Dinner And A Movie Ep. 28: Hampton, VA

Dinner And A Movie is back this Saturday night! This week, we go back to Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA. Way back, that is, to November 22, 1997. Join us on the couch, Saturday November 28 at 8:30 pm ET at

The dinner part of the evening comes from Nashville-based chef Ryan Poli, formerly of the famed Catbird Seat restaurant. To balance out your Thanksgiving feasting, Ryan opted to serve up some (mostly) lighter but no less fantastic fare: butternut squash soup with chipotle chiles and popcorn, a brussel sprouts salad and a sticky toffee pudding with a spiced caramel sauce. Recipes below! Tag photos of whatever you make at #phishdinnerandamovie.

The beneficiary for the weekend is The Food Empowerment Project (F.E.P.) is a non-profit organization that seeks to create a more just and sustainable world by recognizing the power of one’s food choices. Donate any time at F.E.P encourages healthy food choices that reflect a more compassionate society by spotlighting the abuse of animals on farms, the depletion of natural resources, unfair working conditions for produce workers, and the unavailability of healthy foods in low-income areas. By making informed choices, we can prevent injustices against animals, people, and the environment. For more information visit

Butternut Squash Soup
w/ Chipotle Chili, Pop Corn
(Serves 4)

3 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into medium pieces
3 Ounces unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves chopped
4 cups water
5 ounces honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 small chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (from the jar)
Fresh popped popcorn for garnish

Sauté the onion and garlic in the butter over medium heat until they’re soft, but not browned.

Add the butternut squash and water. Bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium to low heat until the squash is tender and falling apart. (Roughly 15 minutes.)

Add the chipotles, honey and cream and bring it back to a quick boil.

Remove from heat. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy and season with salt to taste:

Note: if you want to adjust the spice level up, I love to add the adobo sauce from the chipotles to the soup. If it’s a little too spicy, add a splash of additional cream and honey.

Serve: Fill four soup bowls with the desired amount. Garnish with your favorite popcorn and serve immediately. *keep some popcorn on the table.

Brussels Sprouts Salad
Roasted Almonds, Cherry & Lemon Vinaigrette
(Serves 4)

4 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 teaspoons lemon zest
4 teaspoons honey
1 TBSP minced shallots or onion
1/2cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in a small bowl, then whisk in olive oil slowly. Season with salt to taste. Feel free to add more lemon or honey to suit your taste. Set aside…

4 cups shredded Brussel sprouts
3 cups kale, de-stemmed and shredded
2 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
3-4 baby radishes, thinly sliced
2 tbsp chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped mint
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
3 TBSP toasted pumpkins seeds
3 TBSP roasted sunflower seeds

Combine the Brussels, kale arugula, radish, chives, mint and almonds in a large bowl. Toss in the dressing about 1/3 at a time until just right. Add the dried fruit and cheese, salt & pepper to taste. If you’re fancy, transfer onto a serving dish, or individual plates and sprinkle the pumpkin and sunflower seeds on top.

Sticky Toffee Pudding with Spiced Caramel Sauce
(Serves 4)

Caramel Sauce:
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 pieces whole all spice
2 pieces whole cloves
Small cinnamon stick
1/2 piece star anise

Make the Caramel:
In a saucepan, combine one cup of your cream, with the butter, corn syrup spices and sugar and bring to a boil.

Lower to medium heat and let the mixture simmer until it becomes a deep amber color. Don’t be scared to let that caramel cook. It’s going to take 20 minutes or so to get to that deep caramel color. When it does, turn off the heat and carefully whisk in the remaining ½ cup of heavy cream. It can boil over at this point, so be careful!

Strain the sauce to remove the spices and set aside to cool at room temp.

Pudding Ingredients:
5-6 ounces dates, pitted
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Make the Pudding:
Place your dates in a saucepan and cover with ½ cup water.

Simmer over medium heat (5-10 minutes) until the water is absorbed and the dates are soft and falling apart.
In a blender or food processor, blend the dates and any remaining liquid until smooth. This is the base flavor of our pudding. Leave at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter the insides of four ramekins or muffin tins and set aside.

Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

Combine butter and brown sugar in your mixer with the paddle attachment, or using a hand held blender at medium. You want this fully incorporated and creamy!

Mix the egg and vanilla into the butter mixture, and then stir in your dates. I like to incorporate them by hand with a rubber spatula until I’ve got a creamy consistency throughout.

Slowly fold in the sifted flour mixture in 2-3 parts. You don’t want any flour left visible, but you don’t want to overwork that batter.

Spoon the batter evenly into the ramekins or muffin tins, and smooth the tops off. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool slightly.

Unmold the cakes and flip them onto a baking rack.

Carefully slice the hard tops off the cakes, and then cut each cake in half horizontally to create layers.

Wipe out your ramekins or muffin tins and spoon one tablespoon of the spiced caramel sauce into each.

Place the bottom layer of each cake into the tin on top of the sauce (cut side up.)

Spoon another tablespoon of caramel sauce and layer the middle, then top of the cake, adding a bit more sauce on top.

Place your ramekins or muffin tins on a cookie sheet and bake 5-10 minutes or until the cakes start to bubble.

Remove the cakes from the oven and let them cool for a few.

Using a butter knife, release the cakes from the ramekins/tins and flip them onto a deeper dish plates or bowls. Drizzle the last of the toffee on top of each.

Serve with ice cream. I love pumpkin ice cream with this cake, but vanilla is always classic!