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Growing up I have tons of fond memories about watching movies. Unlike most kids I knew on my block, we didn’t get cable until I was well into middle-school. Why is this important? Well, during the summer it forced me to watch a lot of classic television shows on the few local channels available in the Kansas City area and when that got old I cracked open the movie cabinet in the basement which was filled with VHS movies.
Most of the movies in this homemade cabinet I had already seen dozens, maybe hundreds, of times but they never seemed to get old. As a kid I think movies got a pass on the classic “I’m bored” phrase I muttered millions of times growing up.
One of the movies I watched numerous times as a kid was Romancing the Stone. I can’t quite put my finger on why I kept watching this romantic movie as a kid except for maybe all the action in Columbia once things got rolling. The cleavage shot at the beginning of the movie had nothing to do with why I kept coming back…
If you’re unfamiliar with Romancing the Stone, it’s a entertaining action-adventure starring a young Michael Douglas (as Jack) and Kathleen Turner (as Joan). Funnyman Danny DeVito (as Ralph) also stars in this movie where a romantic-adventure writer, Joan, finds herself living in her own real-life adventure in the Columbian jungle. In her possession is a treasure map she must deliver to her sisters captures in order to save her life. Joan and Jack use the map to search for the priceless gem and face some opposition throughout their travels. In the process, they may have found a love match, which is even more priceless.
With the storyline out of the way, what food does this film feature? Unfortunately Romancing the Stone is dense on jungle scenes, action and romance but not on food. A few food appearances are made in the film which allows for a very nice dinner with adult themed drinks. Here’s some food and spirits I found in the movie while planning our Meals n Movies experience:
- Can of tuna (@5:35), egg (@5:45), and small bottles of liquor (@6:05)
- Champagne (@33:35)
- T-bone steak, potato, bread, and salad (@35:00)
- Planters unsalted peanuts (@44:45)
- Green olives and tequila (@45:02)
My wife is a vegetarian so these food options present a dinner planning challenge. I could make her an egg salad sandwich while I enjoy a nice T-bone steak and we both share the salad. It didn’t feel like a sandwich, for her, and a steak, for him, where evenly matched so I decided to check out some Columbian cuisine and stumbled across a website focused solely on what I needed. The website is mycolumbianrecipes.com and it has a lot of great Columbian recipes to choose from. I was able to select a recipe where I could use vegetable stock, vegetable bouillon, and remove my wife’s portion before adding chicken on the last step.
I got to be honest though, my skills in the kitchen leave a lot to be desired. I have to read a recipe numerous times throughout the cooking process since I’m terrified about making a mistake. The only modification I made to this recipe was not making the homemade stock since my wife is a vegetarian. Our grocery store has some great vegetable stock options available so I figured I wasn’t choking out too much flavor by offering a vegetarian friendly dish.
You can follow the link to the recipe where you can make it exactly how Erica Dinho did, which probably tastes slightly better, or feel free to follow my directions below.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 2 chicken breast (bone in and skin removed is juiciest, I used boneless)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup white onion
- 1/4 cup green pepper
- 1/4 cup red pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1/2 tablespoon Sazon Goya with azafran
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup frozen diced carrots
- 1/2 cup frozen diced green beans
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 limes
In a medium pot bring 5 cups chicken stock to a boil. Add chicken breast to boiling stock and reduce heat to medium-low (I cooked chicken breast in chicken stock and added vegetable stock to rice mix for vegetarian friendly dish). Cook chicken breasts for 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat and leave chicken in pot to rest for 15 minutes covered. Remove and let cool, shred and set aside. Keep 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock and set aside for later.
Using the same medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in 1/4 cup onions, 1/4 cup green peppers, 1/4 cup red pepper minced garlic and cook onions until they’re translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
Add 1 cup long-grain white rice, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 chicken bouillon cube (vegetable buillon cube in our case), 1/2 tablespoon Sazon Goya. Stir ingredients until rice is coated. This takes roughly 2-3 minutes. Now add 2 1/2 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock in my case) to rice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup frozen peas, 1/2 cup frozen diced carrots, 1/2 cup frozen diced green beans and cook for 7 minutes covered. Mix in shredded chicken and 1/4 cup cilantro with a fork and recover pot and cook for just 5 more minutes.
Cut fresh lime slices to add for personal taste. Use the remaining 1/4 cilantro to garnish each dish or place on the table to add for personal taste preference.
With dinner all ready to go, I quickly made Caipirinha’s, which are a South America cocktail and since we love Mojitos, I figured it seemed only logical to have these instead. This cocktail is super quick to make, but also strong on alcohol flavor, which we’re a fan of.
Ingredients (Serves 1):
- 1/2 lime, quartered
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 ounces cachaca
In a rocks glass or old fashioned glass add crushed ice. In a separate glass, I used a small plastic cup, add quartered lime and sugar. Using a muddler, crush the lime and combine the lime juice and sugar. Pour 2 1/2 ounces of cachaca over your crushed ice and add the lime and sugar mixture. If you remove the lime peels, you can garnish the glass with a slice of lime where extra lime juice can be squeezed in for more flavor. I added a half teaspoon more of sugar to my second drink and it tasted even better to me, but I like things just a hint sweeter to cut the lime juice flavor.
When all was said and done our bellies were full and the drinks did a good job at making a Saturday night even more enjoyable. My wife got a kick out of Romancing the Stone since it had all the cheesy features of a classic 80s film. She’s now on deck for our next Meals n Movies experience and rumor has it, it will feature When Harry Met Sally. If you want to hear about this experience, be sure and follow one of our social media accounts where we will share more details as they become available.
**If you decide to enjoy a Meals n Movies experience with Romancing the Stone, let us know by using the comments section below, our forums, or hit us up on one of our social media accounts. We would love to hear about your experience and what you decided to make!**