter and boiling water. Mix well and add the unsweetened chocolate you melted earlier.
Pour mixture onto a parchment paper–lined sheet pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake at 350°F for 18–20 minutes or until it springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it bubbles up. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Cover and let sit for 3–4 minutes. Uncover and slowly start to whisk until it is smooth and shiny. Place Saran wrap directly on top of the chocolate mixture, otherwise known as ganache. (Dont you just feel like a pro saying that?) Let cool to room temp.
Pour sugar and water into a saucepan along with berries. Let come to a boil, then remove from heat
Whisk the raspberry syrup so that the berries break apart, then pour through a strainer and let cool. Once cool, add the raspberry liqueur.
Take the sheet of chocolate cake and cut out rounds using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Remove the rounds gently and place on a sheet pan skin side down. Brush the cake rounds with the raspberry syrup.
Fill a pastry bag with the ganache and pipe the ganache onto the cake rounds. (If you don’t have a pastry bag, a small cookie dough scooper will do the trick.) Then top the ganache with your mixed berries. About 6–8 berries per cake should be enough. Place in your refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble.
Begin working on the phyllo dough. Lay down one sheet of phyllo dough. With a pastry brush, generously cover it with the melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Lay down another sheet of phyllo dough directly on top of that and repeat the process until you have a total of 3 sheets of phyllo dough.
Fold the phyllo dough over each cake and tuck under the edges. Lightly brush with melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
At this stage the cakes can be wrapped and stored in your freezer OR put into your oven at 400°F degrees for about 15–18 minutes. The phyllo dough should brown slightly. Remove from oven and sprinkle with more powdered sugar.
Place cake in a bowl with either some ice cream or whipped cream, or both. Why not? Then grab a fork and witness a fountain of mixed berry chocolate cake goodness.
If you only have frozen berries on hand, keep in mind that two bags of mixed frozen berries equal about two containers of fresh berries. This recipe tastes great either way!
Note: You can totally cheat with this recipe and use a cake mix. It’s ok! However, if you’re going to use a mix, use a chocolate fudge cake mix. Make as directed on the box, but make sure to use the whisk attachment and mix for at least 7–9 minutes. The batter should be lump free and should almost triple in volume.
¼ cup dark rum, optional (though for me, there is no option)
Line a sheet pan with tin foil and place a wire rack, such as a cooling rack, on top. Spray nonstick spray.
Take four pieces of bacon and rub generous amounts of dark brown sugar on both sides. Place on rack or sheet pan and broil at 400°F for about 15 – 18 minutes, ﬂipping bacon halfway through. Sugar should dissolve and melt onto bacon. Remove from oven and let cool on rack till at room temperature. Wrap a chopstick in foil and wrap one piece of bacon per waffle in a spiral around the chopstick. Then put the chopsticks in the freezer to create the bacon garnish. Once its completely cool, it will get crispy. Cut the rest of the bacon into pieces or use blender and set aside.
Whisk together the ﬂour, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, butter and the buttermilk. Beat the egg white and the cream of tartar with a hand-held mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the well and whisk very gently until the buttermilk mixture is incorporated. (A few lumps will remain.) Toward the end of the mixing, fold the egg white into the batter.
Add candied bacon to the batter and mix well until evenly distributed. Spread the appropriate amount of batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown, just about 3 ½ minutes. Repeat while keeping the cooked waffles in a 200°F oven.
Meanwhile, assemble the banana mixture. In a warmed-up skillet, over medium heat, add butter, let melt, and add sugar and let cook until the granules have all dissolved. Add the sliced bananas and shake the pan around, getting the bananas covered in the butter/sugar. If using rum, add rum and stand back, as the rum will ﬂame up. (Be careful, you’ll want to keep those eyebrows!) lower the heat and let cook just a couple of minutes more. Leave in pan to keep warm.
Assemble the waffles by placing a warm waffle on a plate. Then top with two generous scoops of ice cream in the middle of the waffle. Spoon bananas over one scoop of ice cream and spoon whipped cream over the other. Add candied bacon as the ﬁnishing touch. (Watch the video to see how to make cute candied "pigtails!")