Global Advent: Day 11

The Film: Going By The Book [Bareuge salja] – South Korea

Going By The BookThis was a random Netflix selection. I crossed my fingers as I hit play. I guess that works because this was a really great find.

The premise is fun, the film is well directed. The script is sharp. I love the protagonist. The writers really worked every angle of the character, never showing a weak spot to let themselves easily off the hook.

There are many films which spend two thirds of their time showing you how vital the protagonist’s quirk is, only for them to miraculously overcome it so they can get the girl and a happily-ever-after. (See Dedication for an example.)

Jae-yeong Jeong plays the character of Do-man and easily slips between the comedic and dramatic sides while maintaining his likability. What’s even more interesting is the premise results in the antagonist and protagonist constantly shifting. It’s a wonderful experience to find yourself rooting for and against certain outcomes and characters when there is actually no antagonist. Which just proves how well constructed this film is.

It’s always clear who the story is about but switching between the news casters, police, and Do-man allows us to see different perspectives which enhances the story. As the events escalate the various points of view become additional pieces of the puzzle. Again, these writers did not make it easy for themselves.

The director is no slouch either. Scenes which could have easily been throw-aways are directed and edited with both a beauty and precision. It’s not art house scenery porn but it is artistically crafted, a practiced and studied form in each frame.

Going By The Book is also big and fun. A little drama, a little action, and a someone to root for.  Some times just going for it pays off big time.

Holiday Spirit: +4

The Food: Blackberry and Pecan Spinach salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Ragù on Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Earlier this week I made a few recipes from online sources. Why didn’t I blog about them? They didn’t turn out as anticipated. The first failure, which almost never happens, became a streak.

Three recipes in a row left me gun shy to try another. But sometimes you’ve got to pick yourself up, do the dramatic final monologue from Gone With The Wind, and go for it.

I was inspired, in part by the blackberries in the fridge, to try whatever version of this recipe the ingredients in the pantry would allow. This time, it paid off.

  • Balsamic Blackberry and Pecan Spinach Salad4 cups Leaf Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Blackberries, halved
  • 1/4 cup Crushed Pecans
  • 1/2 cup Italian Shredded Cheese

For the vinaigrette:

  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Black Pepper
  • Dried Thyme
  • Stevia

Whisk the oil into the vinegar then add the remaining ingredients. The ratio is completely up to you. A general rule of thumb is to use a 3:1 ratio of olive oil to vinegar. If you prefer your vinaigrette more vinegary, use a 2:1 ratio.

I don’t like very much dressing so I made a small amount. I also had insanely good Tuscan herb olive oil and an aged balsamic so I didn’t use too much of either. I thinned it out with the plain olive oil and lemon juice. I went for a gentle dusting of thyme and pepper. I chose not to use garlic as I wanted the sweetness of the blackberries to stand out.

Toss the vinaigrette into the salad before serving.

Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Ragù on Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Roasted Red Pepper And Italian Sausage on Whole Wheat SpaghettiThe only inspiration for this dish was a jar of roasted red peppers and the desire to not have a purely tomato based sauce for spaghetti. Did I know if it was going to work out? Nope. But if you haven’t see the pattern here yet, the point is — some times you just go for it.

  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
  • Red Pepper Flake, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Cooked Italian Sausage, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup Water or Red Wine

The sausage was cooked yesterday for a delicious homemade pizza which was eaten too quickly to take pictures of. Regrets? None.

If you’re going to make this from scratch, start the sausage first, then continue the recipe in the same pan.

In a frying pan, add the onions and zucchini to hot oil. Top with garlic powder, herbes de Provence, and red pepper flake. Caramelize the onions. Add the tomato paste, parsley, and red peppers. Let the tomato paste dissolve into the onions and cook out a little before adding the sausage. Add the water/wine to deglaze the pan.

Continue cooking until the sauce thickens a little then pour over thin whole wheat spaghetti. Top with parmesan and enjoy!

Holiday Spirit: +2

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About Saint

Filmmaker, Screenwriter, Cinephile, Coffee Zombie
This entry was posted in Action, Adventure, Christmas, Comedy, Drama, Film, Film Genre, Food, Foreign Film, Heist Film, Holiday, International Cinema, Italian, Italy, Modified Recipe, Netflix, Pasta, Salad, Side Dish, South Korea, Spices, Vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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