Tag french recipes

Oscar Party Menu: Recipes Inspired by The 2013 Best Picture Nominees

This Sunday, February 24th, brings the 85th Academy Awards – also known as The Oscars. Be excited.

This glamorous awards ceremony featuring iconic gold statues celebrates all things cinema. Along with the highly anticipated Red Carpet, a crucial component of any Oscar night is the assortment of extravagant after parties. But why let celebrities have all the fun? Host your own Oscar party! Whether you invite 3 friends or 300 strangers, (hey, it can happen, right?) this Oscar-worthy menu will make your bash the talk of the town. Paparazzi not invited.

These recipes can be scaled to feed a movie theater full of hungry cinephiles.
The fun part: each dish is inspired by one of the Best Picture nominees.

Amour – Go ahead, fall in love with our mini Smoked Salmon Croque Monsieur Sandwiches. You don’t need subtitles to understand that these crunchy little sandwiches are delicious! We foresee a long, happy life together.

Argo – We bet the “Canadian film crew” would’ve loved these Middle East Nachos made of Baharat Spiced Beef on Pita Chips with Tahini Sauce. You know, if they didn’t have bigger issues on their plates.

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Breakthrough actress Quvenzhané Wallis was just 5 years old during filming. Her feisty character, Hushpuppy, deserves a dish that packs a punch: Cornmeal Hushpuppies with Jalapeno Marmalade.

Django Unchained – While a Southern dish may have seemed like the clear choice here, we thought we’d mix things up with a German nod to Django’s bounty hunting partner in crime (or justice?), Dr. Schultz. Staying true to German tradition, these Sweet Pea and Mint Pancakes are best served with Smoked Salmon and Sour Cream.

Les Misérables – They probably would’ve titled this film Less Misérables had the characters been fortunate enough to stumble upon this recipe for Petites Pissaladieres: Miniature Onion and Black Olive Tartlets. YUM.

Life of Pi – While I probably wouldn’t enjoy being trapped on a tiny boat with a giant tiger, I would love to live a life of pies. Go savory with Mini Apple, Roquefort and Onion or satisfy your sweet tooth with Seasonal Fruit Potpies with Soft Whipped Cream.

Lincoln – Let’s take it back to the South with Crab and Roasted Red Pepper Beignets with Herbed Aioli. Consider these the perfect excuse to yell, “Procure me those beignets!!” You’re welcome.

Silver Linings Playbook – Don’t wake up your parents in the middle of the night. Don’t fall prey to panic attacks. Don’t become a grieving floozy. Do watch some football. Do take a dance class. Do make these deliciously saucy Philly Cheese Steak Bites.

Zero Dark Thirty – Where we found this tasty recipe for Meatballs with Coconut-Mint Chutney is Top Secret. Access classified information by saying the code words: PARSI KOFTA, or just clicking the link above.

Parties That Cook’s August Cookbook Club: Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table

Yesterday was the cookbook club meeting for the month of August. Oh man. SUCCESS. With hopes of redeeming herself from some supposedly unfortunate choices in the past, Beth opted for another French feast. She selected Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table,” but warned that many of the recipes stemmed from cuisines around the world and, “as Dorie likes to say, have been adapted by the French and made their own”. Beth even threw some French into the evite! Fancy.

Beth was excited about this book from ‘a culinary guru’ (The New York Times), having made almost 30 of its 300 and never encountering a dud! The rest of us became excited as soon as we opened this book full of beautiful photos, inspiring recipe titles and encouraging tips and shortcuts. Now, on to the menu:

Cheez-it-ish Crackers: Rebecca made these delightful little bites of flavor at the suggestion of Beth. Everyone loved the strong Gruyere flavor (though the book suggests great alternatives), and Rebecca loved that they looked just like the photo! She went the route of using a cookie cutter (or shot glass), but here’s an example of rolling the dough into an easily sliced log.

Celery Root Puree: Erin branched out from her usual dessert selection and brought in this delicious dish. She stuck to the recipe on this one, and found the preparation incredibly simple! The great results have sparked her desire to try all sorts of substitutions for celery in the future.

Swiss Chard Pancakes: Christina jumped right in with these delicious green pancakes (reminiscent of our very own Herbed Zucchini Pancakes). She went above and beyond in topping them off with an addictive crème fraiche concoction with lemon zest and herbs. YUM.

Gnocchi a la Parisienne: Melissa decided to give gnocchi another chance with this recipe, hoping that she would be able to create the perfect texture. Everyone thought the flavor was a home run and we reassured Melissa that the texture was just right.

Hachis Parmentier: Michelene chose this “well seasoned meat and potato pie” as her dish. It’s as fun to try to say as it is difficult to know if you’re saying it right. She thought the flavor of the sausage overwhelmed the ground beef, but knew she would attempt this recipe again. She LOVED the short cut provided for meat preparation, and we love that it keeps well overnight. Hello, left-overs!

Mozzarella, Tomato and Strawberry Salad: Wow. Beth stole the show in both presentation and taste. She opted to use Burrata (a mozzarella, cream cheese hybrid) instead of just mozzarella. Excellent choice! The liquid of the burrata did a great job uniting the flavors of the cherry tomatoes, strawberries and a bit of balsamic. Check out the original recipe (and the results) here!

Vanilla Éclairs: Rosie selected this delicious recipe pretty much as soon as we knew what the cookbook was. But it’s OK. The end result – complete with an off-roaded chocolate topping – was so worth the wait! Rosie was disappointed that they didn’t look too much like the photo in the book, but that didn’t stop everyone from devouring them! Folks were even claiming what few remaining éclairs we had for breakfast the next day. I’d say Mission Accomplished.

Kudos to Beth on a great choice for August’s Cookbook Club! Even with such big names as Bibby the “Home Run Queen”, Crissy “The Bat” and Carolyn “Cy Young” out of the office, this meal was both tasty and satisfying. Most of the group even said they are considering buying the book for their own culinary adventures and dinner parties!