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The Big Kahuna

April 19, 2007

So 1953’s entry was From Here To Eternity. Great story. Stellar cast. Another war. I always thought that the Oscars were supposed to be kind of girly, but this experiment has proved that most of the best pictures are rather on the masculine side. Anyway, it was nice to see, pre-tragic car crash Montgomery Clift. Such a beautiful man. Such a totally underrated actor. A Brando before Brando. A James Dean before James Dean. Sigh. Donna Reed, even though she won a supporting Oscar doesn’t convince me as a prostitute. I kept seeing her in her “Donna Reed Show” dresses and pearls, smiling, on the telephone. Making the perfect dinner for her doctor husband and 2.5 perfect kids. Deborah Kerr, on the other hand, is marvelous as the abandoned, frustrated Army wife. Great scene at the end with the two actress leaving a post Pearl Harbor attacked http://www.otr.com/ra/world_today.ram Hawaii. Frank Sinatra, making his first “comeback” overacts and gets a supporting actor Oscar. I do love his portrayal of New York people, though. His Maggio, not unlike his Nathan Detroit, does not like to use contractions. Ever. Although inexplicably he will throw in a “youse” every once in a while. As in “youse guys.” Go figger.

From Here to Obscurity Dept: The cast that was, wasn’t supposed to be. Columbia’s first pick for Karen (The Deborah Kerr rolling on the beach gal) was originally offered to, hmmm, feh, blech, Joan Crawford. She didn’t want to do it. To quote Napoleon Dynamite: “Idiot.” And the Maggio part was originally offered to that great actor, Eli Wallach, who chose to be in Camino Real on Broadway instead.
For dinner I made a macadamia nut encrusted Mahi Mahi. This was inspired by Roy Yamaguchi’s Roy’s restaurant,–a wonderful Hawaiian fusion place located Several major US cities. We went to the San Francisco location last summer on vacation as our “major splurge” restaurant and it was, to say lightly, fantastic.

Very simple recipe.

Preheat the oven to 425

Toast some coarsly ground macadamia nuts until they are golden brown. Mix the nuts with about 1/2 bread crumbs (try to use panko bread crumbs,–you can find them at Trader Joe’s–they works great). Place the, lightly salted and peppered, mahi mahi filets on a greased pan and bake for about 5-7 miutes, depending on thickness. Remove the fish from the oven and basted with a little coconut milk. Pat the nut mixture onto each filet and put back in the oven for 6-10 minutes. Yes, Mahi Mahi is for me-hi me-hi.

I served this with some Pineapple Fried Rice

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup green beans

1/2 cup seeded, diced tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally

Crumble the cold rice between your fingers to separate the grains, and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large skillet, swirling to coat the pan. Add the onion and toss until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and toss until fragrant and soft, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the ginger and toss for another minute.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil, then add the rice. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes over high heat, then add the beans, tomatoes, and pineapple, and fry 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the fish sauce and sugar, and toss until ingredients are well combined and rice is heated thoroughly, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and toss to combine.

For dessert we had grilled pineapple slices with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel sauce. If you’ve never made caramel before, you should make this recipe. It’s so incredibly easy.

Put one cup of sugar in a heavy bottomed pan. Stir the sugar until it melts into a nice amber liquid. Quickly add 6 tablespoons of butter and stir until it melts, which should only take 10-15 seconds, then add about 1/2 cup of cream and stir until it comes to a caramel like consistency. Easier than pie. Really, pie can be tricky.

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