Dinner in the Movie was an idea I had after watching Mrs. Doubtfire*. I have an insane movie collection – at my last count it was 400 and growing (just ordered 3 more this week), and noticed that so many of my favorite movies are either centered around food or have some of my favorite scenes involving food, so I thought why not come up with my own take on those famous meals and scenes and recreate them? I’ve had this post ready to go for a little while now, but I got a little behind posting recipes and I was just about to can the whole series -even though I had already made this recipe and a few others. However, with Robin Williams passing, and how it affected me, I thought it was only right that I actually go through with it, seeing as this movie was what started it all. So this linguine with shrimp and shallot cream sauce is my homage to the great Mrs. Doubtfire*.
If you’ve never seen Mrs. Doubtfire* (I’m not sure that’s even possible), the story centers around a man who poses as a nanny for his children after going through a custody battle with his ex-wife. My favorite part in the movie is definitely when he tries to make dinner for the first time for the family disguised as Mrs. Doubtfire. He burns the hollandaise sauce, drops a pot full of boiling water, and hilariously catches his silicon body suit on fire. He finally gives up, dials Valenti’s, a delivery restaurant, pays the man 135 dollars and change and artfully plates the meal – which is pasta, shrimp, and carrots. He serves the meal in the formal dining room with candles and when everyone walks in they are taken a back. Ever since I was a kid, I just loved this part – I’m sure it’s got something to do with how fancy everything looked, but also the food. Eventually, Mrs. Doubtfire hones her cooking skills and in no time at all she’s serving 4 star meals that she has prepared.
Even though the dinner at Bridge’s was probably the most memorable scene (hot! jambalaya!), I wanted to recreate this meal that I have so many fond memories of watching. I made a spinach linguine with perfectly cooked shrimp and a shallot cream sauce with tomatoes. And, to keep with the theme, I added the roasted carrots. You can definitely leave these off, but if you’re trying to replicate the movie, I’d throw these in – plus, you’re getting your serving of vegetables, just how Mrs. Doubtfire would have wanted it.
You would think my favorite part would be where Mrs. Doubtfire yells, “it was a run by fruiting!” or when she uses frosting from a cake in the fridge to make a mask and says, “I must look like a yeti in this get-up!” to the case worker, but as much as I love those scenes, my absolute favorite part of the movie is where Mrs. Doubtfire is spooning the sauce on the plates with pasta and carrots and arranging everything just perfectly:
Dinner in the Movie: Mrs. Doubtfire
Linguine with Shrimp and Shallot Cream Sauce
1 bunch of baby carrots, scrubbed and stems removed
1/2 lb spinach linguine, cooked according to package and drained
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup parmignano reggiano
2 roma or plum tomatoes, diced
3-4 large leaves of basil, torn
Begin by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. Place the baby carrots in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, top with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the carrots are cooked through, but still have a bite.
For the pasta sauce, heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Place the butter in and once it has melted, add the shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper and sautee until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, deglaze with the white wine. Heat over medium high heat, for about 2-3 minutes or until the alcohol has cooked off. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the heavy cream and bring up to a slight bubble just to reduce it a bit, about 2-3 minutes. Add the parmignano reggiano and stir. Keep cooking until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. Right before serving, toss in the tomatoes and basil and shrimp. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the pasta with the carrots on the side and pretend you’re on Steiner Street, even if it’s just for the night.