How is it that entertaining for the Super Bowl is de rigueur, yet feting the Oscars is somehow considered merely optional? For my money, there couldn’t be a better time to gather friends than for a delicious session of fawning over Hollywood’s elite carnival of the fabulously frocked and fastidiously coiffed.
Is the Oscars telecast self-indulgent, interminably long and utterly unappetizing to many of us who are more Aaron Rodgers than Rodgers & Hammerstein? Sure. But doesn’t it also afford countless pleasures to movie fans of all types and stripes? You bet. Besides, this year’s 83rd Academy Awards offers a second straight year to wrap our minds around the ungodly appeal of Jeremy Renner.
To set you up as host for the night, we asked Haute Dish’s clever bartender David Collins to dream up some specialty cocktails, and hunted around for a few choice snacks that fit into this year’s field of nominees. We hope you enjoy the show.
The Black Swantini
Because lord knows psychotic ballerinas don’t eat food, we honor Natalie Portman’s fantastically grotesque performance in “The Black Swan” with a cocktail. Homemade vanilla vodka and Godiva liqueur are perfect stand-ins for black swan/white swan dualities.
- 2 oz. vanilla vodka
- 1 oz. Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur
- Shake and strain into martini glass, serve. Float 1⁄2 oz. cream if desired.
Collins says this punch is awesome, and if people aren’t drinking it, they should be.
- 2 cups water
- 3 bags Earl Grey tea
- 24 oz. bourbon
- 16 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 8 oz. Grand Marnier
- 8 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 2-liter bottle of club soda
- Block or cubed ice
- Lemon slices for garnish
- Boil water and add tea. Allow to cool. Add all ingredients, except club soda, to a punch bowl or pitcher. Serve in punch glasses and top with soda for a sparkling finish.
The Wahlbergs’ Macaroni Salad
Food & Wine magazine dug up the fact that this is Mark Wahlberg’s favorite macaroni salad — it’s his mother’s recipe, prepared by his chef-brother Paul Wahlberg. We know macaroni salad isn’t typical cocktail party fare, but it’s delicious, and we think Mark Wahlberg needs huge props for what he did in “The Fighter.” We love you, Micky Ward!
Makes 10 to 12 servings
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. celery salt
- ¾ c. mayonnaise
- ½ c. finely diced green bell pepper
- ½ c. finely diced celery
- 3 tbsp. diced red onion (optional)
- 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain, then rinse the macaroni until cool. Drain very well.
- In a large bowl, toss the macaroni with the oil. Add the garlic powder, celery salt and mayonnaise and toss to coat. Stir in the green pepper, celery, onion and parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill before serving.
What could be a more fitting tribute to “The King’s Speech” than pudding? This one comes to us from master pastry chef David Lebovitz. We’ll let it slide that he’s an American in Paris — there’s nothing stopping you from whipping up a batch and willfully transporting yourself to the waning days of the British Empire. Colin Firth would approve.
Makes 4-6 servings (or 8 small) (Adapted from “Ripe for Dessert”)
- 4 tbsp. butter, salted or unsalted
- 1 c. packed dark brown or cassonade sugar
- ¾ tsp. coarse sea salt
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 ½ c. whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. whiskey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the dark brown sugar and salt, then stir until the sugar is well-moistened. Remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with about 1/4 cup (60ml) of the milk until smooth (there should be no visible pills of cornstarch), then whisk in the eggs.
- Gradually pour the remaining milk into the melted brown sugar, whisking constantly, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture as well.
- Return the pan to the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for one minute, whisking nonstop, until the pudding thickens to the consistency of hot fudge sauce.
- Remove from heat and stir in the whiskey and vanilla. If slightly curdled looking, blend as indicated above.
- Pour into 4 to 6 serving glasses or custard cups and chill thoroughly, at least four hours, before serving.
83RD ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
- When: 7 p.m. Sun 2/27
- Where: ABC (Ch. 5)
- Web: oscars.com