Sightseeing magazines are good for one thing. Recipes. I tore this one out while I was in Monterey, California many years ago. The magazine gave recipe credit to a French restaurant called Fresh Cream that no longer exists. This rich sauce is tangy sweet and goes well with any blackened fish. Fresh local line caught fish is the best. Serve with braised baby bok choy and steamed rice if you desire.
- 1½-2 lbs. red snapper divided into 4 portions
- 1½-2 cups clarified butter
- 1 qt pineapple juice
- 4 shallots sliced
- ½ c. white wine
- ½ c. heavy cream
- 2 oz. dark rum
- ½ c. blackening spice
- 4 slices of pineapple
- mint and parsley for garnish
- Combine pineapple juice, white wine and shallots in a pot and reduce until very thick, about one hour. Add heavy cream and reduce mixture by two-thirds, about 15 minutes. Transfer to blender and blend while slowly adding a cup of the clarified butter, until mixture is very thick. When finished blending, add the rum.
- Dust filets with blackening spice and place in dry, very hot cast iron skillet. Ladle 1-2 tablespoons of clarified butter over top of each filet. Let filets blacken, then flip and cook to desired doneness (2-3 minutes per side). Remove filets from pan; use same pan to sear pineapple slices. Remove pineapple from the pan, pour the sauce onto the plate; place fish on sauce and garnish with the pineapple slices, sprigs of mint, and chopped parsley.
Pair this with a Rock Hollow (a Curtis Winery brand) Sauvignon Blanc. Super bright aromas of gooseberry and lemon with hints of grassiness. A round and refreshing texture melts into lively flavours of guava, pear, and mineola and finishes crisp and clean.
Movie Night suggestion: Something spicy, sexy, and expressive. Set in the seedy French Quarter of New Orleans, troubled Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister and is tormented by her bully brother-in-law as her reality crumbles around her in A Streetcar Named Desire. Blanche, a former schoolteacher and quickly deteriorating southern belle, lost the family homestead and her job but isn’t forthcoming about the details.
This film is a head-on collision between two acting styles: the stagey theatrics of British actress Vivien Leigh, with her pitch-perfect diction and overly focused preparation, versus the wild method approach of eccentric Brando, with a delivery consisting of mumbles, slurs and pauses. Stanley (played by Brando) could easily come off as a Neanderthal misogynist, but Brando refuses to allow his character to be a one-dimensional male evil doer. Behind his violent outbursts and cruelty is an uneducated, inarticulate man who can’t understand or control his own emotions. Brando filled Stanley with such humanity and sympathy that the censor board complained that the film glorified brutes and failed to punish Stanley for his wrongdoing.
The raw sexuality that Brando exuded also disturbed America’s prudes, as sex was a forbidden subject in America film circa 1951. It wasn’t that Gene Kelly sexiness that said, “let’s skip the romantic dinner and just dance ourselves silly.”
Brando steps onto the screen in a skintight, sweat drenched t-shirt dripping with primal sensuality that screams, “I want you right now.”
In the end the emphasis on sexuality and the dark, adult subject matter was too much for the Breen Office and the other censoring boards in charge of keeping the U S of A wholesome. Cuts were required for the film’s release. Marlon Brando makes A Streetcar Named Desire sexy, powerful and timeless. Now go butter your rum.
Film Trivia: Vivian Leigh suffered from bipolar disorder in real life, and later had trouble in distinguishing her real life from that of Blanche DuBois.
Streetcar is only one of two films in history to win three Academy Awards for acting. The other is Network (1976).
Marlon Brando is billed under Leigh in the film’s credits since he had not yet achieved full stardom in films.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #47 Greatest Movie of All Time.
This film was shot on a 36-day schedule.
By the time the film was made, the Desire streetcar line had been converted to buses.
The Production Code censors demanded 68 script changes from the Broadway staging, while the interference of the Catholic Legion of Decency (yes this is a real thing) led to even more cuts.
Obscure contract starlet Marilyn Monroe was director Elia Kazan’s date when the film was previewed in Santa Barbara in 1951.