Coffee and Smoky Treats: Dinner and a Movie


​​​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.

Standing in line at Cartel Coffee Lab the other day, I listened, unashamed, to the cute barista (who smells like cookies) talk excitedly to a co-worker about the films of auteur Jim Jarmusch. (If you follow my column you may remember the week we featured his film, Stranger than Paradise.) The cookie scented barista, however, was discussing Jarmusch's Golden Rules, and most importantly the film Coffee and Cigarettes. Coffee and Cigarettes is a collection of eight vignettes featuring well-known actors and musicians in scenes involving coffee and cigarettes. 

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Standing there, in the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans, I knew what I had to do. I purchased a bag of coffee. And then brought it home and cooked with it. Well not all of it, I did drink plenty of it too. 

Coffee makes a wonderful marinade for beef, and the caffeine in it helps tenderize the meat. To get the smoke involved in the dinner, we added smoked sea salt to a sweet coffee glazed popcorn. You can also use wood chips with your grill to add extra smoke flavor.

Film: Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)

Entrée: Coffee Marinated Flank Steak with Purple Slaw

Popcorn: Coffee Glazed Popcorn with Smoked Sea Salt

Beverage: Deschutes Black Butte Porter XIII or a coffee infused porter such as Meantime Coffee Porter or Bridgeport's Café Negro. Any coffee cocktail would pair well here.

Get caffeinated after the jump.


Film: Coffee and Cigarettes is a film composed of vignettes starring various actors and musicians. Each segment involves characters discussing various topics and themes and often reference or relate to each other. During their conversations, the characters are either drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, or both. In a few of the vignettes, a waiter appears. Often the characters disagree with each other, and often their banter turns comical. 

Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop, The White Stripes, Rza and Gza from the Wu-Tang Clan, Roberto Benigni, Steven Wright, Alfred Molina, Steve Coogan, and Phoenix resident E.J. Rodriguez are among the cast. Jarmusch filmed and collected the skits over two decades.


Coffee Marinated Flank Steak

Combine ¼ cup strongly brewed coffee with 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 table-spoon balsamic vinegar, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, smoked sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Whisk mixture together and pour over flank steak. Marinate for as long as you can, the longer, the better.  If you put it in the marinade in the morning before 


work, it will be full blast flavor when you get it on the grill in the evening. Grill for 4 minutes each side for medium. Let rest before slicing against the grain. Click here for more information on grilling with smoke.

Purple Slaw

​​Valley resident E.J. Rodriguez plays the annoying waiter in the section of the film called "Renee" and contributed this recipe for "Purple Slaw":


​In large bowl combine the following:

2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 cups jicama, cut into matchsticks
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, thinly sliced

For dressing, mix together:

¼ cup olive oil
juice of a half a lemon
2 tablespoons honey

Toss with salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

Coffee Glazed Popcorn with Smoked Sea Salt

​Pop ½ cup popcorn kernels in ¼ cup vegetable oil. Set aside. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the following:


​1 tablespoon coffee
½ cup brown sugar
¼ corn syrup
¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Combine all ingredients except vanilla and baking soda in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a soft boil and allow to boil for 2 minutes (using a candy thermometer, make sure mixture stays around 235 degrees). After two minutes, take off heat and add vanilla and baking soda. In a large bowl, coat each kernel with glaze, then spread entire mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with smoked sea salt. Put pan in oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes. This helps set the glaze and gives the popcorn a nice crunch.

Are you a food and film lover too? Got suggestions for Dinner and a Movie? Leave a comment below.
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