Easy Recipes for a Spectacular Oscar-Viewing Party Spread

By  February 21, 2012

The 84th Annual Academy Awards are less than a week away, and we can’t wait! Moet & Chandon, the exclusive champagne of the Oscars, has paired with the Cooking Channel’s Aida Mollenkamp to create tasty treats for film fans to try out at their Oscar-viewing party. Mollenkamp drew the inspiration for the fantastic finger food from Moet & Chandon Imperial and this year’s Best Picture nominees that you can try at home. With the recipes below, you can also toast to your favorite stars with the “Moet Red Carpet Glamour,” the Moet Oscar Cocktail Contest winning exclusive champagne cocktail of the Governor’s Ball:

Moet Red Carpet Glamour


1 oz. of Fresh Squeezed Sour Mix
1 oz. of Hum Botanical Spirit
Moet & Chandon Imperial
Rose Petals to Garnish

Stir 1 oz. of Fresh Squeezed Sour Mix and 1 oz. of Hum Botanical Spirit with fresh ice. Strain into a flute to fill halfway and top with Moet & Chandon Imperial. Garnish with a single rose petal. Continually refresh as you wish with Moet & Chandon Imperial as the champagne will float on top of the other ingredients but will bring out HUM’s heady cardamom & Kaffir lime notes.

Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Fennel Rillettes
(Inspired by Hugo)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup minced shallots
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup small diced fennel
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves or chives, plus more for serving
1 tbsp. Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur (optional)
1/2 tsp. loosely packed lemon zest
1/3 cup crème fraîche
1 lb. hot smoked and/or cold-smoked salmon
Crackers or toasts for serving
*Makes 2 cups (15 to 20 serving as an hors d’oeuvres)

Melt the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add the shallots, season with a pinch of salts and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the shallots are translucent and soft; set aside to cool slightly.

Stir the shallots together with the fennel, lemon juice, herbs, Pernod (if using), lemon zest and crème fraîche. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Break salmon into bite-sized pieces and fold until just combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Transfer rillettes to an airtight container, cover and refrigerate until chilled through, at least 2 hours.

Let the rillettes sit a room temperature for a few minutes before serving so they’re spreadable. Spread on crackers or toast and sprinkle with herbs to serve.

Pancetta, Thyme, and Fontina Gourgères
(Inspired by The Artist and Midnight in Paris)

4 oz. pancetta, diced small
1 cup plus 1 tsp. milk or water
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
3 oz. shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 oz. shredded Fontina cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme leaves (optional)
*Makes 32 cheese puffs

Preheat oven to 375°F and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Line a plated with paper towels and set aside.

Place pancetta in a medium nonstick frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta and drain on the paper-towel lined plated and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of the milk or water with the butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, dump in all the flour, and stir vigorously until flour is incorporated. Cock, stirring constantly, until dough comes together in a ball and feels dry to the touch, about 2 minutes.

Transfer dough to a food processor fitted with a blade or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Pulse or beat in five of the eggs one by one, letting each egg completely incorporate before adding the next. Reserve 3 tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese then add pancetta, remaining cheese and thyme; pulse or mix on low until thoroughly incorporated.

Drop tablespoon-size portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Whisk remaining egg yolk with the remaining 1 tbsp. milk and brush tops of cheese puffs then evenly sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Place in oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Crisp Tempura Vegetables with Miso-Mustard Sauce
(Inspired by The Descendants)

For the sauce:
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup white or yellow (aka mellow) miso
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. unrefined cane sugar

For the batter:
Canola, grape seed, or peanut oil for frying
1 cup chilled all-purpose flour
1 cup chilled rice flour
2 1/3 cups ice cold seltzer water or pale ale beer
1 red or sweet onion, cut into 1-inch slices and separated into rings
1 larges sweet potato or yam (about 8 oz.), sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
8 oz. green beans, ends trimmed
8 oz. broccolini, ends trimmed
1 head fennel, cored and quartered
15 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
Kosher salt to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
*Makes 8 to 12 servings as an hors d’oeuvres (1/2 cup dipping sauce)

For the sauce:
Whisk everything together, taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

For the tempura:
Line a baking sheet with paper towels, and then fill a large saucepan with at least 2 inches of oil (about 6 to 8 cups oil). Insert a deep frying thermometer and heat the oil to over 350°F over medium-high heat

Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Combine flours in a medium bowl then nest it in a second bowl of ice water (to help keep the batter as cold as possible). Add the cold seltzer or beer to the flour and whisk until just combined. (There should be a few lumps left – if you over whisk it will get gummy.)

Place a handful of the prepared vegetables in the batter and toss to coat. Remove vegetables one by one and let the excess batter drip off. Place carefully into heated oil and cook, stirring a few times, until just beginning to color, about 1 minute for the thinner vegetables and 3 minutes for the thicker vegetables. Remove to paper towels, season with salt and repeat to cook all vegetables. Serve hot or warm with dipping sauce, lemon wedges, and extra salt.

Meyer Lemon Icebox Pie Bites
(Inspired by The Help)

For the crust:
8 oz. vanilla wafers or graham crackers
3 tbsp. melted unsalted butter

For the custard:
1 cup Meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14 oz.) container sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 oz.) softened mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
Pinch of salt

Whipped cream for garnish
Candied citrus or ginger for garnish (optional)
Thinly sliced mango or kiwi for garnish (optional)
*Makes 48 mini pie bites

Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange a rick in the middle

For the crust:
Place wafers or graham crackers in a food processor and process until broken up (you want 2 cups total). Add butter and pulse until moist. Divide mixture between two (24-well) mini muffin pans and press mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the wells. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes, the remove from oven.

For the custard: whisk or blend remaining ingredients together until smooth then divide among prepared crusts. Place in 350°F oven and bake until edges are set but center is still a bit loose, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely, at least 1 hour.

Cover and freeze until chilled and set, at least 2 hours or overnight. When frozen, run a small butter knife dipped in hot water around the perimeter of each tart and remove. Cover and return to freezer until ready to serve. Serve frozen or chilled, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and, as desired, a piece of candied ginger or citrus or a slice of fresh kiwi, and serve.