Friday, October 21, 2011

Dinner and a Movie: The Pit and the Pendulum

Vincent Price's Caesar Salad for Two (with shrimp!)

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices stale pain de campagne, cubed
6 ounces peeled, deveined shrimp
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cayenne pepper
3 anchovy fillets, chopped and mashed
2 romaine hearts (or one head romaine), torn into bite-sized pieces and washed and dried
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 egg

Lazy garlic toast:
4 slices pain de campagne
2T butter, softened
Garlic powder
Dried parsley (optional, it's just for looks)

The night before:
Place the garlic clove and olive oil in a covered container. Refrigerate.

The next day:
Add 5 tablespoons of the garlic oil to a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Set the rest of the oil aside.

When the oil is hot enough to start browning the cubes of bread immediately, add the cubes of bread in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry, turning occasionally until dark brown, adjusting the heat, if necessary, to prevent scorched croutons. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate to drain.

When the croutons are done, add the shrimp to the pan and cook until pink. Set aside.

To the reserved oil, remove the garlic then add the sugar, cayenne pepper, Tabasco and anchovies. Place the romaine in a large bowl and dress with this mixture and lemon juice. Boil the egg one minute, then crack over the salad and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each).

Divide salad between two large bowls, grating Parmesan over the top. Add shrimp and croutons and serve with garlic toast.

To make lazy garlic toast, spread bread with softened butter, sprinkle over garlic powder and brown under the broiler. Top with dried parsley. Enjoy!

Adapted from "Caesar Salad" in Mary and Vincent Price, A Treasury of Great Recipes (Ampersand Press, Inc., 1965), 185.

Well, The Pit and the Pendulum is ridiculous, but no one ever claimed it wouldn't be. Like the other films this month, though, it's still pretty entertaining. You'll find yourself wondering what Lieutenant Cable is doing wearing that ruff (yes, that is John Kerr in the screen caps above as Francis Barnard). Last week we watched a 1960s version of the Middle Ages, this week we have a very '60s 16th century.

Luana Anders, above, plays Catherine Medina, sister to Vincent Price's character, Nicholas. Barbara Steele (below) plays Elizabeth Medina, Nicholas's wife and Francis's sister.

Last week: The Masque of the Red Death. Next week: The Tomb of Ligeia.

If you haven't been over to Andrea's Hitchcock Blog Party, go check it out! Yours truly has a North by Northwest Dinner and a Movie. ;-)


  1. Karen @ Lavender and LovageOctober 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    You always post such interesting posts and I love coming here, what a cinematic treat as well as that gorgeous toast and classic salad recipe!

  2. Look at Vincent Price's method acting in the close up.
    As you'd say, teehee! ( :

  3. Yum! This looks like the perfect classic Caesar! I remember reading The Pit and the Pendulum (and The Tomb of Ligeia) but haven't seen either movie. Definitely looks entertaining!

  4. mmm... I love caesar salad... but I have never eaten it with shrimps... nice idea!

  5. What a fun blog here! And quite delicious looking too :) Nice to meet you!~

  6. I thought I had read The Pit and the Pendulum, but turns out it was "The Cask of Amontillado." Oh, well!

  7. They were just waiting around in our freezer--I'd never eaten Caesar salad with shrimp before, either! :-)


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