The 2016 Oscar nominees were announced a few weeks ago and I’m getting excited for this year’s awards show. I still need to see most of the best picture nominees. I’m a procrastinator about things like that. The way this month’s schedule is panning out, I may end up just re-watching all eight trailers the night before. Whomp whomp.
Since we all can’t afford VIP tickets to Elton’s John’s Oscar party, I’ve always enjoyed planning themed appetizers and drinks for a slightly less glamorous at-home Academy Awards party. Themed parties are so much better than regular parties, am I right?
Last year, Mil and I watched the festivities together while munching handfuls of truffle popcorn. This year, we’ll be in North Carolina, so I’m not sure how my plans will shake out. Whatever I end up doing, I can guarantee you that I’ll be going snack happy on this year’s round of Oscar inspired appetizers.
Bubble Bursting Meatball Bites
1 can flaky biscuits
10 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (thawed)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups marinara sauce to serve
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate each biscuit in half, this should be easy thanks to all those flaky layers.
Cut thawed meatballs in half. Place 1 meatball half and a pinch of four cheese blend into the center of each biscuit. Wrap dough around it and seal edges to form a ball. Depending on how generous your pinches of cheese are, you may need a little more than a 1/2 cup.
Mix the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder together in a cup or small bowl. Dip the tops of your biscuit balls into the seasoning mixture and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until nice and brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce.
Recipe inspired by Joyful Scribblings
Hugh’s Beef Carpaccio
1 (12-ounce) piece beef tenderloin
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
1 ounce good shaved Parmesan (none of that powdery stuff)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional: 1 tbsp chopped capers or kalamata olives
Tie the beef tenderloin with kitchen twine to help it keep its shape, then freeze until frozen (this ensures that the center will stay rare when you cook it). Once frozen, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the frozen beef from the freezer and rub all over with salt and pepper. Add beef to your hot skillet and sear on all sides, about 4 minutes total. The beef should be seared on the outside but should remain rare on the inside. Freeze the beef again until it is almost frozen, about 1 hour, to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Using a large sharp carving knife, slice the beef as thinly as possible. Arrange the arugula and Parmesan shavings on a serving platter and lay the beef slices on top. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding capers and/or kalamata olives for an added pop of briny flavor. Serve with panache.
Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
Martian Mashed Potato Puffs
Makes 24 mini puffs
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or Ranch dip to serve
Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a mini-muffin tin.
Whisk together the mashed potatoes, eggs, 3/4 cup cheese, green onions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to go full on astronaut, use boxed mashed potatoes, otherwise make sure to prepare your potatoes ahead of time and let cool. If your mashed potatoes are too hot, the eggs will cook when you combine everything together.
Mound a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until your potato puffs are set and are nice and brown on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then use a knife to gently pop them out. Serve immediately with a little dollop of sour cream or Ranch dip on top.
Recipe inspired by The Kitchn.
The connection between The Big Short and the first recipe is pretty obvious. The other two recipes are based on moments in the movies themselves, so if you haven’t seen them, get on it!
Here’s to happy eating and happy watching during this year’s Academy Awards! Are you hosting or attending a get together this year? Note, if you’re hosting I always recommend doing a test run of any new recipes a week before the actual party. That way you’re stress free when it really counts. Plus more appetizers for you!
For more fun Oscar themed food and drink ideas, check out last year’s recipes: