I’m diverting from my recent trail of chic flics and offering up something that both the guys and gals can enjoy. How about an epic crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone? Casino is based on the non-fiction book Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi. Robert De Niro stars as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, a Jewish American top gambling handicapper who is called by the Italian Mob to oversee the day-to-day operations at the Tangiers Casino in Las Vegas. His character is based on Frank Rosenthal, who ran the Stardust, Fremont, and Hacienda casinos in Las Vegas for the Chicago Outfit from the 1970s until the early 1980s.
If you have ever watched the 1995 film Casino, there is a hilarious scene where the head of the Casino, played by Robert De Niro, gets distracted during a business meeting with one of his associates by noticing that their muffins have an unequal number of blueberries in them. Frustrated, he goes straight to the kitchen to tell the baker that he wants an equal number of blueberries in each muffin. The chef is awed by the idea and reverts with “Do you have any idea how long that would take,” but De Niro doesn’t budge on his request.
Being a film about mobsters, Casino has tons of “family” meal scenes with plenty of Italian food. However, I have chosen to the famous blueberry muffins scene and post a recipe for blueberry muffins for this Friday.
½ cup softened butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Cream the butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder, and add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk.
- Crush 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork, and mix into the batter. Fold in 1 cup of the remaining whole berries.
- Line a 12 cup standard muffin tin with cupcake liners, and fill with batter. Sprinkle the remainder of the blueberries over the tops of the muffins, and bake at 375 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.