Edmonton Food Columnist Mary Bailey has a couple of movie inspired recipes.
I use an old-fashioned stovetop popcorn maker (the Whirley-Pop is similar). It's entirely mechanical and requires constant attention, but it's quick and the results are worth it.
1-3 T white truffle oil*
1 T canola oil
1 T unsalted butter
2 T fine-grained sea salt
1 c popping corn
Place the truffle oil in a large bowl (large enough to hold all the popcorn) and keep warm, but not hot. Place oil, butter and salt in the bottom of a stove-top popcorn maker. Pour in some of the corn, stir to coat, until it spits a bit. Pour in the rest of the corn and cover with the lid. As soon as you hear the first pops start turning the crank, and continue to turn until the corn stops popping and it becomes difficult to move the handle. Take off the heat and empty into the bowl containing the truffle oil. Toss well and check for seasoning. Serve with a good food movie and a glass of Barbera.
*Don't try to cook the popcorn in the truffle oil. Truffle oil is not really oil of the truffle. It's an aromatized oil, not heat stable and is quite unattractive if allowed to get too hot.
SOUP SISTERS EVA'S HERITAGE BORSCHT
The Soup Sisters Cookbook, (Appetite by Random House, 2012).
It's hard to beat a steaming bowl of soup on movie night. We love the whole idea of the Soup Sisters/Broth Brothers and what they do - find out more at soupsisters.org, but borscht is infinitely adaptable to any pantry and style of cooking. I make a massive batch of chunky all-vegetable borscht in late summer when the beets are still small and tender, needing a good scrub and trimming only, with loads of just picked carrots, new potatoes and a panful of slowly-caramelized onion for depth of flavour. Give it all a good smoosh with an immersion blender for a smooth/chunky texture, throw in a lavish handful of dill at the end, and garnish with crumbled smoky bacon and a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired. Freeze in serving size containers and you'll always have good soup to share.
The key to beautiful, ruby-hued borscht is something acidic - fresh lemon juice, vinegar (or in this recipe, tomato juice) to keep the colour vibrant. Serve with a shot of iced vodka.
1 lb pork side ribs
2-3 large beets, trimmed
2 c peeled and diced carrots
1 onion, diced
1 c chopped fresh green beans
1 c chopped cabbage
1 c tomato juice
2 t apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 c sour cream
2 T finely chopped parsley or fresh dill
Put the ribs in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim off scum. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour. While the ribs are cooking, put the beets in a saucepan and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the beets. Set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Peel and chop the beets, set aside.
Remove the ribs from the pot, reserving the cooking water in the pot. Using a fork or knife, pull or cut the meat from the bones and chop into bite-sized chunks. Return the pork to the pot.
Add the carrots, onion, green beans, cabbage, tomato juice and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Add the boiled beets and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls, and swirl in a few spoonfuls of sour cream.