Dirty Dancing Dinner (#85)


This month's movie was Dirty Dancing, an iconic coming of age story that features incredible music and dancing. For our dinner theme, we went a little outside the box. I took an idea that I originally found here on another blog. That blog brought to attention a conversation between Baby and her parents where they talk about people starving in Southeast Asia and her dad tells the waiter to box up Baby's leftover pot roast and send it to Southeast Asia. That website used that as inspiration to make an Asian inspired pot roast and mashed potatoes. I really loved that idea, but I was not sold on the recipes that they used, so I went a different direction with the flavors. Instead, I went with a teriyaki flavored pot roast and a sesame flavored mashed potato. I went soy free on both dishes due to allergies. I also made a Korean watermelon punch.

I am happy to say that both dishes and the drink came out VERY well. Multiple guests went back for seconds. Even when we stopped for dessert, people were getting more food. That is wonderful sight. So now I am happy to share with you the recipes I used.

Baby's Leftovers

First off, let me give credit where credit is due. I used several websites to help me with this meal. For the teriyaki pot roast, I used this website as my guide and made only slight alterations to it. For the sesame mashed potatoes, this is the website that helped me. I'll be honest, I didn't follow that recipe at all. I did use many of the same ingredients but didn't measure out anything and seasoned entirely by taste. I wish I had measured it though, because the final result was amazing. As for the Korean watermelon punch, I found the recipe here and followed it pretty closely.

Sesame Mashed Potatoes

To make the sesame mashed potatoes the way that I did, you just make some good creamy, buttery potatoes the way that you normally would. Then sprinkle in a bit of garlic powder and sesame oil. Mix well. This is the part where you need to really taste as you go. I was nervous about the sesame flavor being over powering, but instead I noticed that it took a good bit more than I thought it would. Once the garlic and sesame flavors are where you want them, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. This dish was probably the highlight of the night. Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.

Soy-Free Teriyaki Sauce/Marinade

To make the pot roast, I had to start with a good teriyaki sauce. Because of allergy issues, I made the sauce free of any soy sauce. It was not as hard as you might think, and in my opinion, it came out absolutely delicious. I can definitely see myself making this again. It does have a little bit of heat to it, due to the red peppers, but it's the good kind of heat that warms the back of your throat instead of burning it. To make this recipe soy free, I substituted the soy sauce that I would have used with 3 parts Worcestershire sauce and 1 part water.

I cooked my 3 pound roast in this sauce in a crockpot set on low. I doubled the sauce recipe to make sure there was enough to soak the meat. I left it in there all day, occasionally basting it or rolling it on its side to make sure it was successfully absorbing all the juices. About an hour or so before dinner, I broke the roast apart in the crockpot so that it would continue to soak up all the sauce. If you do this in a crockpot, I suggest trimming the fat to keep the sauce from getting too greasy.

If you want to roast you beef conventionally in the oven, I would suggest marinading that the meat in the sauce the night before in the fridge. You can then make some more sauce the day of to pour overtop the roast before serving.

1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp of dried red pepper flakes (or soy-free sriracha)
2 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
4 tbsp honey
4.5 tbsp soy-free Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tbsp water
(If you do not care about making your sauce soy-free, you can substitute the water and Worcestershire with 6 tbsp of soy sauce.)

Making the teriyaki sauce is as simple of mixing all these ingredients together. You may want to mix it over a low heat to ensure the sugars and powders dissolve completely and everything mixes evenly. You can use this as a marinade or a topping.

Korean Watermelon Punch

This Korean watermelon punch, also called hwachae was pretty easy to make and exceptionally tasty. Seriously, everyone's first taste was the same. We were all caught off guard by its tastiness and creaminess. The creaminess comes from the milk. The recipe I found didn't specify what type of milk to use. I used 1% lactose free milk, because it's what I already had on hand. I was nervous that being only 1% would make the drink not creamy enough, but I was wrong. It was great. 2% probably would have worked as well. I feel like whole milk might be too thick. I also used only half of a watermelon, because the other half I was using with dessert.

Unfortunately, dessert didn't work very well. The plan was to make a watermelon jello that would actually look and eat like watermelon. I won't share the recipe, because it didn't work well. The part that did work is that it looked cool. The guests got a kick out of eating jello out of a watermelon. Unfortunately, the recipe I used caused the jello to separate, so it didn't taste like watermelon or have much flavor at all.

To get the effect of eating a jello watermelon slice, you can hollow out the inside of a watermelon. Make the jello mixture separate and then pour it into the hollowed watermelon before cooling. Once it solidifies, you can slice into the watermelon like you normally would and have fun little watermelon jello slices.

Overall, the night was a big success. Yes, the dessert failed, but I was half expecting it to, so I asked guests to bring some small snacks as a back-up. That saved the night. Everything else was a huge success. The meat, potatoes, and punch were enjoyed by everyone and had lots of people going back for more. I think they enjoyed how it connected to the movie too, even if it was more of an indirect connection. If I was to do anything different. I would have had pickles out as well. There's a joke line in the movie about a "pickle on every plate" that would have been fun to reference.

Got any ideas or suggestions for this movie or things that you would have done differently with this meal? Leave a comment below.


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