What happens when you always run a 12 days of Oscar feature
in the twelve days leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony, and you’ve decided to run a Winter Olympics feature
like the one you ran for the Summer Olympics
? Add in the fact that no posts of any kind were churned out for months, you just accepted a promotion and are working some long hours, and that you barely ever see daylight much less have any of it left by the time your dinner is ready for its close-up- then what? That’s right, you run two features.
For day one, we have a film that was nominated for but did not win an Oscar. The 1991 film The Prince of Tides, based on the book by Pat Conroy, was nominated for seven Oscars. Nick Nolte was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Tom Wingo, a man unhappy with his life who travels to New York City following his sister’s suicide attempt. Tom meets with his sister’s psychiatrist, Dr. Susan Lowenstein (Barbara Streisand), initially in an attempt to help with his sister’s recovery. Over the course of the film both Tom reveals a great deal about his childhood, and they both explore their own unhappiness as they grow closer.
There are many memorable scenes in The Prince of Tides, but one of the most memorable has to be the scene from Tom’s childhood where dad gets served a special dinner. Tom’s mother, Lila, frequently would try new recipes in an attempt to get a recipe into the local ladies auxiliary cookbook. Tom’s father, having had enough of this “foreign” food, starts a shouting match at dinner prompting Lila to go into the kitchen and cook him up some dog food, which he applauds as one of the best meals he’s ever eaten. The children, including Tom, are fully aware that their mother has served their father dog food and it makes for quite a memorable revelation to Dr. Lowenstein later. The “exotic” meal that Lila has prepared and served is shrimp Newburg. Shrimp Newburg is shrimp in a cream sauce, traditionally served over toast points or a puff pastry. Here, it is served over rice both to make it a little healthier and to be reminiscent of the dog food hash Lila serves, over rice.
- 1 1/2 C. brown rice
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 lbs. large shrimp- cleaned and cut into thirds, shells reserved
- 1 1/3 C. 2 per cent milk
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1/4 C. sherry
In a small saucepan, combine the rice with 1 1/2 C. water.
Bring to a boil, cover, then lower the heat and simmer until the rice is tender, 20-30 minutes.
Fluff the rice with a fork and cover to keep it warm.
While the rice cooks, melt 2 tsp. of the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.
Add the shrimp shells and cook about 5 minutes, stirring, until crisp.
In a small bowl, whisk the milk with the cornstarch and then whisk the cornstarch mixture into the shrimp shells.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, whisking, for 1 minute.
Strain the mixture into a bowl, pressing on the shrimp shells with a large spoon to be sure all of the mixture is drained out.
Wipe out the saucepan, then melt the remaining 2 tsp. of butter over medium-low heat.
Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the milk mixture and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.
Stir in the shrimp and sherry and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until the shrimp is firm.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over rice.