J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” is a unique crime drama primarily due to its central character, Abel Morales. With a title like “A Most Violent Year,” you’d think Abel would be a hostile pig that’s constantly ordering hits and shouting obscenities. While he engages in unlawful activities, Abel is probably one of the most reputable and humble criminals cinema has ever seen. He doesn’t cheat on his wife, do drugs, or abuse the second amendment. Even when he has to put a dying animal out of its misery, he’s reluctant to do the deed.
The holidays are stressful enough, never mind if you feel the need to reinvent your dinner repertoire every time someone new pops over. But at the same time, December is going to be an awful long month if you resort to making the same dish over and over again. So we figured there had to be a delicious middle ground.
Whether you’re having a quiet night in with family or a larger gathering with friends, holiday celebrations often call for a cocktail — sometimes simply to help you deal with those friends and family! So we’ve got you covered with a trio of easy but delicious cocktails that won’t tax your time or budget.
The final shot of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” certainly left audiences pumped for the following installment. Seeing that fierce glare in Katniss’ eyes, all you wanted to do was charge into battle alongside her. Given the adrenaline rush the previous film provided, it’s a bit disappointing that “Mockingjay – Part 1” isn’t the grand final confrontation. Rather, it’s more of a calm before the big storm. That doesn’t make the film bad. It’s still remarkably acted, thought provoking, and light-years ahead of most movies being targeted at teenagers. Still, “Mockingjay – Part 1” also leaves you wishing for the good-old days when epic stories were told within three movies max.
Here’s the thing about baked stuffed peppers... Plenty of people hate them. And when you consider the classic approach to this dish, it’s hard to argue. Tasteless ground beef mixed with white rice and some sort of tomato product? Not particularly exciting.
If Thanksgiving is all about the sides, Easter is all about the main. While we agonize over styles of stuffings, whole or smooth cranberry sauces, sweet potatoes with or without marshmallows, and so many other Turkey Day dilemmas, we tend to just cobble together a what-have-you assortment of sides to accompany the beloved Easter ham or lamb.
Our spring feasts — often centered around Passover and Easter — typically call for a center-of-the-plate star like brisket or lamb. Of course they’re delicious, but both can seriously ramp up the fat and calories in a meal that tends to put the groan into groaning board even before the main course is served.
Borscht is woefully underappreciated in America. This classic dish from Russia (and much of Eastern Europe, in fact) not only is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables, it also can be incredibly delicious.
Not recommending “Gimme Shelter” feels about as low as kicking a lost puppy. The film’s heart is definitely in the right place. All writer/director Ron Krauss wishes to do is uplift audiences with an inspiring true story. If it were being graded on good intentions alone, “Gimme Shelter” would be an A+ movie for sure. On an overall filmmaking level, though, it’s more of a C+ movie.
After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last June, I was forced to cut back on reviewing movies every week. In between chemo treatments and sleeping for days on end, I’ve made an effort to see as many new releases as possible. Now at the start of a promising new year, I am happy to announce that I am virtually cancer free. Even better, I have a lot of truly great films from yesteryear to talk about.
This rolled flank steak is a great entrée for dinner parties. Partially prepare the steak the night before by allowing it to marinate in the refrigerator overnight, finish preparing the next day. Bake for an hour and you’re on your way to showcasing a delicious rolled flank steak that will impress even the pickiest guests.
What you want on Christmas morning — a house that effortlessly fills itself with joyous sounds and delicious aromas. What you usually get on Christmas morning — towers of wrapping paper, hermetically sealed toys that can be opened by no human, and a kitchen that demands way too much of your attention.
This is a simple yet delicious meal and one of my favorites. A cast iron skillet is my preference, however, it works well in any oven-safe pan. I like to add root vegetables to the pan, including carrots and potatoes, seven ingredients, 1 1/2 hours later, dinner is served.
Admittedly, pot roast is not a particularly beautiful dish. But when done well, it is a delicious dish — flavorful, succulent, rich and comforting. In short, it’s everything you want for a holiday feast.
November comes along and minds are on travel, turkey and family gatherings. This classic slider provides an autumn twist. This Bacon and Bleu Cheese Slider will fast become a family favorite and change up the typical “hamburger night.” The dish is fun, and uses a slight shortcut with cornbread mix and it’s easy to get the kids involved (buttering the pan, mixing the ingredients, what kid doesn’t want to crack an egg?). If you aren’t a bleu cheese fan, easily substitute equal amount of goat or gorgonzola cheese. For an extra kick, add one jalapeno (seeded) to the cornbread mix. Prefer a moister cornbread muffin? Replace 1 cup of the milk with one can creamed corn. Kids typically prefer a toned down version of the mayo, use more or less of the chipotle depending upon your families taste. These sliders make great appetizers for your holiday parties or a great main dish for family meals. Enjoy!
New York City has a zillion charms, but it may not be the ideal place to celebrate Halloween. Here’s the problem — where do you display your jack-o’-lantern if you live in an apartment building with no porch?
This soup is a stick-to-your ribs flexitarian special. Make it with chicken broth and prosciutto and you end up with a carnivore’s delight. Make it with vegetable stock and no prosciutto and you’ve got a vegetarian’s delight. Either way, it’s plenty hearty. The potatoes give it body and creaminess. The spinach and kale give it earthiness and a bright green color.
Like many Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashana — the Jewish new year — is rich with delicious, symbolic foods. Rounds of challah bread, for example, signify continuity, while apples and honey represent wishes for a sweet year to come. Of course, just as important is spending time with loved ones.
When I was growing up in Virginia, one of the signs of summer I anticipated most was the appearance of fat green tomatoes on the vines in our garden. We picked them well before they started to blush, dipped the thick slices in egg and milk, dredged them with cornmeal, salt and pepper, then fried them in a skillet.
Caribbean flavors jazz up this simple supper salad. We glaze the shrimp with a zesty rum-spiked marmalade, then toss them on a hot grill with tomatoes and corn before combining everything with a few more veggies. We serve the whole thing with grilled bread seasoned with garlic and orange for a bit of crunch and to aid in scooping up all the delicious bits.
Summertime is burger time. And it’s so easy to throw a few beef patties on the grill. Not much is required in the way of embellishment, yet they have a big happiness return. What’s the magic ingredient? Fat, of course. Beef burgers are high in fat, which guarantees flavor and juiciness. And because fat enhances flavor, it also makes anything else you put in or on the burger taste better, too. Heartbreakingly, as you decrease the fat content in a burger, its flavor tends to go bye-bye, too. This is a real problem if you want to dig into a delicious burger and still want the blood to continue sailing through your arteries. The solution? Turkey. I know. I know. You’ve tried turkey burgers and it was like eating wet cardboard. Hah! But you haven’t tried my turkey burgers... Let’s start with the basic ingredient — ground turkey. While researching this recipe, I discovered that the labels on ground turkey can be quite confusing. You’d figure that a package labeled “lean” would mean what it says. Weirdly, it turns out that the calories and fat in a 4-ounce portion of “lean” ground turkey can range from 120 calories with 1 percent fat to 160 calories with 12 percent fat (which is as rich as a lean beef burger). As always, it’s best to read labels and not rely on words such as “lean” or “white meat” when looking for healthy choices. Or, better yet, grind your own turkey. Start by buying a small package of turkey tenderloins, the flap of meat that lies just under the breast. As little as a 1 1/2 pounds of turkey tenderloins can be ground to produce six burgers. Cut the tenderloins into 1-inch cubes and freeze them for 30 minutes. Pop them in a food processor and pulse until they achieve a medium-grind consistency. Now we come to the crucial part of the recipe, the part I call Turkey Helper. The blandest and driest of white meats, turkey cries out for flavor and moisture. Happily, any number of vegetables can answer this call, including sauteed onions, bell peppers or mushrooms, shredded raw Napa cabbage, or carrots.