10 perfect Oscars party dishes

Inspired by 2011’s nominees for Best Picture, here are our picks for blockbuster party hits

Marmalade Sours

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Jessica Mordo

True Grit: Marmalade Sours

In the Coen Brothers’ remake of a classic Western, a teenage girl seeks the help of a tough (yet frequently drunk) U.S. Marshal to avenge her father’s murder.

Raise a glass to Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of the tippling marshal with our sweeter (yet not too sweet) remake of the classic whiskey sour.

Recipe:  Marmalade Sours

Quick Cheese Fondue

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Jessica Mordo

The Social Network: Quick Cheese Fondue

In Hollywood’s spin on the rise of Facebook, the irony is rich: the creator of the biggest social site on the web alienates his only friends along the way to success.

This crowd-pleasing, easy-to-make appetizer is a surefire way to win over your friends. Status update: 10-minute fondue—practically a miracle!

Recipe: Quick Cheese Fondue

 

 

Squash and Chickpea Fritters with Winter Greens and Hazelnut Salad

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; food styling by Karen Shinto; written by Jessica Mordo

The Kids Are All Right: Squash and Chickpea Fritters with Winter Greens and Hazelnut Salad

The family drama focuses on a lesbian couple whose teenage kids seek out their anonymous birth father. Enter the charming Paul, whose presence impacts the family in ways they hadn’t anticipated.

This vegetarian appetizer featuring seasonal produce salutes Paul’s restaurant, which sources ingredients from his local organic garden.

Recipe: Squash and Chickpea Fritters with Winter Greens and Hazelnut Salad

Blueberry and Prosciutto Salad

Photo by Leo Gong; food styling by Karen Shinto; written by Jessica Mordo

The Fighter: Blueberry and Prosciutto Salad

In a film of great performances, a boxer dukes it out both in and out of the ring as he struggles with the demands of training and of an overbearing, complicated family.

It’s sweet vs. savory in this tasty starter, but neither element is KO’d (not even the blueberries) due to a harmonious blend of ingredients.

Recipe: Blueberry and Prosciutto Salad

 

 

Stacked Enchilada Pie

Written by Jessica Mordo

Inception: Stacked Enchilada Pie

Christopher Nolan’s mind-bender about thieves who steal—and implant—information from their victim’s unconscious minds was one of the most layered, innovative stories of the year.

The good news is that you don’t need to concoct as complicated a plot in your kitchen to pay homage. This easy-to-make layered Mexican entrée tips its tortillas to the film’s multiple levels of dream worlds.

Recipe: Stacked Enchilada Pie 

 

Beer-battered Cod and Onion Rings

Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Jessica Mordo

The King's Speech: Beer-battered Cod and Onion Rings

The film chronicles King George VI of Britain’s ascension to the throne and his struggle to overcome a stammer with the help of his unconventional speech therapist and his devoted wife.

Curtsy to British royalty with our Western spin on fish ‘n’ chips. Don’t forget to serve with malt vinegar and tartar sauce!

Recipe: Beer-battered Cod and Onion Rings

 

 

Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy

Photo by Leigh Beisch; written by Jessica Mordo

127 Hours: Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy

Inspired by a true story, the film follows mountain climber Aron Ralston’s doomed adventure in the canyons of southern Utah. His excruciating struggle to free himself after his arm gets trapped beneath a boulder yielded some of the year’s most intense visceral scenes.

If Ralston had packed enough rations, he would have enjoyed classic campfire grub such as this flavorful chili—which also happens to be the perfect winter potluck dish.

Recipe:  Devilish Chorizo Chili with Hominy

Biscuit-topped Chicken Potpies

Photo by Leigh Beisch; food Styling by Dan Becker; written by Jessica Mordo

Winter's Bone: Biscuit-topped Chicken Potpies

The bleak drama follows a young woman trying to keep her crumbling family life intact when her meth-dealing father goes missing.

Our elegant take on the potpie provides the ultimate comfort for winter weather and memories of the film’s harrowing tale.

Recipe: Biscuit-topped Chicken Potpies

Salted Chocolate Tart

Photo by Leigh Beisch; written by Jessica Mordo

Black Swan: Salted Chocolate Tart

In the backstage thriller, a ballerina obsessively prepares for the role of a lifetime as her dark side overtakes her delicate nature.

This luscious dessert evokes the sensuality and strength the Natalie Portman-portrayed dancer aspires to—and with its rich dark chocolate and sprinkling of Maldon sea salt crystals, it also echoes the film’s light-and-dark theme.

Recipe: Salted Chocolate Tart

 

 

Chocolate Caramel Apples with Sprinkles

Photo by Karen Steffens; food styling by Charity Ferreira; written by Jessica Mordo

Toy Story 3: Chocolate Caramel Apples with Sprinkles

The latest Pixar installment finds our favorite animated toys attempting to return home after being mistakenly delivered to a day-care center when their owner prepares to leave for college.

This cheerful treat, with its trio of sweet toppings, brings us right back to our childhoods. And the best part? Being a grown-up means freedom to indulge one’s sweet tooth.

Recipe: Chocolate Caramel Apples with Sprinkles

 

 

Inside the Oscars

Photo by Mark Peterson / Redux Pictures

A peek inside the Oscars

As a coda to our Oscars recipe collection, here's some insider knowledge on the event itself:

On Oscars night, quite a few variations on a certain golden theme will be standing in Hollywood’s spotlight. The originals—cast in an alloy called britannium and then plated in, successively, copper, nickel silver, and 24-karat gold—are essentially on long-term loan to their winners. Since 1950, each recipient has had to sign a contract agreeing not to hock the statuette; legally, the only way to sell it is to offer it back to the Academy—for $1. (In 2008, Bloomberg News estimated that the cost to make each one was $500.) And why are they called Oscars? Well, no one knows for sure. It could have been that the statue resembled the Uncle Oscar of an early Academy employee, or Bette Davis’s first husband, or even a Norwegian king.

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