It’s time again for another great Dinner and a Movie roundup. July’s movie selection is the delightful, yet occasionally dark film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, directed by Blake Edwards and starring the luminous Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard.
While the reception I received upon choosing this film for DaaM, was generally quite positive, there was also some negative feedback too. I have agonized for days as to whether I should even bring this up or not, but I feel I that I need to address it before getting into the roundup. There has apparently been a lot of controversy surrounding Breakfast at Tiffany’s regarding the negative Asian stereotype created by Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, Holly’s “Japanese” neighbor in the movie. I’m not normally a political person and I try to avoid controversy whenever possible. However, some people that I respect and admire were upset by this. I just want it to be crystal clear that it was never my intent to offend anyone by selecting this film for DaaM, especially those I consider to be friends! I do not condone this, or any stereotypes of any kind, be they racial, ethnic or gender related. Being an Italian-American, I am all too familiar with these kinds of labels! If I was insensitive in my choice of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I apologize. I picked it because it was an old classic and a childhood favorite of mine. Now, I’d like to move on to the happy ending.
For my contribution to this month’s DaaM, I’ve prepared a nifty little breakfast dish I call Chicks in a Nest. The “nest” is a cup made out of shredded hash brown-style potatoes, and and the “chicks” are scrambled eggs which are served inside.
This is a really easy dish to prepare, and it looks so darn cute! It is also a great dish to serve on a buffet table because each serving is completely self-contained and can just be picked up and popped on a plate. You can certainly use whole potatoes and shred them yourself, but I tried these with the kind that comes pre-shredded in the refrigerator section of my market. They worked just fine and saved me, not only some time, but from skinning my knuckles on my grater!
Since we are talking Tiffany’s here, I decided to get a little fancy with my nests and added some finely diced ham and shredded cheese to the potato mixture. To make them look like “nests”, I spooned the mixture into muffin tins and pressed it up the sides of each. Then, I took a spoon and lightly punched down the center of each to prevent them from “puffing up”. The nests were then baked in the oven for about 25 minutes.
I served these little guys with a dollop of crème fraiche and a little red caviar on top. I think that some snipped chives would also be great, but I didn’t have any.
Chicks in a Nest
1 20 ounce package pre-shredded hash brown-style potatoes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons flour
1 small sweet onion, coarsely grated
2 thick slices deli ham, chopped into small bits (about 1 cup)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 dozen eggs, scrambled* (See Note)
Crème fraiche, red caviar and/or chives for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F., and lightly spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix the first eight ingredients together in a large bowl. Spoon potato mixture into each prepared muffin cup until about 1/3 full. Gently press the potato mixture down in the middle and up the sides of each cup.
- Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. If the nests have puffed up too much in the center, scoop out a little with a teaspoon.
- Spoon a few tablespoons of scramble eggs into each nest and top with crème fraiche and caviar or chives.
Makes about a dozen Chicks in a Nest.
*Note: Another variation of this dish is to pop a poached egg into each potato nest instead of using scrambled eggs. You might also try filling each cup with a raw egg and baking it right along with the potato nests. I haven’t tried this, so if you do, let me know if it works.
And now, for the rest of the Roundup:
Cakelaw from Laws of the Kitchen sent over the perfect bite to enjoy with your morning coffee – Apricot Danish Twists. She says that she made them, inspired by the memorable opening scene of the movie where Holly stares longingly into the Tiffany’s store window while sipping a coffee and nibbling on a danish. Thanks, Cakelaw!
Flory from Sugar Sublime says, “I didn’t think sweet, kooky, tough cookie Holly Golightly could be pinned down by just one dish, so I decided to make several that to me express different aspects of the film. Breakfast at Tiffany’s embodies elegance, so I went for dishes that would be at home in New York City, whether in an apartment or – hopefully – at Tiffany’s. They’re at once complex, familiar and exotic – just like Holly.”
Flory’s offerings include Whiskey Cappuccino, Top Banana-Cinnamon Toast, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, L’Etoile and Lemon-Mint & Rose Turkish Jelly. I must say, any of these delightful offerings would be a treat to have in and of themselves. Thanks, Flory!
Zabeena from A Lot on My Plate explains, “I thought I couldn’t possibly invent something that would be good enough to reflect this superb film, given my draw-backs of only allowing myself a drastically reduced list of ingredients, after being seriously ill. And then it came to me in a flash: The Little Black Dress Diet! The book has Holly Golightly on the cover, and the contents of my cocktail represent gold, rubies and sapphires.”
Zabeena very aptly calls her dish “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. It is a lovely mixture of grilled pineapple and berries tossed with spices, sugar and local honey and served, (of course) in a cocktail glass. A truly creative and inspired dish! Thanks, Zabeena!
The adorable and clever Mark from No Special Effects sent over a traditional Filipino breakfast dish called Ruins Longanisang Hubad. Mark says, “Watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I began to think about how I needed to better inform people about my Asian heritage, and what better way to start than with how we eat breakfast? Longanisang hubad (or skinless/naked Filipino sausage) is a popular breakfast item, and this is the famous recipe from my family’s favorite restaurant.” Thanks, Mark! It really looks wonderful!
Holly from Holly Hadsell Entertaining sent over the most fabulous looking Breakfast Pizza! Holly explains that, “Since I was named after Holly Golightly, I had to submit a recipe this month and Breakfast Pizza seemed very appropriate.”
She was actually named after Holly Golightly! How cool is that!?!? Thanks so much for sharing, Holly!
Val from More Than Burnt Toast is one of my favorite blogging buddies. I can always count on her to come up with something unique and delicious, and her entry does not disappoint! Val whipped up a droolworthy Breakfast Salad, inspired by Canadian chef, Ned Bell. It’s a modern twist on breakfast, combining Okanagan chevre goat cheese, crispy bacon and a combination of mesclun greens with a tangy dressing. She serves it alongside fresh slices of Okanagan nectarines and cherry plums. What a perfect way to start any day! Thanks, Val. It looks dreamy!
My super-talented co-host, Marc from No Recipes contributed his “inauthentic” version of Chop Suey, which is a stir-fried dish which can include a variety of meat and vegetables in a cornstarch thickened sauce. While the actual origin of the dish is sketchy, it has become synonymous with American Chinese food.
Mark says, “I chose to make this dish because there was a time, not so long ago when all Asians were Orientals* and all Orientals ate Chop Suey. As the quintessential yellowface of the culinary world, Chop Suey seemed like the perfect dish to represent Mickey Rooney’s role in the film.”
Thanks, Marc. Wherever it came from, it looks fantastic!
Claire from Colloquial Cooking sent over Pierre Herme’s Diamants au cacao (cocoa diamonds). She says she chose them “because Tiffany’s diamonds provide Holly with a sense of comfort, and so do Pierre Hermé’s “diamants”. These “diamonds” are a rich, buttery sable cookie accented with cocoa and cinnamon. I think these cookies are the perfect way to end our Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired buffet! They look divine! Thanks for sharing them, Claire!
On behalf of Marc and myself, I’d like to thank everyone who joined us for this month’s Dinner and a Movie event. For our August movie, Marc has selected Wall Street, a 1987 classic starring Michael Douglass and Charlie Sheen. Wall Street is the quintessential film about greed and ruthless ambition in the corporate world.
Watch the movie, let it inspire a dish, and post it on the 20th of August. If you want more details or want to see some of the past roundups, check out the event page.