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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dinner and a Movie: Wedding Crashers and Rumaki

wedding_crashers_ver1

Wedding Crashers is on the marquee this month at Dinner and a Movie. This romantic comedy is about Washington, D.C. divorce mediators John and Jeremy, business partners and lifelong friends, who share a unique hobby - crashing weddings! Their plan is to charm their way into any wedding - and into the hearts of every bridesmaid - for just one night. But, at the biggest social event of the year, John breaks the rules and falls for Claire, the daughter of the U.S. Secretary of Treasury, while Jeremy is left at the mercy of her "stage-five-clinger" sex-crazed sister Gloria! John and Jeremy are later able to finagle to a weekend party at the sisters' family estate, where hilarity ensues and they both learn a few lessons about love.

Okay, I'll admit that Wedding Crashers is not my idea of great cinema. If my co-host, Marc from No Recipes hadn't chosen it for this month's DaaM, I probably would never have given it a chance. But, I did really enjoy watching it. This film had a lot more going for it than the trailers gave it credit for.

wedding crashers

Who doesn't love a great wedding? I know I do! And, I've certainly been to my share of them. But, let's face it. Aside from celebrating some happy couple's undying love, blah, blah, blah, beginning their new life together, blah, blah, blah, the main reasons most people attend weddings are for the food, and hopefully, an open bar! A visit to the open bar before one heads over to the buffet is often recommended, because unfortunately, the food is sometimes also blah, blah, blah.

If you attend enough weddings, you eventually come to recognize "standard wedding fare". These are the items that seem to pop up at every reception, as though there was some universal wedding menu checklist that every bride had to choose from. Those mini quiches, shrimp cocktails and Swedish meatballs never fail to make the cut.

rumaki1

For my submission this month, I've made for you the King of the Cocktail Hour: Rumaki! I don't think I attended one wedding during the 80's that didn't have this little gem on buffet line.

Rumaki is a Polynesian-style hors d'oeuvre. It was invented by Victor Jules Bergeron, Jr, known as "Trader" Vic. Its ingredients and method of preparation vary, but usually it consists of water chestnuts and nuggets of chicken liver marinated in soy sauce, ginger and brown sugar which is wrapped in bacon and and broiled. Rumaki was a hugely popular wedding and cocktail party nosh in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

rumaki2

While traditional Rumaki does feature chicken livers, there are also many other versions using different proteins for those who are "liveraphobes". Happily, I am not one of them! For those who are, I have also prepared a variation made with sea scallops and pineapple. I wouldn't want anyone to feel left out!

Rumaki isn't difficult to prepare, as it doesn't require a lot of ingredients. Rolling them up can be a little tricky, though. I've used a recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine from as the basis for both versions.

dinner_movie

Traditional Rumaki
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

1/4 lb chicken livers, trimmed and rinsed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
24 canned water chestnuts, drained
12 bacon slices, cut crosswise in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 1 hour

Directions:

Cut chicken livers into 1/2-inch pieces. Stir together soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and curry powder. Add livers and water chestnuts and toss to coat. Marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Remove livers and water chestnuts from marinade and discard marinade. Place 1 piece of bacon on a work surface and put 1 piece of liver and 1 chestnut in center. Wrap bacon around liver and chestnut and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.

Place rumaki on a broiler pan and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Then, move the oven rack up to 2 inches from heat, and turn on the broiler. Broil rumaki for about 2-3 minutes per side, turning once, until bacon is crisp and livers are cooked.

Serve immediately with Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Dipping Sauce (recipe follows).

Scallop Rumaki

Ingredients:

12 large sea scallops, sliced in half horizontally
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
24 canned water chestnuts, drained
24 small fresh or canned pineapple chunks
12 bacon slices, cut crosswise in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 1 hour

Directions:

Stir together soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and curry powder. Add scallops and water chestnuts and toss to coat. Marinate in the fridge for about 1 hour.

Preheat broiler.

Remove scallops and water chestnuts from marinade and discard marinade. Place 1 piece of bacon on a work surface and put 1 scallop, 1 chestnut and 1 pineapple chunk in center. Roll up in the bacon and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.

Broil rumaki on rack of a broiler pan 2 inches from heat, turning once, until bacon is crisp and scallops are cooked, about 2-3 minutes on each side.

Serve immediately with Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Dipping Sauce (recipe follows).

Spicy Pineapple-Apricot Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup pineapple preserves
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup pineapple-apricot horseradish sauce (Silver Spring brand) or honey mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sambal oelek (Thai chili sauce)(more if you really like it spicy)

Mix all ingredients together in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and set aside.

Previously, on Dinner and a Movie:

Moonstruck, featuring Pasta Norma

Chocolat, featuring Chocolate Truffles

27 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

These appetizers look delicious! As a matter of fact, I have Trader Vic's 1960's "Pacific Island Cookbook"...

Cheers,

Rosa

Lucy said...

I have seen the film Wedding Crashers and also rather liked it :) I haven't heard of or tasted rumaki but they look great!

Anonymous said...

We must have been to totally different weddings...I don't think I've ever seen quiche or shrimp cocktails at the weddings I've attended. I've seen different variations of meatballs, though. However, you did write that these three food items NEVER fail the cut...so I must have overlooked those items at the weddings I've attended. :)

Manggy said...

Aha! I just managed to escape being born in that era, LOL :) It's the first I've heard of Rumaki. I'm not a hepatophobic but I gotta say, I am a scallophile to the nth degree! And paired with pineapple-- soo dreamy! :)

Lola said...

I've never had Rumaki, so thank you so much for introducing me to it! I will make it very soon. Ciao

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Do you know I've never had this and I'm not sure I've ever seen it. I know I didn't have it at my wedding. My wedding didn't have a buffet at the cocktail hour - just some passed hordevers (which we chose) and some fruit and cheese and crudite trays. I guess I figured if my food was skimpy, it would weed out those people who really loved us and those who came just for the food. :-)

I haven't seen Wedding Crashers yet, but I've heard it's quite funny, and I've heard that from some pretty uptight people, so it's okay to like it. I'm not attracted ot either of those guys though.

onlinepastrychef said...

Sounds like fun! Rumaki--what a keen, retro treat to serve:)

Where I grew up, it wasn't a wedding unless there were "mints and nuts." It was a rule. I'd have rather been to the mini-quiche weddings, personally!

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Wow those look delicious! I never knew that's what you called them, but I have had them many times. I think the last time was at a bridal shower. They are delicious!

duodishes.com said...

Well all things bacon-wrapped are immediately going to get our attention! Love love love this.

Kitchen Vixen said...

Wow, great idea! Retro wedding food- I love it. April kinda kicked me in the butt this month, and doing DaaM a week early cut off my ability to participate, but I've been eagerly awaiting the entries! Wedding Crashers is a fave movie of mine, never fails to make me laugh, and I was interested to see what everyone would come up with.

Snooky doodle said...

I ve never heard or tasted rumaki but I bet they taste delicious. Here we have similar things in weddings too

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

OMGoodness, this looks devine. Such beautiful food! I wanna bite, NOW! :0)

Honestly, that looks delish and bravo on making such a beautiful treat!

Jenifer

Farmer Jen said...

Sounds delicous! I haven't had rumaki in a long time.

MaryBeth said...

Your dinner looks great and I loved that movie. Please come by my blog and enter my new cookbook giveaway!

Elyse said...

What a great choice!! I'm a fan of Wedding Crashers, if we're being honest. And I just love what you came up with to "honor" the movie. Man, I have had some rumaki (although I never knew that was it's name). Looks totally yummy to me :)

Nina Timm said...

I love weddings simply because mine is still so fresh in my memory even after 13 years!! Rumaki still features on cocktail parties here, but with us it is normally chicken livers, dates or even cherries that are the fillings of choice. Lovely photos!!

FFichiban said...

Your 1st Rumaki photo looks soo crispy and irresistible mmmm I can't believe I have not tried these lil gems before :S!

Nicisme said...

Not seen them before but they look truly delicious!

Irene said...

Scallops and pineapple is SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Nice job! and I think your writeup was better than mine. Love the scallop idea!

Tangled Noodle said...

Rumaki sounds vaguely familiar but bacon-wrapped scallops are always unforgettable! I'll gladly take these retro-appetizers anytime.

Maris said...

Great movie choice :) I like appetizers/finger foods a lot so I'm a big fan of those typical wedding noshes :)

Peter M said...

No offense to the chicken livers but I'll have double the portion of scallops..is that ok?

helen said...

Very clever, Susan. For better or for worse, I've never encountered a rumaki before. We have toyed with the idea of hosting a 70s themed party. This is going on the menu!

tuki said...

I love your blog! Thankyou!!

Meg said...

I love Wedding Crashers! The appetizers look yummy!

joanne at frutto della passione said...

While I keep meaning to join in I just haven't managed to get my act together yet. I have however been following along and sooner or later I will be joining you for Dinner and a Movie! These look amazing and I think it's time we brought them back from the 80's!