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Food and Film, an Oscar Celebration: Rebecca and Cheddar Cheese Soup

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The Oscar's, or Academy Awards, have become an international yearly tradition for film fans the world over. Millions of people look forward to the one day of the year when a gold plated little naked bald man takes over the media universe. Whether you love or hate the choices of the academy members, the fact-of-the-matter is, the Oscar's are a cause for celebration -- and what better way to celebrate than with food! This year we'll celebrate with some great food from the films which have taken home the Oscar for Best Picture.

Rebecca (Best Picture, 1940): If you are into Gothic thrillers with a slight touch of romance, you will simply be enamored with Rebecca. An interesting and historical note regarding this film. This was the first film Alfred Hitchock made in Hollywood and it is the only film he made which took home the coveted Oscar for Best Picture. The film boasts an incredible cast of English character actors and stars Sir Laurence Oliver and the recently deceased Joan Fontaine. The main location for the film is a country home in Cornwall, England and no dish exemplifies this location quite like the English classic Cheddar Cheese Soup.

This soup, in one of its many incarnations, is a staple of dinner parties thrown at Buckingham Palace. The chances are rather strong you won't be able to find authentic English cheddar cheese, but any "sharp" form of this cheese will work quite well.

Ingredients needed to make Cheddar Cheese Soup (serves four as a second course):

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 3 Tbs. minced chives

Steps:

  1. In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, potatoes and garlic and saute 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
  2. Add the contents of the saucepan to a food processor and puree.
  3. Into the saucepan whisk together the dry mustard and heavy cream over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, while whisking, 3 minutes.
  4. Stir the puree into the pan and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the sharp Cheddar cheese and hot sauce and stir until the cheese has melted.
  6. Ladle into serving bowls, top with chives and serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.

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