This is sort of a follow up to my Monday post, where I talked about the movie Chef.
I got turned onto the movie and all she had to offer from Binging with Babish, a YouTube sensation who got his real big kick off from doing an episode detailing Pasta Aglio e Olio. It’s a six-part recipe that leaves you with some delicious offerings. For the majority of this post, I’m going to steal from Babish, and all credit goes to him for the actual recipes, except for maybe some of the details coming from the movie Chef, itself.
Speaking of which, we get to see the Pasta Aglio e Olio is a sexy scene where Jon Favreau cooks for Scarlett Johansson. Now, that sounds like a dream come true to most dudes out there, and it should be. The scene just captures the moment, and the food perfectly; so much so, you can almost smell the garlic as it cooks up in the olive oil. Stealing almost directly — actually directly — from Babish, the ingredients for this one are as follows:
- 1/2 head garlic, separated and peeled
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 pound dry linguine
- 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Makes 2 servings
- Heavily salt a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta until slightly underdone while completing the steps below.
- Slice the garlic cloves thinly, and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until barely shimmering. Add sliced garlic, stirring constantly, until softened and turning golden on the edges. Add the red pepper flakes and lower the heat to medium-low.
- Add the pasta, drained, with about 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Squeeze lemon juice over top, and mix into the pasta with the fresh parsley. If sauce is too watery, continue to cook for 1-3 minutes, until pasta has absorbed more liquid. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Anyway, give the video below a watch, and enjoy! We’ll talk about the next one after this. This recipe, by the way, as simple as it is, is one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten. Period, end of sentence.
The next major thing we see in the movie that’s worth recreating, at least for funsies, is the chocolate lava cake. Now, we see some of this on the new show The Chef Show on YouTube, which is literally Jon Favreau and Chef Roy Choi, visiting celebrities and chefs around the states, and cooking and eating food. It’s great. Ironically, the episode which features the Chocolate Lave Cake, also features Andrew Rea (Binging with Babish.) I really like the guy, his recipes, and his channel, if you can’t tell. Anywho. In the movie, Jon Favreau’s character, Carl Casper, loses his mind on a food critic, who talks about how the core of Molten Chocolate Lava Cake is supposed to be undercooked — the secret, which you’ll see in this video, is actually freezing a ball of chocolate ganache, and dolloping it inside the cake mix, to melt as it cooks. I’ll be trying this one myself.
I’m going to steal from BingingwithBabish.com for this one too:
- 14 ounces dark chocolate
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 12 Tbsp butter
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup of light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
- 6 Tbsp all purpose flour
- Raw Sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Cocoa powder
- We’re going to start by melting chocolate in a double boiler. Boil some water in a pot and place a large glass bowl on top to melt the chocolate in. Place 4 ounces of dark chocolate in the glass bowl and use a rubber spatula to mix. Be sure to keep the water at a simmer, and melt until nice and smooth. Slowly drizzle in ½ cup of heavy cream and stir.
- Once mixture is fully combined and smooth, place in freezer for 1 hour or until frozen.
- Using the double boiler again, melt 10 ounces of dark chocolate and 1 ½ sticks of butter (12 Tbsp), mixing until smooth.
- In a separate bowl combine 6 large eggs and ½ a cup of light brown sugar. Beat the eggs together until they are light and frothy, and then add 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 Tbsp of Grand Marnier.
- Once that’s combined, SLOWLY add the chocolate mixture to egg and brown sugar mixture, and whisk to combine.
- Now add 6 Tbsp of all purpose flour and stir to combine.
- Butter some ramekins and coat the inside with raw sugar. This will help get the cakes out of the ramekins.
- Fill each ramekin a little under halfway with your cake mixture.
- Remove the chocolate ganache from the freezer and place 1-2 Tbsp into the center of the cake mixture. Fill ramekins the rest of the cake batter.
- Preheat your oven to 425° F and bake for 11 minutes.
- While that’s baking quarter some strawberries and set aside.
- Remove cake ramekins from oven and place on a cooling rack. Run a knife around the edge of each cake to help release them from their ramekin.
- Place a plate on top of the ramekin, flip over so the ramekin is on top, and slowly lift up to make sure the cake is in tact.
- Plate with some whipped cream, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, strawberries and blueberries.
- Serve and enjoy!
And, here’s the video. Enjoy this one, too!
Last but not least is the recipe for Cubanos, which are kind of the titular recipe for the movie. They’re the centerpiece for Carl Casper’s food truck, El Jefe. I’ve yet to try this one because of how involved the recipe is, and the fact that I don’t really have much of a place to store that much pork for twelve hours while it marinates, but it is easily one of the most mouthwatering pieces in the whole movie. Furthermore, it’s really the main piece that Casper uses to teach his son how to start cooking, and passes on that love of food and making it. And, of course, you guessed it, Babish tackles the recipe and kills it. It’s on my list, for sure, when I can set aside a day of my life to commit to it. Get ready for this crazy long ingredient list, and recipe, again… straight from BingingwithBabish.com:
- 1 large bone-in pork shoulder
- 4 cups orange juice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup spiced rum
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- Whole head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
- 2 stems oregano, roughly chopped
- 2 stems rosemary, roughly chopped
- 2 stems thyme, roughly chopped
- 2 stems sage, roughly chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 oranges, juiced and zested
- 6 limes, juiced and zested
- 2 stems oregano, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- Whole head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp toasted and freshly ground cumin
- 1 loaf of pan Cubano
- 4 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces thick deli ham
- 12 slices swiss cheese
- Dill pickles, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp mustard
Makes 1 large roast, 4 sandwiches
- Remove excess fat from pork roast, and score fat cap on the top. Combine orange juice, water, rice wine vinegar, rum, salt, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and bay leaves in a large bowl – whisk to combine. Place the pork shoulder in a large stainless steel bowl, and pour marinade over top, making sure it’s completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
- To make mojo marinade: combine olive oil, orange juice & zest, lime juice & peels, oregano, cilantro, mint, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin, whisking to combine.
- Remove pork shoulder from brine and discard brine. Place pork shoulder back into stainless steel bowl, and cover with mojo marinade. Massage marinade into the pork for one minute before covering and refrigerating for 2 hours.
- Remove pork from the marinade, brushing off any large pieces of herbs. Place on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet, brush with marinade, and roast at 350°F for 2 1/2 hours, until pork registers 165°F at its thickest point. Tent the roast with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use.
- Butter the inside of the pan Cubano, cut into 4 pieces, and toast butter-side-down in a hot plancha. Slice pork about 1/4-inch thick. In a lightly oiled nonstick pan, sear pork and ham. Fill sandwiches with pork, ham, cheese, and pickles – smear with mustard, smear top exterior of the pan Cubano with butter, and press in the plancha for 2-3 minutes, until bread is deeply browned and cheese is melted. Cut diagonally and serve.
Now, I’m sure you’re saying “You’re fanboying pretty hard for one movie and a YouTube channel.” And, I’d say “You’re exactly right.” But, seriously, here it is: the movie is a die-hard rendition of what it’s like to love what you do in the food industry. I spent a little bit of time in the business, considered culinary school, and now I just love to cook — whether it’s for friends, family, or just myself. I love it. The movie, and Andrew Rea (Binging with Babish) really captures that life, love, and devotion that I have for food. Really, and truly. Give it all a go.
Thanks to Andrew Rea and his production team for the awesome videos and the inspiration, I plan to borrow from you again. Thanks to Jon Favreau for an awesome movie that can inspire not just me, but obviously the YouTuber I borrowed these recipes from.
Photo by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash