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Week 4: Dining with Bronson

Guest Blog By Beth Accomando

Bonkers Ass Cinema’s crazy month of Bronson is coming to an end and with the help of Film Geeks SD and Digital Gym Cinema, we will end with a special Film Geeks Living Room Edition event. On April 27th at 9:30pm, Matt will screen his very own first short film Creep Cop followed by a celebration of Charles Bronson featuring some of the food and drinks we have been pairing with Bronson’s movies. And we’ll end the night with a round of Bronson Russian Roulette. You don’t know what that is? Well you will just have to join us to find out. We are asking for a $10 donation to help offset the cost of the venue, food, and drinks (you can always give more!) but it is a great deal for a wild night of fun.

Here’s the final week of food pairings. Although I could watch Bronson movies every night, I am glad to take a rest from coming up with food for 30 days in a row.

April 22: St. Ives (1976)

Irish Car bomb Cupcakes

“He’s clean, he’s mean, he’s a go-between.” That was the tagline for the trailer for St. Ives in which Bronson plays a crime reporter, ex-cop and author who plays go-between for John Houseman’s wealthy collector. Although Bronson never struck me as an Irishman, St. Ives sounds Irish so why not make these killer Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes that have Guinness chocolate cake filled with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting and topped with Jameson Whiskey Chocolate Ganache, and then a little more Bailey’s frosting on top. Or if you want more chocolate, fill with the whiskey ganache. They are delicious and lethal, a lot like Bronson. Since he’s an ex-cop you could also make Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread. Why? Well he’s an ex-cop and there’s bacon and bacon comes from pigs and cops were called pigs… and oh, never mind. I confess. I just couldn’t think of anything clever for this one so I just went with something sinfully tasty.

Recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes is here from the Brown Eyed Baker:

And Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread is here from Delish:

April 23: Rider on the Rain (1970)

MacGuffin Cupcakes

This is one of my favorite Bronson films because it has a bit of a different tone and a great performance by his co-star Marlene Jobert. Now this film had some fun ideas to play off of. There’s an early Lewis Carroll reference, it’s set in France and it has a MacGuffin (a term coined by Alfred Hitchcock for something you think the film is about but it really isn’t). I love both Carroll and Hitchcock’s MacGuffin, so I’m going with something that screams out Eat Me and I am calling it the MacGuffin Cupcake. What you need to do is make red velvet cupcakes that will turn your kitchen into a crime scene and just when the cops are ready to cuff you, you reveal there was no foul play just some baking going on. Add an “Eat Me” sign to the cupcakes if you also want to reference Lewis Carroll.

I use Martha Stewart’s red velvet recipe but up the Dutch processed cocoa to ¼ cup or more depending how much I am craving chocolate.

April 24: The Valachi Papers (1972)

Hershey Kiss of Death Cookies

Charles Bronson plays aging mobster Joseph Valachi who’s in prison when the boss of another crime family is imprisoned at the same facility. Vito Genovese (Lino Ventura) thinks Valachi is an informant and gives him “the kiss of death.” So this one is easy – Hershey Kiss of Death Cookies.

There are a lot of versions for this but I like this All Recipes one because there are added nuts and I also add cocoa to the dough because nothing says death quite like chocolate.

April 25: Assassination (1987)

No-Rise Presidential Flatbread

This one had some exceptionally fun references and tropes to play off of. First there is the trope of the odd couple as Bronson plays Secret Service Agent Jay Killian who is assigned to protect the first lady (played by Bronson’s real life wife Jill Ireland), who turns out to be quite a handful and exceedingly difficult. It becomes even more difficult when she seems to be targeted for assassination.

Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the film but the key to all this has to do with the president being impotent.

So while you watch this film make a simple Oil and Vinegar Don’t Mix Salad and serve with a side of flatbread that we shall call Impotent No-Rise Presidential Flatbread.

Here’s a very basic oil and vinegar dressing from The Spruce Eats but use Balsamic Vinegar to really see the contrast when the oil and vinegar separate.

There are a lot of flatbread recipes around that you can Google online but I suggest getting Zubin Kolah’s Indian cookbook Finding Bombay for a great Plain Paratha recipe for a pan-fried flatbread. Here’s where to get the book.

April 26: Caboblanco (1980)

Sunken Treasures Cake

Okay, I love Bronson but this film was one lazy-ass and ridiculous remake of Casablanca. Reviews called it an "appalling rehash" of Casablanca and as "indescribably inept." I’m a film critic and I know that sometimes critics can’t enjoy trash or B movies but in this case I think I have to agree with the reviews. The story is set in Peru and involves Nazis as well as sunken treasure. I’m going to be as lazy as the filmmaker and simply suggest what you should make and not even endeavor myself to whip this up. My suggested pairing is a Sunken Treasures Cake from Peru known as Turron de Dona Pepa and you can get the recipe at Peru Delights.

April 27: Death Wish 3 (1985)

High Body Count Cookies

OK we are back to the Death Wish franchise for number three and we’ve already done vengeance to death so let’s just pay tribute to the ridiculous amount of violence in this film with some High Body Count Cookies. Just use a sugar cookie recipe and buy some crime scene cookie cutters available on Etsy and create your own carnage with lots of dead bodies. Add some crime scene tape or markers for extra fun or a little blood.

Crime scene cookie cutters can be found on Etsy.

And the best sugar cookie recipe I have found comes from Warp Zone and you can frost with a simple mix of lemon juice and powdered sugar.

April 28: Red Sun (1971)

Spaghetti Western Ramen

This is a major cultural mash up with Bronson, Japan’s Toshiro Mifune, Switzerland’s Ursula Andress and France’s Alain Delon sharing the screen for in an Italian-French-Spanish co-production directed by England’s Terence Young (who also helmed three Sean Connery Bond films). Bronson and Delon head a gang of bandits that cross paths with Mifune’s samurai guard. I’m going with a cultural mash up dish I’m calling Spaghetti Western Ramen. No real recipe just buy ramen noodles (to represent Japan) toss with garlic and olive oil (for Italy), add Spanish olives (for Spain), some shaved Raclette cheese (a cheese imported into France from Switzerland so it hits two countries) and through in some links (in honor of Bronson’s character Link) of bangers (a British sausage) and I think you have all the nationalities represented and it still even tastes good.

April 29: The Mechanic (1972)

Bitter Death Chocolate Wine Cake

Spoiler alert again but I am assuming most of you have seen the classic Bronson films on this list. Wine plays a key role in this tale of two cold-blooded killers so watch this film with a helping of Bitter Death Chocolate Wine Cake.

Here’s the recipe I used from Broma Bakery because it used wine in the cake and in the ganache drizzled over it but I went with a Cabernet rather than a Pinot Noir.

April 30: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

Harmonica Water

Thirty days of baking and cooking and I’m exhausted so just serve a glass of water with this film since water is a precious resource in this film and worth almost as much as gold. Plus this is an epic film and you don’t want to tire yourself out by any exhausting food prep before sitting down to this classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western.

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