Dinner and a Movie: Eagle vs. Shark

I’ve decided that this blog is not gimmicky enough. So here’s a gimmick: dinner and a movie. Last night I made dinner specifically to complement  the movie we were planning to watch. And it was fun. Plus, Matt assures me that it’s plenty gimmicky, so I think I’ll do it again sometime.

I’ve been wanting to see Eagle vs. Shark since I saw a preview for it in 2007, but somehow I never pushed it to the top of the Netflix queue. Matt, thoughtful partner that he is, moved it up this week so that we could enjoy it for Valentine’s Day. So, the “movie” part of the whole thing was already planned, but that left me with the other half: dinner.

It’s hard to theme a meal based on a film you’ve never seen, so I took the easy route with this one and planned a meal based strictly on geography. Eagle vs. Shark takes place in New Zealand, so dinner would just be something inspired by the cuisine of New Zealand. Easy, right?

Except that I didn’t know anything about New Zealand, save for what I learned from this other movie. Which basically just taught me that sheep are to be feared, and didn’t give me much help in the way of menu planning. So, I had to do research.

After a few failed Google searches (seriously, I cannot even comprehend how many lamb recipes there are in existence), I managed to remember that I work in a library, and I found a pretty awesome series of cookbooks with a few examples of meals from basically every country in the world. And thus a dinner was born: asparagus soup and baked fish steaks.

Sounds good, right?

I bet it would have been, but I didn’t exactly make it. I was too tired after a long and exciting Valentine’s day of tacos and cookies and Valentine’s tea gifts from Adagio and basketball to bother with a soup that required actual attention, so instead we had baked fish steaks and asparagus. A fine compromise.

baked salmon, roasted asparagus, and brown rice a la New Zealand

baked salmon, roasted asparagus, and brown rice a la New Zealand

This fish recipe pretty much rocked my face off. I was nervous at first, because the salmon had to be marinated in milk, which I’d never heard of. Apparently it’s normal and it’s meant to take some of the fishy taste out of it, and it worked beautifully for these salmon steaks. After they marinate in milk for an hour, you transfer them to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper, throw on some bread crumbs, and put them in the oven at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Something else I might try would be to use a white fish of some sort with crushed pecans and some olive oil instead of bread crumbs.

I also had a gigantic frosted heart-shaped sugar cookie and some ice cream for dessert, but that’s unrelated to New Zealand.

As for the movie, I really liked it. It was quirky and funny and sweet. Actually, for the first twenty or thirty minutes, I was convinced that it was going to be the best comedy I’d ever seen, but then I had beef with some of the subsequent events.

The See Food family’s totally unbiased and very scientific ratings on a scale of five:

Dinner: 5 stars (it’s the milk, people)
Movie: 4 stars

And now I’m off to tackle a monstrous to do list and hopefully get some yoga in because I think I’m addicted to it now, which is probably a good thing because I may or may not also be addicted to stress, and they seem to balance each other out to some extent.

Also, I think it’s making me stronger because I went to this insane class at the gym the other night that involved torture instruments like jump ropes and step benches, but during the push up and plank portion of the class, which lasted for five minutes or hours or something, I only thought about crying once.

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