Movie and Food Pairings for Couch Dinner Dates

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By Cooking Panda

Forget wine pairings, this is much more exquisite.

 

Action

Action movies require full concentration and leave you on the edge of your seat.  You need easy to eat food for this one, so you can focus on what is really important.  Pop these as you watch, no need to look down at your plate, ever.  

Jalapeno Poppers

These will keep you spicy and alert for all the action-packed scenes. 

 

Ingredients

  • 12 jalapeno peppers
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Wearing gloves, slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise.  Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes.
  3. In a small bowl mix cream cheese, garlic powder, cheddar cheese and chives (if using).
  4. In a separate bowl, combine Panko crumbs and melted butter.
  5. Fill jalapenos with the cheese mixture.  Top with crumbs.
  6. Place on a baking pan and bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden.  
  7. Cook 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

 

Inspired by Spend with Pennies.

 

Horror/Scary

A hearty meal is necessary to ground you back into your reality.  Opting for a spaghetti is beneficial, it allows you to nonchalantly look away as you spin your pasta around your fork when scenes get to be too much (without looking like a coward by hiding behind the blanket.)

 

Mom’s Homemade Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Considering this recipe comes from mom, you know it’s going to be good.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 7-ounce cans sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 15-ounce can beef broth
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or 4 teaspoons dried 
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti noodles
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed stock pot over medium high heat, cook the ground beef until browned, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain the rendered fat and add the meat back to the pot. 
  2. Add the chopped onion, celery and garlic and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5-7 more minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the spaghetti noodles and Parmesan), stir, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, stir and cover with a lid, and cook for at least three hours on medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions in generously salted water.  Drain the mix into the spaghetti sauce.
  5. Serve with grated or ground Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley if desired.

 

Recipe Notes

  • The meat sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or saved in a gallon ziplock bag and frozen for up to 3 months.

 

Inspired by Foodie Crush.

 

Comedy

Comedies allow us to relax and enjoy the present moment, so your dish should reflect that.  

The Best Nachos

Munch away between laughing fits. 

 

Ingredients for the Spice Mix: 

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

 

Ingredients for the Nachos:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (80:20 lean-to-fat ratio)
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) refried beans canned or homemade 
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups), plus more for topping
  • 4 ounces Colby Jack cheese, grated (about 2 cups), plus for more topping
  • 1 cup pico de gallo, store-bought or homemade, plus more for topping
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 sliced jalapeno (pickled or fresh)

 

Optional toppings:

  • Guacamole
  •  Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Canned black olives
  • Sliced green olives
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Corn
  • Hot sauce

 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Make the taco spice blend: Combine all of the spices (chili powder through cayenne) together in a small bowl.
  3. Make the beef and bean topping: Heat the vegetable oil on medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the ground beef to the pan and season it with all of the taco spice blend. As the meat cooks, use a spoon to break the meat up into crumbles.

Cook for about 8 minutes until the meat has browned and drain the fat using a colander.

Return the meat to the pan and add the refried beans and the water. Heat the mixture until the beans are smooth and warmed through. Reduce the heat to low and keep the beef-bean mixture warm while you prepare the chips.

  1. Toast the chips: On a 13×18-inch oven-safe platter or sheet pan, arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer, overlapping them slightly. Toast the chips in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, or just until you begin to smell their aroma.
  2. 5 Assemble and bake the nachos: Carefully remove the pan from the oven and top with one half of the shredded cheeses. Allow the heat from the chips to melt the cheese slightly before topping the chips with the beef and bean mixture.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the beef and return the pan to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has fully melted.
  4. Top and serve: Top the nachos with the pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, jalapeno slices or any of your preferred toppings.  Serve hot.

 

Inspired by Simply Recipes.

 

Chick Flicks

Of course, this requires pizza.  You will laugh and cry your way through the movie and thankfully, pizza will be there for every moment of that. 

 

15 Minute Easy Margherita Flatbread Pizza

Love at first bite. 

Ingredients

  • 1 naan bread
  • 3 pieces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced to ⅓ – ½ inch thickness
  • 1 tomato sliced as thin as possible
  • 5-6 leaves basil
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed; or 1 tsp dry garlic powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp Olive oil
  • ⅕ Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Directions 

  1. Press 3 fresh garlic cloves and mix with 1.5tbsp oil.
  2. Brush the flatbread with oil & garlic with half the mixture. Place in preheated to 350°F oven for 5 minutes to crisp up.
  3. Remove from oven and place 3 slices of cheese on top of the flatbread, sprinkle with salt & pepper, then place thinly sliced tomatoes on top and repeat with a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes, plus extra 2-3 minutes on broil. Watch the bread closely, if its [sic] too dark before 2-3 minutes remove it from the oven immediately.
  4. Meanwhile mix the remaining oil & garlic with 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar, stirring until a smooth emulsion forms.
  5. Chop 5-6 basil leaves.
  6. Once flatbread pizza is baked and the edges are golden in color, remove from the oven, drizzle with however much of the balsamic vinegar mixture you would like, sprinkle with basil leaves, slice and serve and enjoy!

Inspired by Let the Baking Begin.

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