I’d Like To Thank The Academy…

Last night we had a BIG Oscar party in our house and I was a little nervous since it was the first big shindig in our casa, well that and I chose to make a flotilla of food. I simply adore our gentle friends and one thing I know about our group is we love to eat. With that in mind I was going to make darn sure everyone had enough to nibble on during the three hour show. 

The Obligatory Picture of Colin Firth

Epicurious assembled menu plans based on the Best Picture nominees and the one that stood out to us was the Inception option. It’s very French inspired since part of the movie takes place in Paris – the scene with the city folding on top of itself is still incredible every time I see it.  Although I liked the recipes they suggested, I decided to stick wtih French fare but do it my way. And the award goes to…. 

 To get real nerdy about it I made an “Execution Plan” to ensure everything was done by 6:00 p.m. so we could watch arrivals and snarkily judge away. 

  • 2:00 p.m. Prep and mis en place
  • 3:00 p.m. Make compote for Brie, while compote cooks, make pots de creme, refrigerate
  • 3:30 p.m. Make soup
  • 4:00 p.m.  Make green beans, assemble and bake Brie rounds
  • 5:00 p.m. Make sandwiches
  • 5:40 p.m. Fire steaks, let rest and slice, make fries
  • 6:00 p.m. Guests arrive

Everything pretty much went according to plan and let me tell you, the soup, green beans, sandwiches and brie rounds with that stellar compote were delicious. For the steak frites I kept it very simple. David (the super poodle) ran to the store and bought a Weber charcoal grill so he could grill them properly. Little salt and pepper on the steaks, grill and you are done.  I took  frozen fries and mixed with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme leaves and baked until crispy. Thanks to my lovely and talented niece Alex who is a bomb chef for coming up with that tasty concoction.  

I’m giggling at the thought of the Pots de Creme because the flavor was amazing but I didn’t have enough glasses to properly make individual servings, so I decided to place the whole shebang in a large ramekin. Yeah, don’t do that. We had to put it in the freezer so it would set up, but a few minutes on the table and it was like ice cream. Of course, no one cared and it was gone by the end of the night but I highly suggest not being an idiot like moi and scratch the idea if you can’t do it individually. 

The Oscars were OK this year, a little zzzzzzzzzz at times and it wasn’t as exciting as in years past but I am so happy for The King’s Speech! It’s an excellent, heart warming story and if you haven’t seen it yet, GO. 

Here’s our spread and more posts to come this week…I hope. :)  

Chile Con Carne

Three simple little words for such a powerful dish. Bon Appetit did a special on chilis from around the country and of course this proud little lady chose the one from TEXAS! Some Texas chili rules. Number one, no beans. EVER! Rule number two, there will be beef.  Rule number three, bring on the spice.  Sometimes following the rules is fun.

Chile Con Carne (Photograph by Marcus Nilsson)

As the magazine states:

Chili is practically a religion in Texas. The thick, meaty “bowl of red” dates back to San Antonio in the 1820s. By the 1880s, the city’s plazas were full of pushcarts run by “chili queens” who would lure customers with live music. And Texans may argue about chili ingredients – but purists agree that the hearty stew would never, ever involve beans.

Roger that. This chili, like most real versions, has a lot going on and takes quite some time – but if you heart chili you won’t mind one iota. I followed this to the letter and it turned out perfect. It’s beefy, spicy and yes, a very dark bowl of red.  I topped with fresh tomatoes, green onions,  cilantro, and Monterrey Jack cheese. YUM! I aslo served with this amazing and so simple to make Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. The only addition I made was I added pickled jalapenos and sauteed cork kernels for a little spicy/sweet oomph.

Before the cold slips away (YAY!) make this bowl of chili today. I just wicked rhymed that without meaning to.