Friday, February 22, 2013

Red Carpet Menu-Appetizers Ideas

The Oscars is all about glitz and glamour coming out for a night to celebrate the movies. These links below have a lot of great ideas for Red-Carpet menu and appetizers.  
http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/oscars/best-picture-menus-13
http://www.myrecipes.com/general/red-carpet-menus-10000001877086/

The question was posed on some of the websites What if these nominated movies up for best picture were recipes?
Here are a few ideas that I thought noteworthy and helpful
  
A Taste of India and the Middle East

Critical and audience favorite Life of Pi is great excuse to make delicious and authentic Indian dishes. Try Indian Tandoori Chicken with basmati rice, authentic Indian Naan, or the delicious creamed spinach dish known as Saag Paneer.
Both Argo and Zero Dark Thirty are set in the Middle East, where there's no shortage of tasty dishes. Start with sliced pita bread with Sun-Dried Tomato Hummus, and serve it with sweet-savoryMeatballs with Raisins and Honey. Authentic Ash-e-jow, or Persian Barley Soup, is a flavorful comfort food perfect for winter TV watching. For dessert, pass around warm Baklava and serve with strong Turkish coffee.
A Taste of French Food
Les Miserables is a rousing tour de force set during the French Revolution. And Amour is a heartbreaking French film focusing on the different flavors of, well, love. So why not enjoy French hors d'oeuvres that will please any crowd? French Crepes are so versatile--you can fill them with sweet or savory fillings. French Onion Soup Gratinee makes an elegant presentation and is easy to assemble ahead of time. Or consider throwing a French wine dinner. Since in Les Miserables, a classic French novel, it all started with Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread, be sure to include a French bread on you menu. 
A Taste of Southern Food
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lincoln
Hush Puppies 
Patriotic Foods

There were so many food choices but here are the three I finally decided on  for Sunday's Oscar party.

Spinach Puffs from BonAppetit 2012
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 of a  10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with paper towels
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese 
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed, rolled out to a 12- inch square, kept chilled

Special Equipment
A standard 6-cup muffin pan

Directions:
Using your hands and paper towel squeeze spinach until dry, forcing out as much water as possible (too much water will make for a soggy filling; you should have about 2/3 cup well-drained spinach). Mix spinach and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat 1 egg to blend; fold into spinach mixture.

Cut puff pastry into 3 equal strips. Reserve 1 strip for another use. Cut each remaining strip into 3 squares for a total of 6. Place a square in each muffin cup, pressing into bottom and up sides and leaving corners pointing up. Divide filling among cups. Fold pastry over filling, pressing corners together to meet in center. DO AHEAD Spinach puffs can be assembled 3 hours ahead. Cover puffs and chill.

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Beat remaining egg to blend in a small bowl. Brush pastry with egg wash (this will give the pastry a nice sheen). Bake until pastry is golden brown and puffed, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let puffs cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around pan edges to loosen; turn out puffs onto rack to cool slightly before serving.



Cheesecake Bars  from myrecipes.com
Crust
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
Filling:
  • 3- 8-oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature$
  • 3/4 cup sugar 
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 80 fresh ripe blueberries (about 1 cup) 
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jelly

Directions:
   1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Mist foil with cooking spray.
   2. Make crust: Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely chopped. Add flour, brown sugar and salt, and process until well combined. Add butter and pulse just until mixture begins to come together; it should not form a ball. Press mixture evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until set. Let cool on a wire rack.
   3. Make filling: With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium-low and add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Beat in lemon juice, vanilla and salt.
   4.Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over crust. Tap pan on counter top 3 or 4 times to burst air bubbles in filling. Place pan on a large roasting pan and put in oven. Pour hot tap water into roasting pan until it comes up about an inch around baking pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until filling is just set. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of pan and onto cutting board. Heat a large sharp knife under hot water; dry knife. Trim off edges of cheesecake. Carefully cut into 16 bars, rinsing knife under hot water and drying thoroughly between each cut.
  6. Transfer bars to a serving platter. Decorate each bar with 5 blueberries in upper left corner to resemble stars on the American flag. Place jelly in a ziplock bag, seal bag and snip off about 1/6 inch at one bottom corner. Pipe jelly in thin lines on each bar to resemble stripes on flag.
   7.  Note: Be sure to use seedless jelly so that you can pipe it in smooth, even lines onto the bars.

  Hush Puppies from Southern Living
 Ingredients:
   1-1/2 self-rising white cornmeal mix
   3/4 cup self rising flour
   3/4 cup diced sweet onion
   1-1/2 TB. sugar
   1 large egg
   1-1/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature 
   Directions:
  1. Pour oil to depth of 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 375°. Combine cornmeal and next 3 ingredients. Add egg and buttermilk; stir just until moistened. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil, and fry, in 3 batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Keep warm in a 200° oven.
  Try these twists: 
       Bacon-and-Caramelized Onion Hush Puppies: Increase onion to 1 1/2 cups. Cook 5 bacon slices in a medium skillet over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp; drain bacon on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon. Sauté onion in hot drippings over medium-low heat 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Proceed with recipe as directed, stirring in onion and bacon with cornmeal mix in Step 1. 
      Jalapeño-Pineapple Hush Puppies: Prepare recipe as directed, stirring in 1/2 cup canned pineapple tidbits and 2 to 3 Tbsp. seeded and diced jalapeño pepper with cornmeal mix in Step 1
    Shrimp-and-Corn Hush Puppies: Prepare recipe as directed, reducing buttermilk to 3/4 cup and stirring 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked shrimp (about 3/4 lb. peeled) and 1 (8- 1/4-oz.) can cream-style corn into batter in Step 1.



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