Oscar Party Recipes *As Seen on CT Style* 2.24.12

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Get ready for some award-winning party hors d’oeuvres and decor that will have your guests thanking you in their speeches. Roll out the red carpet with a red table runner that sets the tone for a glamorous evening. Plastic trophies, scene clappers and Hollywood decor are the ticket to tying it all together. Edible accents such as gold wrapped Hershey’s kisses in a glass bowl and sparkly rock candy add a touch of sparkle to an elegant affair.

Label your dishes to answer guests’ questions when you’re not near the spread. Decorate place cards with gold paint pen and a calligraphy marker, or get creative on the computer. Be playful with your descriptions by naming your plates after nominated movie titles.

The suggestions below will take some of the guesswork out of what to serve. These festive finger foods require little cooking, yet provide a star-studded spread of impressive little bites. Some assembly required.

 Hearts of Palm Boats with Fresh Langoustine and Valderrama Olive Oil

Is there really a more glamorous way to treat your guests?

A very special thanks to SOLEX Fine Foods for providing their beautiful langoustine, hearts of palm and Valderrama olive oil.

These Hawaiian imported hearts of palm create an inviting vessel for succulent langoustine and pure Valderrama olive oil. These ingredients were delivered fresh from SOLEX Fine Foods who supplies quality delicacies I love cooking with.

Ingredients:

Hearts of Palm cut into 4″ hollow pieces

2.2 pounds of langoustine

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 an avocado

2/4 cup mango

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Boil langoustine for about 8 minutes. Separate head from tail, and remove meat in tail. Mix langoustine meat with lemon juice, olive oil, mango, avocado and season with salt and pepper.

Cut hearts of palm lengthwise into a 4″ piece. Hollow out center and fill with langoustine mixture.

Gazpacho Shooters with Shrimp and Hearts of Palm

Shots you won’t feel tipsy after drinking. Light, vegetable gazpacho accompanies shrimp in place of cocktail sauce.

Ingredients:

Medium shrimp, enough to put one in each shot glass

Hearts of palm cut into matchsticks, for garnish

1 English cucumber

One each, green and red pepper

1 rib of celery

1 large carrot

1 medium onion

4 cups tomato juice

1/4 c tomato paste

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Chop all vegetables in a food processor. Add tomato juice, tomato paste, red wine vinegar and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Pour gazpacho in shot glass and fill about 3/4 of the way. Place one shrimp hanging over the lip of each glass. (Langoustine would be a great substitute here as well.) Garnish with hearts of palm.

Baked Mac and Cheese Fillo Cups

It’s bite sized baked mac and cheese in an edible pastry bowl. Need I say more?

Ingredients:

2 packages frozen mini fillo shells (I used Athens)

8 oz. ditalini pasta

¼ cup butter

¼ cup flour

3 cups milk

1 cup American cheese

1 cup grated cheddar jack cheese

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Garlic Panko bread crumbs

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Blend in flour and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to create a roux. Add salt and pepper and cook until sauce is thickened.

Add cheddar jack and American cheese. Stir until melted. Cook pasta and add to cheese sauce. Mix well.

Place fillo shells on a baking sheet. Spoon macaroni and cheese into shells. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden. Place it under the broiler for an additional few minutes to brown, keeping a constant eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

English Cucumber with Kalamata Olive Tapenade and Feta

Served on a refreshing cucumber instead of a cracker, you get a sweet crunch without the crumbs. The kalamata olives and soft feta cheese mimic a Greek salad in one bite.

Ingredients:

1 English cucumber (The extra long seedless kind)

1 jar kalamata olive tapenade

1 package crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

Peel cucumber and slice into 1/2″ rounds. Top with spoonful of tapenade and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Mashed Potato Station with Toppings Bar

This is a great interactive way to stir up conversation. Guests have creative freedom to choose their own toppings to suit their taste buds. You can whip up mashed potatoes from scratch or take a short cut with your favorite store-bought brand. It’s comfort food in a cocktail glass. How fun is that?

Ingredients:

Mashed Potatoes

Toppings such as: Bacon, caramelized onions, shredded cheddar or parmesan cheese, black olives, sour cream, tomatoes and chives.

Instructions:

Scoop mashed potatoes in martini glasses. Serve with toppings bar of your choice.

Roasted Vegetable Dip

A nice break from all the heavy, creamy dips.

Ingredients:

2 red peppers

1 large eggplant

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup good olive oil (Like Valderrama)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup Rawmesan or parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel eggplant and cut into rounds. Cut and slice red peppers. Coat vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. On a foil coated baking sheet, roast eggplant and peppers for 40 minutes, until browned. Turn the vegetables halfway through during the cooking process. Pour roasted vegetables in food processor, with oil from baking sheet. Add garlic cloves and lemon juice. Pulse until pureed, adding more olive oil if needed. Dip should have some texture to it. Serve with crostini, pita chips and bread sticks.

Mini Open Faced Falafel

For your vegetarian/vegan guests, or anyone who loves this Middle Eastern treat! You can make your own falafel with the recipe below, or use Dr. Praeger’s frozen falafel flats for a quick fix that fits perfectly on the mini pitas.

Ingredients:

1 package mini pita rounds

Homemade falafel shaped with a melon baller, or packaged falafel flats

1 package hummus, any flavor

Paprika

Instructions:

Spread mini pitas on a plate

Place one falafel round on each pita. Top with a dollop of hummus. Sprinkle with paprika.

A healthy, vegan baked falafel recipe I love:

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans

1 small onion, finely chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium-sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten. Place onto an oiled baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

Scewers Two Ways

Garlic Stuffed Olive and Manchego Scewers

These are so simple, and keep your plate clear from rolling olives and lost bits of this sharp Spanish cheese.

Ingredients:

Garlic stuffed olives

1 block manchego cheese

Instructions:

Cut manchego into cubes. Slide one cube of cheese and one olive onto each scewer and serve.

Caprese Scewers

Because everyone loves food on a stick.

Ingredients:

1 package fresh mozzarella balls

1 package grape tomatoes

1 package fresh basil

Instructions:

Stack each scewer with one piece of mozzarella, one grape tomato and one torn basil leaf, folded in half. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.

Goat Cheese Filled Peppadews

Sweet and spicy piquante peppers with a rich, creamy filling.

Ingredients:

1 jar/tub of peppadews

Goat cheese

Instructions:

Spoon goat cheese into peppadews (they come hollowed out) and serve. Couldn’t be easier or more delicious.

Pomsecco Red Carpet Cocktail

Bittersweet. Like some of the Academy Awards results.

Ingredients:

1 bottle Prosecco

1 bottle pomegranate juice

1 package pomegranite seeds

Instructions:

Place about a teaspoon of pomegranate seeds at the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill champagne flute 3/4 of the way with Prosecco. Some of the pomegranate seeds will float to the top, ooh la la. Top it off with a splash of pomegranate juice.

Gold Star Party Popcorn

What’s a TV event without a little popcorn?

Ingredients:

Air popped popcorn

1 tablespoon butter

Gold sugar gems

Gold jordan almonds

Instructions:

Make air popped popcorn in machine or microwave. Store bought air popped works as well. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and pour over top. Immediately sprinkle with gold sugar and stir to coat. Toss in gold jordan almonds for extra pizzazz.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Cookies

Give all your guests a spot on the walk-of-fame with these themed party favors to remember the evening.

Ingredients:

Sugar cookie dough

*Yellow cookie icing

*Red writing icing

     *Be sure it’s the kind that hardens so you can wrap it in cellophane.

You will also need:

Star-shaped cookie cutters

Cellophane bags

Gold wire ribbon

Instructions:

Using your favorite recipe or pre-packaged sugar cookie dough, cut out stars. Bake according to your directions. Once cooled, coat cookies with yellow cookie icing. Allow to dry and use red writing icing to draw names of your guests on the stars. Once dried, display them on plate, or wrap in individual cellophane bags and tie with gold wired ribbon.

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