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For Your Degustation

February 3, 2007

The 2007 Oscar ceremony (for 2006) is still three weeks away and this year’s best picture nominees, food-wise, and coming up with themes to match, are all over the map. But, I think I’ve got my menu problem solved. For now. I’m expecting changes. But, sorry, Roxane, I’m not making the usual Baked Alaskas this year.

Appetizer–for Little Miss Sunshine

An Olive and Sun-dried tomato Tapenade served with endive (you could also do something nifty with take out fried chicken for this movie)

Olive and Sun dried Tomato Tapenade

Thanks, Olive

For Flags Over Iwo Jima & The Departed

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap

8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 ts cornstarch
2 ts dry sherry
2 ts water
1 ts soy sauce
salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken
5 tb oil
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 sm dried chilis, (optional)
8 oz can bamboo shoots, minced
8 oz can water chestnuts, minced
1 pk cellophane chinese rice noodles, prepared according to instructions in pkg

cooking sauce:
1 tb hoisin sauce
1 tb soy sauce
1 tb dry sherry
2 tb oyster sauce
2 tb water
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch

Boston lettuce ‘cups’ leaves.

Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain. Cut and discard woody stems. Mince the mushrooms. Set aside. Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside. In medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sherry water, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. Stir in 1 tsp. oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate. Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 Tbsp oil, then add chicken and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside. Add 2 Tbsp oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, chilies(if desired), and onion; stir fry about a minute or so. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry an additional 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot. Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and Roll. Yum

For Babel and The Queen

Mini Beef Wellington w/ Wolfgang Puck’s (he’s gotta be somewhere in Oscar night food) Couscous salad

Wolfgang Puck’s Couscous Salad

Sara Moulton’s Beef Wellington I’m omitting the gorgonzola cheese, though. Jim doesn’t like it.

For dessert I thought I try making a Basil Ice Cream with chocolate shavings. I’m still looking for a recipe. I have these really pretty bowls (they’re quenelle bowls: quenelle is a “poached oval dumpling of pureed forcemeat (as of pike) often served in a cream sauce”, thanks Webster’s. And ick. They’re dessert bowls now.) I bought them last summer when we were in San Francisco. The were designed by Thomas Keller, The French Laundry guy. I bought them because, with kids, this would be the closest I’d get to actually being at The French Laundry. And ice cream is a cream sauce, per se.

Yes, this is a lot of food and a bit of work. But it’s a four hour ceremony. You gotta do something during the bad songs and boring technical awards.

Now, I probably should figure out our Super Bowl food. Priorities, though.

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