celebrate Pis KachumberIt’s time to roll out the red carpet! The 14th annual Beaufort International Film Festival is in full swing with film makers, directors, screen writers, movie stars and lots of film-loving fans. Our local film festival is six days of pure merriment. This year, Oscar and Emmy winning sound engineer Eugene Gearty is slated to receive the Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award during Sunday night’s Awards Gala. (I’m catering the reception again this year. Yay!)

So, I thought it would be fun to create a few recipes inspired by several of Gearty’s most well-known films. The recipes this week showcase Life of PiGangs of New York and Hugo.

According to MovieMaker magazine, the Beaufort International Film Festival has been rated as “one of the 25 coolest general film festivals in the world.” Beaufortonians most certainly agree. We all look forward to the most wonderful week in February. It’s not too late for you to be a part of the festivities. For more information about the Beaufort International Film Festival and to purchase movie and event tickets visit www.beaufortfilmfestival.com. See you at the movies!


Pi’s Kachumber 

Inspired by vegetarian, Piscine Molitor Patel, from the Life of Pi, this Indian style cucumber salad is flavored with ground cumin and fresh lemon juice. Add some steamed shrimp to create a Richard Parker inspired version.

2 cups chopped English cucumber

2 cups chopped tomatoes

½ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

½ small green chili, chopped, seeds and pith removed

½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Salt, to taste

Place cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, chili and cilantro in a large bowl. Add ground cumin, chili powder and fresh lemon juice. Season with salt. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Pork Chops in Irish Whiskey Saucecelebrate pork chops

Gangs of New York’s, Protestant native Bill the Butcher, was the inspiration for this pork chop recipe. The whisky sauce was inspired by Irish Catholic immigrant Amsterdam.

1½ pounds boneless pork chops (4 chops)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 (8-ounce) package sliced baby portobello mushrooms

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/3 cup Irish whiskey (Jameson)

2/3 cup chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Salt, to taste

Chopped fresh Italian parsley, to garnish

Season pork chops generously with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned pork chops and brown them on each side. Remove pork chops and place in a single layer in a lightly greased baking dish. Melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet and cook mushrooms until they are tender. Add mushrooms to the baking dish with the pork chops. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Add flour and cook for about one minute over medium heat, whisking constantly. Whisk in whiskey and chicken broth. Add cream, worcestershire sauce and Italian seasoning. Simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken the mixture. Season with salt. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops and mushrooms. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145-155 degrees. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped Italian parsley. Serves 4.

Petits Pains au Chocolatecelebrate petit pains

Hugo Cabret, reluctantly, was forced to steal bread and milk to survive while he was living in the train station. I’m willing to bet Hugo would have loved these pastries.

1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator

4 (3.5-ounce) bars bittersweet or dark chocolate

1 egg, beaten


Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 12 squares. Cut each bar of chocolate into 6 pieces. Place 1 chocolate piece on edge of each pastry square. Roll up tightly, enclosing chocolate. Place pastry rolls on prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush pastry rolls with beaten egg. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until pastries are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 24.

debbi headshot NEW2018The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of two cookbooks, Gold Medal Winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award, 
Celebrate Everything!and Dining Under the Carolina Moon.  Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.