Welcome to new readers who have landed here via Talking Pictures TV. I’m excited to propose a fabulous star-spangled menu for everyone to enjoy alongside a screening of I’m All Right Jack on Sunday 8th October at 6.30pm. We are having a Silver Screen Sunday WATCH PARTY! Everyone is welcome.
If you make one, two or even all three of these movie star specials, please take photos and tag @TalkingPicsTV on Twitter/Instagram or email them to email@example.com There will be a prize draw to win a copy of my new book – Cooking with Joan Crawford (out on 1st October) – packed with Joan’s favourite things to eat and drink – so everyone who sends pictures of their dishes has a chance to win!
First up, here are recipes by three stars of I’m All Right Jack followed by photographs of the finished dishes and some tips for preparing them.
For full enjoyment of the movie, I suggest getting ahead of the game by preparing Ian’s fancy hors d’oeuvre and Richard and Sheila’s dessert course on Sunday morning. The sole is best straight out of the oven.
First up, Ian Carmichael’s Melon a la Fraser.
I relished the chance to get out my melon baller for this appetizer! This is the kind of utensil that languishes at the back of many a cutlery drawer….
If you don’t have one of these, just scoop the melon flesh out with a spoon and cut into cubes.
I’d recommend mixing the curry powder through your cream and tasting it until it’s to your liking as curry powders do vary in intensity. I used 2 teaspoons in the end (to 150ml double cream) to get a nice rich flavour.
It’s difficult to know how big a “packet of shrimp” would have been in 1961 when this recipe was published. I’m guessing Ian used brown shrimp, but they aren’t in season here at the moment so I used 150g of cold water prawns. This was about right for the amount of cream but you could bump up the amount of prawns or use a little less cream if you like.
When it was time to serve this elegant retro starter, I sprinkled a little extra curry powder on top and voila!
Although Ian’s recipe states that this serves 8, I would say it serves two hungry people who love prawns! If you are entertaining, you could serve smaller portions of the filling on dainty plates with lettuce rather than inside the melon.
I think there is a typo in Ian’s recipe, I couldn’t find a Moira Fraser who looked as though she’d be a chum of Ian’s. I bet it was Moyra with a y!
Now to the main course – Terry-Thomas’ Sole San Carlos.
You will need a lot of salt for this! It’s not necessary to use your best Maldon sea flakes, just ordinary fine table salt will do the job. Get more than you think you’ll need – my sole was 250g and I used almost 2 x tubs of Saxa – around 675g.
Terry-Thomas mentions a “large sole” for two people. I’m guessing he managed to get whoppers! I ate a whole dover sole myself and it was a dainty amount of fish. You could bake a larger fish in salt if you can’t get hold of sole, there is a good article here if you choose a different fishy. Cooking time will vary, but for my little fella, 20 minutes at 200°C was absolutely perfect. Here he is wrapped in swaddling clothes, ready for the oven.
Terry-T doesn’t mention adding water to the salt before you pack it around the fish. You need to add enough so that it’s the consistency of wet sand. Pretend you are at the seaside. When the fish comes out of the oven, you break into the crust with a knife and then remove as much of the salt as you can with a spoon. I then used a piece of damp kitchen roll to wipe the fish to get the rest of the salt off.
Some online guides to this technique recommend oiling the fish before you pack it in salt. This can stop the skin sticking to the salt, and if you are baking a piece of fish that doesn’t have full skin coverage, this will prevent the flesh getting too salty. There’s another article here that really goes into detail about the salt baking technique if you want to know more.
If you are serving the fish with the skin on, as I did, it’s a good idea to have a bowl or plate on the table for folks to discard the skin (which will be pretty salty) and bones. I recommend a squeeze of lemon juice to finish your dish – absolutely delicious!
The name of T-T’s dish refers to the village close to his home in Ibiza. There’s an absolutely terrific article on the British Comedy Guide website by his biographer Graham McCann about his time here which made me laugh out loud several times. What I wouldn’t give to have been a guest at T-T’s place with its five kitchens and celebrity neighbours!
Now to dessert – Richard Attenborough’s (and Sheila Sim’s) Fruit and Jelly Mould.
The brandy is optional in this recipe, but I must say, cherries soaked in some cherry brandy I found lurking around the place were absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!
You’ll need to make the jelly a few hours ahead so that it sets.
Whipped cream doubles in volume when you whip it, so to get 1/2 pint you’ll need 1/4 pint un-whipped whipping cream – about 150ml. I did use a whisk when I added the whipped cream to the jelly and thought it was well incorporated but after 4 hours in the fridge, the cream had settled on top like craters of the moon!
I think that this mixture of cream and jelly could be known as FLUMMERY which is such a lovely word. You’ll notice that Sheila and Richard offer “mock whipped cream” as an alternative to whipped cream as the book this recipe appeared in was published in 1950 when food rationing was still in force.
I chopped the creamy jelly up right there in the dish, using two knives, and convinced myself this two tone effect was exactly how Sheila and Richard would have had it! I forgot all about the nuts, but they would have looked pretty and added a nice crunch.
For the jelly, I used one of the two sachets that arrived via my grocery delivery van. I was rather surprised that the jelly arrived in powdered form. What happened to those lovely blocks of sugar-intense jelly divided into cubes we got in ye olden dayes?!
When my mum made jelly she always let me eat one of the squares. Goodness knows how she worked out how much water to subtract to make up for one less cube in order for it to set!
It’s worth checking the ingredients of your jelly if you are making this dessert for pescatarians, vegetarians, vegans or folks who don’t eat pork – mine contained pork gelatine. I missed the cubes but I must admit, jelly in powdered form is a cinch to make. One sachet seemed about the right amount for a cup of whipped cream so I’m guessing one sachet makes the same amount of jelly as an old school block of jelly cubes. My jelly took about four hours to set in the fridge.
As this meal was just for me, myself and I, I had lots of the dessert left over, but I whizzed it up in smoothies over the next couple of days – minus the lettuce!
Here’s the whole shebang…
What a feast!
Well, old friends and new, I hope that you will enjoy these dishes if you make them. I’ll be joining the watch party for I’m All Right Jack on Sunday the 8th on Talking Pictures TV and live tweeting – my handle is @silverscreensup if you’d like to follow me. If you’ve never joined a watch party before, don’t be shy! It’s lots of fun. You’ll be watching the movie at the same time as hundreds of other people around the UK. Maybe even eating the same dinner!
I would love to hear how your dishes turn out. If you use the hashtags #silverscreensuppers and #TPTV we should spot your messages and don’t forget to copy in @TalkingPicsTV if you take any photos for a chance to win the Joan Crawford cookbook!
Lots of other movie star favourites are included in my other books too.
If you’d like more movie star menus – do sign up to my Dinner and a Movie newsletter – I propose a movie-related menu each month. All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, It Happened one Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Ball of Fire have all featured. If you pop your email address in the box you see when clicking on this link, the movie-star recipes will land in your inbox each month.
If you have a favourite movie star and you are wondering what they liked to eat, have a scroll through the list of names in the bar to the right of this website (you won’t see these on a mobile phone, you’ll need to be looking on a computer or tablet). If your favourite isn’t listed, drop me a message via the Contact Page and I’ll see what I have in the collection.
Here are all the social media links for Talking Pictures and Silver Screen Suppers
Twitter @TalkingPicsTV @silverscreensup
Instagram @talkingpicstv @silverscreensuppers
Hashtags #TalkingPicturesTV #TPTV #silverscreensuppers #dinnerandamovie
See you on Sunday 8th October!
LINKS TO MY STAR-SPANGLED COOKBOOKS
These are links to the UK Amazon – switch to your own country for correct postal costs if not in the UK.
Books can also be ordered via your local bookshop or possibly from your local library.Cooking With Columbo Murder, She Cooked Supper with the Stars