Celebrating 30 Years of Forrest Gump

It’s time to roll out the red carpet! The 18th annual Beaufort International Film Festival is almost here. Opening night festivities begin on Tuesday, February 20th. On Wednesday morning at nine o’clock, filmmakers, directors, screen writers, movie stars and lots of film-loving fans will begin viewing the award-nominated flicks for four action and drama-packed days and nights. This year we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the movie Forrest Gump. In keeping with the spirit of the festivities, my three new recipes pay homage to Forrest, Bubba, Lt. Dan, and our beloved BIFF. It’s going to be a great week! For more information about the Beaufort International Film Festival and to purchase movie and event tickets visit www.beaufortfilmfestival.com. I’ll be catering the Awards Ceremony Cocktail Hour on Sunday, February 25th. I hope to see you at the movies!



Lt. Dan’s Beef Bahn Mi

Bahn mi literally means “bread or baguette” in Vietnamese. This tasty recipe for a beef version of a bahn mi sandwich was inspired by Lt. Dan Taylor when he tells Forrest and Bubba that steaks are on the grill when they first arrive in Vietnam. Lemongrass paste and ginger paste may be found in the produce section of your local grocery store. (For a detailed demonstration, please visit the Lowcountry Weekly website or @chefdebbicovington on YouTube or Instagram to watch this short cooking video.)

For the beef:

1 (2½ -pound) chuck beef roast

Salt and pepper

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemongrass paste

3 tablespoons ginger paste

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean chili sauce) or siracha, optional

Place beef roast in a crock pot. Season with salt and pepper. Add the next 9 ingredients and spread over the roast with a spatula. Cover crock pot and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours, until the meat is fork tender. When meat is done, remove from crock pot and shred, using two forks. Add some of the cooking liquid to the shredded beef to keep the meat moist.

For the pickled vegetables:

7 radishes, very thinly sliced

½ English cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup hot water

½ cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Place cut vegetables in a nonreactive dish. Add vinegar, sugar and salt to hot water and whisk until smooth. Pour vinegar mixture over vegetables. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

For the spicy mayonnaise:

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean chili sauce) or siracha

1 teaspoon soy sauce

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble the sandwiches:

2 French baguettes or sandwich rolls

Fresh cilantro

Sliced jalapenos, optional

Split French baguettes in half lengthwise. Spread spicy mayonnaise on both sides of bread. Add shredded beef, pickled vegetables, cilantro, and sliced jalapenos. Cut sandwiches in half and serve. Makes six 10-inch sandwiches.


Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Pasta Salad

Inspired by Bubba’s love of all things shrimp, this delicious pasta salad will be a bright and crisp new addition to your recipe collection. (For a detailed demonstration, please visit the Lowcountry Weekly website or @chefdebbicovington on YouTube or Instagram to watch this short cooking video.)

12 ounces cellentani pasta (or corkscrew pasta)

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, sliced on the diagonal

¾ cup diced celery (3 stalks)

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

½ cup roughly chopped fresh dill

½ cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well and place in a large bowl. Cook shrimp with 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning until just pink. Drain shrimp and add to pasta. Add sugar snap peas, celery, red onion, dill, and parsley to the bowl. In another bowl, mix extra-virgin olive oil with lemon juice, mustard, honey, garlic, red pepper, black pepper, salt, and ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Whisk to combine and pour over the pasta, shrimp, and vegetables. Toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least hours before serving. Serves 6 to 8.


BIFF Popcorn Cookies

What’s a film festival without popcorn? Kudos to Ron and Rebecca Tucker, Executive Directors of the Beaufort International Film Festival and two of my favorite self-proclaimed popcorn fans. This recipe is for you. Happy BIFF!

1 stick salted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

Dash salt

2 cups popped popcorn

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg in vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat with creamed mixture. Stir in popcorn, chocolate chips, and pecans. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray. Form dough into cookies and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 15-17 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Makes 2 dozen cookies.


The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of three cookbooks, Celebrate Beaufort, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. For more great recipes and to view her cooking demonstrations, visit and subscribe to Debbi’s YouTube channel. Debbi’s website address is www.cateringbydebbicovington.com. She may be reached at 843-525-0350 or by email at dbc@cateringbydebbicovington.com.