This month, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting our new Movies and Munchies blogging group; she invited us to watch Off the Menu. Read her invitation here.
I had watched it during one of my rom-com waves throughout the pandemic. Thank goodness for Netflix...it kept me sane many, many days. But I happily watched it again, this time with foodie glasses on. D groaned when it started, "Mom, haven't you watched this already?" Yes. "Then, why are you watching it again? Don't tell me...it's for one of your groups!" Yes, again.
On the Screen
This movie is a formulaic rom-com with lots of gorgeous food mixed in. Formula or not, it's a fun way to spend a couple of hours. I'm just going to say clichéd, but enjoyable.
We meet Joel Flanagan whose family dynasty is a chain of fast-food Mexican restaurants. Though he is much more interested in training for a triathlon, he grudgingly participates in board meetings for Tortilla Hut. At one of these meetings he is tasked - by his business-minded sister - to travel the country in search of culinary inspiration for new menu items.
Forced into a road trip, we follow Joel to a dusty town in New Mexico where he wanders in to Javiera's restaurant. While her menu is beautifully authentic with peppers that she grows on her family's secret farm, the Tortilla Hut is determined to recreate those flavors through food chemistry. Yikes! You can imagine where the plot goes, right? Remember, it's a rom-com...and - spoiler alert! - Joel does get the girl.
Roasted Hatch Chile Sunrise
When I did some reading as to what chiles were grown in New Mexico, I landed on the Hatch Chile. And I happened to find some at the market. That was serendipitous. So I roasted them, roasted some yellow, orange, and red peppers, and made a Javiera-inspired breakfast.
- olive oil
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- black beans
- queso fresco
- fresh cilantro
- ripe avocado, sliced
- salsa fresca
Roasting peppers is a cinch! Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll your washed and dried peppers in a splash or two of olive oil. Lay them on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin begins to char.
Flip them over and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes. Your peppers should begin to look deflated and softened. Let them cool until you can handle them without burning yourself.
Place the yellow, orange, and red peppers in a food processor and pulse with olive oil and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice to make a sauce.
Place a dollop of sauce on a plate and pull a spoon through it to create an artistic smear.
Slice a roasted Hatch chile lengthwise and gently pull it open.
Fill the pepper with black beans and queso fresco. Top with a little bit more yellow pepper sauce and fresh cilantro. Serve with a ripe avocado sliced on the side and some salsa fresca.
That's a wrap on March's Movies and Munchies. We'll be back with The Jungle Cruise next month!