My Man Paul. That’s how I refer to the great humanitarian, model husband, and sometimes cook, Paul Newman. Oh yeah, he was a pretty good actor, too. One of the reasons I moved to Westport, CT was to claim I lived in the same town as him and his wife. I joked that I was a stalker, but in reality did not impose myself when I had a face-to-face encounter with Joanne Woodward. No, I never had a real life sighting of Mr. Newman himself beyond the stage. If I had, I would have followed the town’s protective etiquette of saying a quick hello, then moving along my way, making sure tourists (non-locals) were not snapping photos of him. We townies guarded him as a living treasure.
If you don’t already know, Paul Newman donated 100% net profits (after taxes) from Newman’s Own to charitable or educational organizations of his choosing. My family has benefited from his foundation when they donated $20,000 to my firstborn son’s middle school, a local alternative institute that instructs using different educational styles and teaches students about stewardship of the land.
Here are my pairings for Paul Newman movies and recipes from Newman’s Own. It’s based only on the films I’ve watched and would recommend. Recipes have been thoroughly untested. Yes, this is “shameless exploitation for the common good.”
- On the go–making a mad dash to escape (Butch and Sundance; Exodus; Torn Curtain) or racing (Winning, Cars)– and you don’t have time for a leisurely meal –> 30 Minute Meals. May I suggest Cassidy’s Chicken Curry and a Lighten-the-Load Salad?
- Raucous game day fun when you’re playing, eating, and possibly drinking (Slap Shot, The Sting; The Hustler; The Color of Money)–> Game Day Crowd Pleasers. Try a Winner’s Circle of Stuffed Mushrooms followed by The Lord’s Dish… or Somebody Up There Likes Me Pizza.
- Too hot to handle so you’d better go light and easy in this heat (The Long, Hot Summer; Blaze; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Sweet Bird of Youth; Hud; Cool Hand Luke)–> Salads washed down with Newman’s Own virgin lemonade.
- The heavy hitter performances, the ones I adore, which incidentally occurred after the death of his only son, Scott. That’s when My Man Paul found his actor’s soul and you didn’t see him work anymore. He breathed and lived his roles (The Verdict; Nobody’s Fool; The Road to Perdition)–> Main Courses. Chicken and Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Drunken Chicken, or Stuffed Lamb Scallopini should hit the spot.
- Lightweight fare. For films that aren’t top choices, but still worth a look-see for their oddness and curiosities (The Outrage; The Towering Inferno; Buffalo Bill and the Indians; Quintet; What a Way to Go) –> Presto Picks with lots of wine. Close your eyes, point your finger and see which recipe you pick.
- Young Paul, not yet a great actor, but he showed promise and great screen presence (The Young Philadelphians; The Rack; and I’d include his directorial debut, Rachel, Rachel)–> Appetizers. Any of the grilled recipes would go well with viewing The Rack, and for Rachel, Rachel, you should quarter your recipes to a single serving.