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Hurts So Good?

July 15, 2018

Or not.

This was the first year The Academy expanded the nominations to allow 10 films and it seems like the extra competition diluted the quality of the winning film.  Not that The Hurt Locker is bad; it’s a compelling war thriller about explosive disposal squads in Iraq during the war (that never ends).  You never know when a bomb is going to explode, but you know, at one time or another a bomb will explode.  Although, it would be hilarious if a bomb never exploded once during this movie.  Sometimes there would be an explosion of sorts if someone fairly famous (was it Guy Pearce, Brad Pitt, or Ralph Fiennes?) had a cameo. One of them blew up. He blew up real good.  And if Meryl Streep was in this picture…

Other films nominated for Best Picture in 2009: Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9 (?) An Education, Precious, Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man Up, Up in the Air.

Hindsight being was it is, Up was robbed.  None of the other nominees are all that memorable. Although it could be noted that Hurt Locker’s director was the first female (and so far only) Best Director winner.

For the meal we went with a started with a Cosmopolitan martini rimmed with pop-rocks for explosive flavor.  The pop-rocks were fairly hard to find, too.

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For dinner we chose a Mediterranian cuisine of Kofta Kabobs with a Sicilian Caponata: For me, this was the best thing about watching this movie.  Thank you Gale Gand.

Kofta Kabobs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound ground lamb
3 Tablespoons minced onion
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon black pepper
24 skewers, soaked for 30 minutes

Mince the garlic and mash it with the salt using the side of a large knife into a paste. In a bowl combine the garlic, ground lamb, and all the spices using your hands. Form into 1 ½ inch balls and let rest 30 minutes or over night for the flavors to develop.

Place each ball on a skewer and squish them with your hand to form an oval shape. Cook on a grill or grill pan, turning after a few minutes, to cook through, about 6 minutes total for medium,

Caponata
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 eggplant, cubed
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
1/2 bunch marjoram, just the leaves
1 cup water

In a large sauté pan heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the eggplant and sauté till lightly browned, seasoning with salt and pepper, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate. In the same pan heat 2 more teaspoons olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic and bell pepper, seasoning with salt and pepper till translucent and softened. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 minute till paste is dark red. Add the eggplant, vinegar, capers, marjoram, and water and cook till thickened, about 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed.

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