Disney Dinner and a Movie: The Princess and the Frog
Just in time for Mardi Gras I present to you: Disney Dinner and a Movie: The Princess and the Frog!
The Princess and the Frog is one of my top 5 favorite Disney films and is, in my opinion, somewhat underrated. The story is rich and full of fabulous characters that represent all the different facets of New Orleans personality. Taking place both in the city and the surrounding bayou we get gorgeous landscapes and scenery as well as a terrifying villain (and even scarier are the dark spirits he’s afraid of). Not to mention Tiana is perhaps the best role model Disney has provided yet, teaching children that you have to work hard to accomplish your goals (and learning that it’s okay to have fun sometimes too). Her romance with the charming Naveen is well-developed and comical and their journey to become human again after being turned into frogs is a fabulous one to watch. Not to mention this film has one of the best soundtracks Disney has provided with jazz-inspired tunes. If you haven’t seen this film yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch it!
A first time for this series, Paul C. provided a guest contribution in this delicious green drink and here’s what he had to say about it: “When trying to think of a complimentary component to Jamie’s dishes for The Princess and the Frog I kept coming back to one New Orleans staple: alcohol! However, why make a regular drink when you can make one as green as our main characters in the movie? Without going over the top I came across a Green Iced Tea recipe for a sort of refreshing and alcoholic beverage that isn’t overwhelming. You take 1 Decaf Ginger lemon tea bag, 3 ounces of cucumber juice, 1 1/2 ounces of tequila and some lemon juice (or if you want, ginger ale for sweetener). The end product is something of a crossover between two New Orleans staples, alcohol and iced tea, and it was pretty tasty.”
For an appetizer I knew right away that I had to use mushrooms. Tiana teaches Naveen how to mince mushrooms and it’s one of the best moments in their developing relationship. I found this recipe for stuffed mushrooms that includes sour cream, breadcrumbs, and spinach. These were rich and tasty but best eaten right away before they get cold.
For the main course there was only one option: gumbo! Tiana is introduced to us as a little girl who enjoys her father’s famous gumbo beloved by their whole neighborhood. Not only is gumbo a New Orleans staple, but it became an important part of Tiana’s growth as a chef and remembrance of her father. There are plenty of different ways to make gumbo but I used this meat-free recipe and I found it to be better than other gumbo recipes I’ve tried. Don’t be afraid of okra either, it may seem slimy at first but once mixed into the gumbo it’s perfect!
Dessert for this meal was also an obvious choice. Tiana is famous around town for her “man catching beignets” that she brings to Charlotte’s ball where she eventually kisses frog Naveen and is transformed herself. These are quite simple to make (try this recipe) as well as being incredibly delicious. If you’re never had a beignet, they’re similar to fried dough or funnel cake. You just plop pieces of dough into a fryer and then cover it with powdered sugar. My friends and I had a lot of fun (and made quite a mess) making these and it only added to the experience.
The Princess and the Frog is not only an absolutely amazing film but it inspires one of the yummiest, most “themed” meals yet. Tiana’s dream of owning her own restaurant provides us with the simple task of designing a meal full of New Orleans classics like gumbo and beignets. You simply can’t get any better than that.
Coming Soon: Disney Dinner and a Movie: Cinderella