Patatas y Penelope: Dinner and a Movie

Categories: Recipes

Staying in? We've got you covered -- both on the culinary and entertainment fronts. Now presenting
 Dinner and a Movie -- a guide to a do it yourself evening of food and film.

A while back, Chow Bella brought you a battle featuring the Tortilla Española. This inspired us to dive into a Spanish film fiesta. Ok, not true. It was not so much a Spanish film fiesta as it was a Pedro Almodovar film fiesta. 

Almodovar is an acclaimed Spanish auteur who makes beautifully poetic films that flirt with taboo themes such as religion and sexuality, yet with a playful and heartfelt touch. He often relies on the talents of Penelope Cruz to bring his enchanting characters to life. And frankly, in this week's film, we could not agree more. Not only is her acting stellar in this flick, so was her full-figure and cleavage, which must come from eating lots of delicious Spanish food.

Film: Volver (2006)
Popcorn Alternative: Popcorn Iberico
Entrée: Tortilla Española
Beverage: Try a Rioja or other Spanish Red wine. Or, click here for a recipe for Sangria.

Flip the tortilla after the jump.

Film Breakdown: 
Volver (2006) Penelope Cruz stars as a mother who will do anything to protect her teenage daughter and resolve the issues she has been running from since her daughter's birth. To make a living (and to hide a body) Raimunda takes over an old restaurant and begins cooking for a film crew shooting in the area. As per his style, Almodovar infuses humor and dramatic events into this well told tale.

Make it a double: All About My Mother (1999) What do you get when you put together an aging lesbian theater actress and her junkie lover, a transgender prostitute, a grieving mother, and a nun with AIDS? Rent this brilliant film (which also stars Penelope Cruz) and find out.


Tortilla Española

For our tortilla, we consulted Relish Magazine's online recipe resource, and then made some changes. For instance, we opted out of the sauce they suggest, instead softening julienned red peppers in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. We topped the tortilla with the peppers, some chopped parsley, and a dollop of creme fraiche.

We also used two skillets (rather than a plate as they suggest) to "flip" ours, putting it into a cast iron skillet and finishing in the oven.

Popcorn Iberico

For this we melted butter with a dash of smoked paprika and cumin, then added a splash of olive oil. Once the popped corn is tossed with this mixture, we threw in some toasted, salted almonds, sliced dried figs, small pieces of manchego (or other Spanish style cheese), and then small pieces of Serrano ham. At least we wanted Serrano ham, but could not find any authentic Serrano on that shopping trip. So instead, we lightly crisped up some Italian Pancetta, and it did the trick. Bacon will work fine here as well.


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I love that you mention Volver and All About My Mother. Two of my faves. ­¡Viva Pedro!

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