The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree that is native to South Central Mexico, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. Avocado (also alligator pear) additionally refers to the tree’s fruit, which is botanically a large berry containing a single seed.
Mofongo is an Afro-Puerto Rican dish with fried plantains as its main ingredient. Plantains are picked green and mashed with salt and water in a wooden pilón, a kitchen device also known as mortar and pestle.
The object is to produce a tight ball of mashed plantains that would absorb the attending condiments and have either pork cracklings (chicharrón) or bits of bacon inside. Most dressings and mixtures include broth, garlic, and olive oil.
It is traditionally served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.
Particular flavors result from variations that include vegetables, chicken, shrimp, beef, or octopus packed inside or around the plantain orb. And then, there is the “mofongo relleno” (stuffed mofongo). Seafood, abundant in the region, found its way inside the plantain ball too, but with braised meat or more seafood poured over it.
Nowadays, seafood lovers get the relleno stuffed also “with meat, or poultry.”
Pernil (pernil asado, pernil al horno, roast pork butt), a slow-roasted marinated pork shoulder. In Puerto Rico the dish is commonly shared during Christmas, typically accompanied by arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas).
The pork shoulder is used as a whole piece, with skin and bone. It is marinated the day prior to roasting with sofrito, salt, pepper plus possibly additional spices (oregano, adobo). Sofrito are placed deeply within the meat through small cuts.
After marination the covered meat is slowly roasted initially in the oven for several hours, and, in the final phase, at a higher temperature with the cover off to get the skin crispy. When finished, the meat “falls off the bone”, and the crispy skin (cuerto) is separated, cleared of fat, and can be served separately as cueritos (skin chips).
Gandule is another name for pigeon peas (Cajanus Cajan). Pigeon peas are a small bean that are native to Africa and/or India but most likely originated in India and were brought to Africa millennia ago, where many different strains were developed.
Pigeon peas are also called goongoo beans, Congo beans (Jamaica), no-eyed peas, Red gram, kardis, Pois d’Angole (French West Indies); guandu or andu (Portugese Brazil) and many other names.
The beans are small, green to yellow-brown, and highly nutritious. They are used as both a vegetable and dried for use as a flour. In India they are used as a split pea or “dhal” in soups. In many countries they are commonly eaten with rice.
Arroz con gandules is a combination of rice, pigeon peas and pork, cooked in the same pot with Puerto Rican-style sofrito. This is the signature dish of Puerto Rican culture. Arroz con gandules is part of Puerto Rico’s national dish along with roast pork.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is an American comedy-drama film directed by Lasse Hallström from a screenplay written by Steven Knight. It stars Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon. The film is based on the novel The Hundred-Foot Journey, written by Richard C. Morais.
The Hundred-Foot Journey was produced by DreamWorks Pictures and released by Touchstone Pictures on August 8, 2014.
(There is a touch of Oprah in this movie too).
In Mumbai, India, a family restaurant run by Papa ends up being destroyed by a mob upset over an election dispute. Papa and his family successfully evacuate the guests; however, Papa’s wife is killed in the fire set at the restaurant. Seeking asylum in Europe, the family first settles in London, where their residence proves ill-suited for a restaurant. They depart for mainland Europe.
Shortly after crossing the border between Switzerland and France, the brakes on Papa’s vehicle fail, which results in the family being forced to stay a night in a nearby French village. Marguerite, a sous chef at an upscale French restaurant in town, feeds the family and helps it find an auto repair shop and a guest house. Papa is amazed at the quality of the food in the village and its availability. He learns of an abandoned restaurant building on the outskirts of town available for purchase. Seeing this as divine providence, Papa decides to open an Indian restaurant in the village.
Upon learning of Papa’s plan to open an Indian restaurant across the street, Madame Mallory, the widowed owner of the upscale French restaurant, attempts to discourage the Indians from proceeding with their plans. After sabotaging Papa’s family by purchasing all the locally available ingredients needed to cook their dishes on opening night, a cold war erupts between Papa and Madame Mallory. The war peaks on Bastille Day, when one of Madame Mallory’s cooks and two others vandalize the Indian restaurant by spray-painting the outer wall and setting fire to the restaurant’s interior with firebombs. Hassan Haji, Papa’s eldest son and premier chef, catches the would-be arsonists in the act and scares them off, but his hands end up burned.
The following morning, Madame Mallory convenes a meeting of her chefs and asks them if they know the words to La Marseillaise. After citing lines from the song concerning equality and justice, she dismisses the cook from her restaurant responsible for the vandalism and then voluntarily cleans up the graffiti. Hassan, having heard that Madame Mallory hires potential chefs by taste-testing an omelet they prepare for her, asks if he may cook an omelet for her. Citing his injured hands, he says Madame Mallory will have to help him with the process. After sampling his cooking, Madame Mallory concedes to his potential to be a great chef and invites him to cook for her against the wishes of Papa and his family.
Hassan’s cooking proves popular and unconventional enough to result in Madam Mallory’s restaurant receiving its second Michelin Star, an elite honor bestowed on only a handful of restaurants in Europe. The award draws national attention to Hassan’s cooking, and he is offered a job in Paris, France, which he accepts. Papa and Madam Mallory make amends and ultimately begin romancing each other.
Hassan’s cooking quickly receives critical acclaim, fueling speculation of a third Michelin Star for the Paris restaurant; however, Hassan’s restaurant work is increasingly bogged down by thoughts of his family and Marguerite, with whom he had an ongoing romance. Hassan decides to return home, where he and Marguerite reunite. Proposing a business venture together, Hassan declare that he will help Madam Mallory’s restaurant earn its third Michelin Star.
That evening, Hassan and Marguerite are allowed to cook dinner for Hassan’s family at Madam Mallory’s restaurant. As the two young chefs bring out the dishes for the meal, everyone looks forward to an evening of romance and fine dining.
Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory Om Puri as Papa Juhi Chawla as Mama Manish Dayal as Hassan Haji Charlotte Le Bon as Marguerite Amit Shah as Mansur Farzana Dua Elahe as Mahira Rohan Chand as Young Hassan Haji Dillon Mitra as Mukthar Michel Blanc as Mayor Shuna Lemoine as Mayor’s wife
~~The Hundred-Foot Journey Official Trailer~~
~~Published on May 14, 2014~~
The Hundred-Foot Journey Official Trailer starring Helen Mirren, Charlotte Le Bon, Rohan Chand and directed by Lasse Hallström
Based on the novel The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.
Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) is a culinary ingénue with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, the Kadam family, led by Papa (Om Puri), settles in the quaint village of Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val in the south of France. Filled with charm, it is both picturesque and elegant — the ideal place to settle down and open an Indian restaurant, the Maison Mumbai. That is, until the chilly chef proprietress of Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin starred, classical French restaurant run by Madame Mallory (Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren), gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant a hundred feet from her own, escalate to all out war between the two establishments — until Hassan’s passion for French haute cuisine and for Mme. Mallory’s enchanting sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), combine with his mysteriously delicious talent to weave magic between their two cultures and imbue Saint-Antonin with the flavors of life that even Mme. Mallory cannot ignore. At first Mme. Mallory’s culinary rival, she eventually recognizes Hassan’s gift as a chef and takes him under her wing.
~Release Date: 8 August 2014~
The Hundred-Foot Journey Interview – Oprah Winfrey