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Dinner and a Movie: Wedding Crashers and Rumaki

Wedding Crashers [1] is on the marquee this month at Dinner and a Movie [2]. This romantic comedy is about Washington, D.C. divorce mediators John and Jeremy, business partners and lifelong friends, who share a unique hobby – crashing weddings! Their plan is to charm their way into any wedding – and into the hearts of every bridesmaid – for just one night. But, at the biggest social event of the year, John breaks the rules and falls for Claire, the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of Treasury, while Jeremy is left at the mercy of her “stage-five-clinger” sex-crazed sister Gloria! John and Jeremy are later able to finagle to a weekend party at the sisters’ family estate, where hilarity ensues and they both learn a few lessons about love.

Okay, I’ll admit that Wedding Crashers is not my idea of great cinema. If my co-host, Marc from No Recipes hadn’t chosen it for this month’s DaaM, I probably would never have given it a chance. But, I did really enjoy watching it. This film had a lot more going for it than the trailers gave it credit for.

Who doesn’t love a great wedding? I know I do! And, I’ve certainly been to my share of them. But, let’s face it. Aside from celebrating some happy couple’s undying love, blah, blah, blah, beginning their new life together, blah, blah, blah, the main reasons most people attend weddings are for the food, and hopefully, an open bar! A visit to the open bar before one heads over to the buffet is often recommended, because unfortunately, the food is sometimes also blah, blah, blah.

If you attend enough weddings, you eventually come to recognize “standard wedding fare”. These are the items that seem to pop up at every reception, as though there was some universal wedding menu checklist that every bride had to choose from. Those mini quiches, shrimp cocktails and Swedish meatballs never fail to make the cut.

For my submission this month, I’ve made for you the King of the Cocktail Hour: Rumaki! I don’t think I attended one wedding during the 80’s that didn’t have this little gem on buffet line.

Rumaki is a Polynesian-style hors d’oeuvre. It was invented by Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr, known as “Trader” Vic [3]. Its ingredients and method of preparation vary, but usually it consists of water chestnuts and nuggets of chicken liver marinated in soy sauce, ginger and brown sugar which is wrapped in bacon and and broiled. Rumaki was a hugely popular wedding and cocktail party nosh in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.

While traditional Rumaki does feature chicken livers, there are also many other versions using different proteins for those who are “liveraphobes”. Happily, I am not one of them! For those who are, I have also prepared a variation made with sea scallops and pineapple. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out!

Rumaki isn’t difficult to prepare, as it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Rolling them up can be a little tricky, though. I’ve used a recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine from as the basis for both versions.



Previously, on Dinner and a Movie:

Moonstruck, featuring Pasta Norma [4]

Chocolat, featuring Chocolate Truffles [5]