Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Diner Steak and Eggs #foodnflix

Planes, Trains and Automobiles, the FoodnFlix movie for November, is as much a Thanksgiving tradition in my house as the turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. More than those, to be honest since we rarely celebrate the customary holiday in the customary way anymore.

The movie is one of the few from writer/director John Hughes that doesn't concern teenagers or children. The humor is mostly character-based, and while the situations the character go through are at various levels of comedic exaggeration, the characters are always believable.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is about a man just trying to get home for Thanksgiving, where his wife and children are eagerly awaiting him. Steve Martin plays the protagonist, advertising executive Neal Page. As the movie opens, he finishes what we can be sure was a long, tedious meeting jn New York just barely in time to catch his flight home to Chicago.

It’s all downhill from there. The troubles start when traveling shower-curtain ring salesman Del Griffith (John Candy) “steals” a taxi while Neal is paying the lawyer who hailed it $75 to relinquish it. Just as the money changes hands, the cab pulls away with Del in the backseat.

For the next two hours, Martin and Candy play two very different people forced to be traveling companions through a series of misadventures including a rerouted flight, a train that breaks down in the middle of nowhere, a rental car that catches fire and the trailer of a refrigerated truck.

As the planes, trains and automobiles slowly bring them closer to Chicago by way of Wichita, they are forced to share motel rooms with tiny beds, they get robbed, they eat the kind of greasy-spoon diner food that makes Neal’s delicate stomach turn, and they irritate each other relentlessly.

The men are each flawed in their own particular ways. Neal is rigid and picky; Del is a slob and blabbermouth. Neal is self-absorbed; Del is manipulative and uses the semblance of empathy to maneuver people. It's Del who navigates the unfolding series of challenges better, relying on street smarts and an ability to adjust; Neal is constantly frustrated when nothing goes as expected. And while Del declares indignantly at one point that "I'm a lot of things, but I'm not a thief," he's not above using Neal's credit card that ended up in his wallet after an inadvertent switch to rent a car.

Despite all of this, the men forge a weird friendship.  The movie is hilarious in spots, touching in others and I had to see it probably 20 times before I stopped misting up at the ending. (Shut up.)

There were several references to food in the movie, although many of them were of the 'Cheetos and airline liquor' variety. Of course there’s the traditional Thanksgiving dinner Neal is trying to get home to, but I wanted to go a different direction for this challenge.

Because our reluctant buddies have breakfast in a Wichita diner, I decided to go for a typical diner breakfast. As the scene is filmed, you really cannot see much of what they’re actually eating other than country style potatoes, so I chose a diner breakfast staple—steak and eggs with country style potatoes. Here’s what I did:

serves 2 (with leftovers)

3 Golden Yukon or other similar potatoes
1 medium onion
Salt, pepper and paprika

Wash potatoes and remove any eyes. Do not peel.

Dice potatoes.

Peel and dice onion.

Fry potatoes and onion in butter on medium-high heat until potatoes are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, about 20-30 minutes. Don't stir too often - if you leave them alone, you'll get good browning on the potatoes.

Add salt, pepper and paprika to taste as cooking begins.

When cooked, scoop onto plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.  

If need be, keep in warm oven until ready to serve.

serves 2

1 New York strip steak
Salt and pepper
Worchestershire sauce, if desired

Cut steak horizonally through the middle to divide it into two thinner steaks.

Rub both sides of steaks with salt and pepper and a dash of Worchestershire Sauce, if using.

Pan-fry in butter on each side over medium heat to desired doneness (2 ½ to 3 minutes per side for medium).

Cut the steak in half longwise so you have two thinner steaks. 

I made the eggs over light, with firm whites and runny yolks. For your breakfast, choose your desired style. However, keep in mind that the potatoes make a primo carrier for a runny yolk.

That’s all there is to it! Serve with coffee or juice, and good luck getting out of Wichita!

Thanks to Amy for hosting this month's #FoodnFlix challenge! I can't wait to see what others are doing with my favorite Thanksgiving movie.  Here's the full round up.


  1. I pretty much love diner food of all sorts, and this looks delicious! Perfect addition to our Planes, Trains and Automobiles-inspired Food 'n Flix menu. So happy that you joined us this month, Michael!

  2. looks so yummy, just like it would come from a greasy spoon, Thanks for inspiring think this will be on menu soon
    come see us at

  3. I loved that movie! I can't wait until my boys are just a bit older to watch it with them.

  4. Thanks for joining the fun this month! You breakfast looks delicious - just the kind of thing Del would love!

  5. Making me hungry. Found you at Crafty Moms Share. I'm number 49

  6. I love breakfast for dinner! Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy Link Party! PINNED!

  7. I love that movie and I love your post - not to mention the meal looks great! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party!

  8. Love steak and eggs every once in a blue moon. :) Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  9. Steak & Eggs what a very special breakfast! Thanks so much for sharing with us at our Thanksgiving Edition of Full Plate Thursday! Hope you have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  10. this is one of my favorite styles of suppers. Tonight we are having bacon and eggs breakfast for supper cant beat it
    come see us at

  11. Glad you joined us Michael. Great choice for recipe sharing.

  12. I'm a big fan of breakfast anytime of the day. Looks fabulous. -Kimberly (coffee and casseroles)

  13. You had me at Planes, Trains and Automobiles.