Paper Chef #16 - It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp
Just for fun. I had the shrimp and the other ingredients (minus the verjuice), but my life has been seriously OBE lately, so, here's my cinematic ode to Paper Chef #16. Like most screenplays, it's all in my mind. (Now, if the formatting doesn't go all to hell, it will be sweet.)
It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp
INT. B'GINA'S KITCHEN -- LATE AFTERNOON
B'GINA stands at the kitchen island, with food, including
basil and prawns, laid out in front of her.
She is holding a piece of paper from which she will read.
Her cat, LOULOU, is at her feet, watching, waiting for one
of those prawns to maybe hit the floor.
Let's see. Basil, verjuice...
Prawns and something movie-inspired
or movie-associated and/or something
round. A shrimp ball is round.
A shrimp ball on a bed of basil leaves?
Looks down at LOULOU.
CU: LOULOU STARING UP AT PRAWNS (3 BEATS)
Or maybe mold it into the shape of
an Oscar statuette?
(back to printed list)
Make something to eat while watching
Looking inspired, she crosses to the refrigerator and opens
the door. There, on the center shelf, right next to the
bottled water and a carton of Whipping Cream is a package of
Pepperidge Farms Puff Pastry.
I knew I thawed this for a reason.
She takes the cream carton and the box of puff pastry out. She opens
the box and slides the contents out.
Want shrimp now!
(only, of course, in
B'gina ignores her as she rolls out the dough on a sheet
of parchment, pressing firmly but gently to smooth any cracks
where it was folded. When it's nice and smooth, she uses
a small plate as a template to cut it into two circles.
Then the fun begins.
Boy, LouLou, the fun is beginning
Yeah, yeah. How about dropping one
of those shrimp my way?
B'gina begins to cut freehand, teardrop-shaped holes,
carefully so as not to cut the parchment, in one
circle so it looks like an old movie film reel. She slides
the whole thing onto a jelly roll pan and pokes many holes
in them with a fork.
This is going to be sooo cool, once
I have baked these pieces according
to package directions.
She puts them into the oven. She shells the prawns and
sautes them in butter, olive oil and garlic. She removes
the cooked shrimp to a bowl.
LOULOU stalks off in disgust.
This is amazing. I have enough shrimp
left for a shrimp ball.
She puts some of the shrimp into the food processor, adds a
package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, chopped onion and
cayenne pepper. She processes them until smooth.
I have no idea what verjuice is, so
I'm going to use Marsala instead.
She turns the heat back on under the pan with the shrimp juices,
adds a couple Tbsp. of Marsala and some of the Whipping Cream.
Stirring, she simmers it until it's well incorporated and
We see LOULOU sneaking behind B'GINA, eyeing the work island.
I bet I can jump up there and eat at
least half those shrimp before she
finishes futzing with that sauce.
(looking over her
Would you like a shrimp, Baby?
She offers LOULOU one of the shrimp.
LOULOU scowls but takes it, after first licking it thoroughly.
Hmph. She takes all the fun out of
being a huntress.
Sound of timer OC.
Time to take the puff pastry out.
Wow. Everything is going to be done
at the same time for a change.
She puts the solid circle of cooked pastry on a plate, then
sets the one with cutouts on top.
Oh, no! I still have to get basil
into this thing.
She rolls a stack of basil leaves into a tube and slices it
very thinly, across the length, making a basil chiffonade.
(doing the things as
she says them)
There we go. Now I spoon the Shrimp
into the holes in the top pastry
circle. I'll drizzle the sauce over
the whole thing and sprinkle on the
basil chiffonade I just made, and it
will be astoundingly wonderful.
INT. B'GINA'S FAMILY ROOM, EVENING
The television is on, showing the ending of the Oscar show.
Everyone is waiting in dread for the Best Movie winner.
B'GINA hurries in carrying the dish she prepared earlier,
Cinematic Shrimp. In her other hand she has the shrimp ball
She sets the Cinematic Shrimp on the coffee table. No one
notices, as they stare tensely at the television. LOULOU,
too, stares at the screen.
And the winner is...Crash.
Applause from the television can be heard over the silence
in the family room.
Everyone looks back and forth at each other in wild surmise.
(Heh, I've always wanted to say that.)
The plate with the shrimp ball tilts in her hand. We watch,
in slo-mo, as it falls onto the Cinematic Shrimp, splashing
sauce and breaking the pastry shapes.
Everyone stares in horror.
Except LOULOU who sees her chance to do her huntress thing.
B'GINA sees LOULOU move and scoops her up.
Oh, no you don't.
Everyone laughs and the tension is broken.
This wasn't quite what I had in mind.
(looking at the smashed
But I guess it's appropriate.
at the dish)
I present to you my latest culinary
masterpiece, "Shrimp Crash."
General hilarity as LOULOU struggles to get loose.
FADE TO BLACK