Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail : "Rhinestone"

Okay, huddle up everybody... I am about to share a big secret: I LOOOOOOOOOVE this movie! LMAO

Rhinestone is one of those movies that intellectually you know is a) Dumb as hell. b) 0% believable (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is more based in reality!) and c) Obviously a huge income-tax write off for some Hollywood executives.... but still it makes you laugh!

While I don't own the movie (do they even have it on DVD?), I've seen it every single time I've managed to catch it on cable, and I always laugh hysterically (sometimes at the actual jokes in the movie.. but mostly at Sylvester Stallone's singing.)

As a way to come out of the bejeweled "Rhinestone" closet, I've decided to create a very special Cinema, Cuisine and Cocktail post in honor of the wonderfully ridiculous stinkburger of a film! It also served as a great challenge: A movie that pairs the Italian Stallion with the Queen of Dollywood? It had to be Italian cuisine... with a Soulful Southern influence. What in the barbecue cannoli hell kind of recipes could I possibly come up with? Fortunately, I was off to a great start when I went to my good friend (in my head) Paula "Hey Y'all" Deen.

Fried Ravioli with Marinara Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy Paula "Hey Y'all" Deen, Food Network

9-ounce package frozen 4-cheese ravioli
2 cups ground pecans
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Marinara Cream Sauce, recipe follows
Cook ravioli for 2 minutes. Place cooked ravioli on paper towels to drain; set aside.

Combine pecans and cheese in a shallow dish. Whisk together milk, eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip ravioli in egg mixture then dredge in pecan mixture. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2-inch in a skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 360 degrees F. Fry ravioli, in batches, 2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with Marinara Cream Sauce.

Marinara Cream Sauce:

1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, combine sauce and cream. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Yield: 2 cups

Cook Time: 2 to 3 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

Neelys Baked Ziti

Recipe courtesy The Neelys, Food Network

1 pound ziti
1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 ounces pesto
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 (9-ounce) package washed spinach
Butter, for baking dish
2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute turkey sausage. Add onion and garlic and saute until the sausage is cooked through. Use your spoon to break up the sausage while it cooks. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pesto and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan and mozzarella to a large bowl, and stir to combine.

Butter a 4-quart baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture and cheese mixture. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top, about 20 minutes.

Bling Bling Cocktail (What's Rhinestone without the bling!?!)

Recipe Courtesy of Alex's Cocktail Recipes


2 chambord
1 cointreau
.25 lime juice
2.5 cranberry juice


Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour into sugar rimmed cocktail glasses. And adorn glass with Apple slices.

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