15 Star-Quality Recipes from Famous '90s Movies (Slideshow)
August 6, 2013
'Home Alone': Cheese Pizza
Kevin is such a troll. The pizza delivery boy never stood a chance, did he?
Here’s a fun fact you may not know about the scene: The black-and-white movie Kevin strategically stops and starts isn’t an actual gangster movie; it was specially created for Home Alone. Now, we may not take equal enjoyment in pranking delivery workers, but we wholeheartedly understand Kevin’s satisfaction when he opens up that warm-to-the-touch cardboard box: “Ah! A lovely cheese pizza, just for me.” Little Nero’s is the local joint in Kevin’s town, however the more common choice in real life is Domino’s (no offense, Pizza Hut). And because we think homemade is always better, we cracked the code on their thin-crust pie.
'Goodfellas': Spaghetti and Meatballs
“In prison, dinner was always a big thing,” Henry, the Goodfellas narrator, explains. In this classic gangster movie, the characters use their time behind bars to reconnect with traditional Italian cooking. Pauley does the prep work: shaving garlic with a razor of all things, so it melts like butter the second it hits a hot pan. Vinnie does the tomato sauce for the pasta, making his meatballs with veal, beef, and pork. Unfortunately for Vinnie, his fellow inmates give him flack for using too many onions. We like the idea of leaving behind the all-beef meatball, but we do think that three onions per two cans of tomatoes is a little… much. The same could also be said about having that much red meat (sorry, fellas). Accordingly, our rendition of the classic prison meal features another meat: turkey. Vinnie says “all the flavor” is in the pork, but we think these meatballs might be able to change his mind.
'Pretty Woman': Escargot
If you have yet to try escargot, chances are, you’re shaking your head as soon as you hear the word snail. Of course, if Richard Gere softly said to you, “It’s a delicacy, try them,” we bet you could be persuaded. Vivian, Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman, tries but famously struggles with the dish, and when the waiter deftly catches the getaway snail, he assures us all, “It happens all the time!” So, when you’re feeling as adventurous as Vivian and decide to give escargot a go, here’s how you do it: Use the snail tongs and a fork, not your hands. As Vivian notes, the snails, which are traditionally served with sauce, are “slippery little suckers.” Using your left hand (if you’re a righty), secure a snail with the tongs. Using your right hand, remove the meat with the fork — and take a big bite.
'The Addams Family': Girl Scout Cookies
The classic Christina Ricci scene from The Addams Family makes us think that Wednesday Addams and Kevin from Home Alone would’ve been perfect partners in crime. When a local Girl Scout stops by Wednesday and her brother, Pugsley’s lemonade stand and asks if the drink is made from real lemons — she only likes “all natural foods and beverages, organically grown with no preservatives!” — Wednesday asks if her “delicious” cookies are made from real Girl Scouts. Touché, Wednesday, touché. Our homemade Thin Mints aren’t, in fact, made from real Girl Scouts — but they are made from real dark chocolate.
'Father of the Bride': Hot Dogs
It’s the famous hot dog conspiracy theory. Supermarkets sell hot dogs and hot dog buns in different numbers “because some big shot over at the wiener company got together with some big shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public.” Obviously. Or, maybe Steve Martin’s thrifty character, George Banks, in the movie Father of the Bride was overreacting, just a bit. We all know that George’s wife, Nina, suggested hot dogs for dinner because they’re supposed to be a stress-free meal. Two ingredients: and you’re practically done. No need to get worked up, right? To spruce up this American grilling favorite, we collected eight creative hot dog recipes for easy and fun weeknight meals. Just make sure you don’t get arrested before you get all the ingredients.
'My Cousin Vinny': Grits
The menu at the Alabama diner in the movie My Cousin Vinny is the definition of no-frills. Only three items are listed: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Out-of-towners Vinny (Joe Pesci) and his fiancé (Marisa Tomei) are New York-jaded and thoroughly confused — especially by the ladleful of lard used to grease the flattop. When Vinny asks what’s on his plate, the cook is incredulous: “You never heard of grits?” Heard of them, sure, Vinny’s just “never seen a grit before.” And in his defense, most people from the northeast haven’t. The southern cook recommends simmering the grits in water for 15 to 20 minutes, then serving them with butter. But to add a bit of tang, we simmer ours in buttermilk and serve them with goat cheese — plus a six-minute egg, for breakfast.
'Mrs. Doubtfire': Hollandaise Sauce
Even though the end result didn’t turn out exactly well when Daniel Hillard (Robert Williams) cooks dinner in the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, you have to give his female alter ego, Mrs. Doubtfire, props for attempting a hollandaise sauce. Of course, with four burners going at once, plus a fake-breast-fire, what did he (excuse us, she) expect? After noting that the sauce has clotted, Mrs. Doubtfire exclaims, “This hollandaise smells like burnt rubber!” Curious. One of the five traditional mother sauces, hollandaise has a reputation for being finicky, but it’s actually fairly straight forward, and well-worth all the whisking. Just make sure to give it your full attention — and keep any padded bras away from the flames. Our umami-rich hollandaise from Modern Sauces combines this classic, buttery sauce with tangy steak sauce ingredients: appropriately manly for everyone’s favorite cross-dressing nanny.
'Groundhog Day': Angel Food Cake
Reliving the same day over and over sounds like a nightmare — until you realize it means you can eat whatever you want. Sign us up! Glazed doughnuts, pecan sticky buns, strawberry milkshakes: Bill Murrary’s stuck-in-time character Phil in the movie Groundhog Day says, bring it on. However, Rita, his love interest, serves as the voice of reason: “Don’t you worry about cholesterol, lung cancer, love handles?” He shoves an entire slice of white cake with pink frosting into his mouth to show just how much he doesn’t worry. Point: proven. The pale color and tender pliability of the cake could only be one thing: angel food, which has light-as-air batter that is mostly meringue, with a bit of flour. Our Groundhog-inspired version — angel food cupcakes with raspberry buttercream — is individually portioned, so, theoretically, you could eat your cake in just one bite. Just please, don’t.
'Pulp Fiction': Big Kahuna Burger
“Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.” If you ever want sound dietary advice, go to Jules, Sam Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction. He knows what’s up. Before this famous ketchup- and blood-smeared scene, Jules had never tried a renowned Big Kahuna Burger — and the rest of us still haven’t. Unfortunately, this Hawaiian-themed fictional fast food chain exists only in Quentin Tarantino’s films. From the looks of it, Big Kahuna seems to make a traditional fast food hamburger: soft bun, American cheese, and ketchup. But if we’re eating burgers for breakfast, there’s got to be some morning ingredients involved, right? Our spin on The Big Kahuna Burger features a crispy hash brown and runny fried egg, plus some bacon, for good measure, and hot sauce-spiked ketchup. It is a tasty burger.
'Forrest Gump': Chocolate Truffles
We’ve all been trained to think that a stranger offering you chocolates at a bus stop is creepy — but aren’t there those days when you too could eat a million and a half chocolate truffles after work? In the 1994 Academy Award winning movie for Best Picture Forrest Gump, Forrest’s mother, played by Sally Field, shares the ultimate food-based life lesson: Life is like a box of chocolates, “you never know what you’re gonna get.” When it comes to life, we agree. But when it comes to chocolates, is this fair? Splurging on a box of specialty candies, only to throw a third of them away? Truffles sound fancy, but they’re actually a cinch to make from scratch. Our Espresso Chocolate Truffles are topped with candied lemon peel — so at least you have an idea of what you’re gonna get.
'The Lion King': Grubs
Despite the beloved cartoon lion Simba’s shocked face — you probably shared the same expression at the time — Timon and Pumbaa might be onto something by eating bugs, or as they call them “grubs.” On the whole, insects are highly nutritious, and as The Lion King shows, they’re not too tough to come by. Pumbaa promises, “You’ll learn to love ’em!” and author David George Gordon, in his recently revised Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, makes a similar claim. The famous “bug chef’s” recipe for Fried Green Tomato Horn Worms looks like it could have been the real world inspiration for the movie’s illustrations.
'Matilda': Chocolate Cake
Poor Bruce Bogtrotter; all he wanted was a piece of chocolate cake. After he steals a slice from the kitchen in the movie Matilda, though, the mean principal Ms. Trunchbull creates a punishment that could rival even the Coney Island hot dog contest: eat a piece of double chocolate cake, then eat the entire double chocolate cake. Thanks to brave Matilda — “You can do it, Brucey!” — Bruce’s peers cheer him on, and the little guy pulls through. Our recreation of Ms. Trunchbull’s cake would have been a lot kinder to Bruce’s stomach. A dark chocolate bundt cake is decorated only with a dusting of powdered sugar, so this way you can enjoy an extra big slice and not feel overwhelmed.
'My Best Friend’s Wedding': Lobster
Ah, the good ol’ days, when everyone knew Dionne Warwick lyrics by heart. In yet another example of over-the-top trolling, in the movie My Best Friend’s Wedding Rupert Everett’s character, George, turns a casual seafood meal into a spontaneous musical — notably featuring dancing waiters with lobster oven mitts — all to embarrass his friend, Julianne, played by Julia Roberts. We’re all down for the lobster: just without the sing-a-long. Now a New York favorite, Pearl Oyster Bar opened the same year that My Best Friend’s Wedding came out, and it still turns out one of the best lobster rolls around.
'Runaway Bride': Eggs Benedict
Much like the movie Forrest Gump, Runaway Bride tackles deep life lessons by way of food metaphors. Julia Roberts’ character, Maggie, conforms so much to her significant others that she even mimics their egg orders. Defending women everywhere, Richard Gere’s sensitive journalist character (seriously) tells Maggie that she needs to “have a mind of [her] own,” which eventually leads to the breakfast buffet to put all breakfast buffets to shame. Maggie makes eggs every which way possible, only to learn that she loves eggs benedict: “I hate every other kind.” To see if they’re as good as she says, check out our guide on how to create the perfect eggs benedict — it includes some inventive variations, too, in case you want to impress your partner.
'The Parent Trap': Oreos with Peanut Butter
Coincidentally meeting for the first time in their eleven-year-old lives, identical twins Hallie (Lindsay Lohan) and Annie (again, Lindsay Lohan) in the movie Parent Trap don’t find it unusual that they look exactly alike — but they do find it strange that they both enjoy eating Oreos with peanut butter. Honestly, we’re not sure why they’re so embarrassed: peanut butter and chocolate is practically as classic a combo as peanut butter and jelly. But perhaps there is some gene that makes you love it or hate it. Our Homemade Oreos feature both buttercream and peanut butter sandwiched between two cocoa shortbread cookies — this way no dipping or judgment is involved.