And The Winner Is...

Added on by Lisa Homa.

I'M USUALLY UNAFFECTED BY ALL OF THE OSCAR NIGHT HOOPLA. But this year I not only saw many of contenders but was inspired enough by the likes of Beast of the Southern Wild’s Hushpuppy to Searching for Sugarman’s Rodriquez to go all out for the big night.

Yep, like many moviegoers, my husband and I came up with our own Oscar-themed menu to enjoy with friends as we watched the whole damn show. In the end, we had some tasty food and happily witnessed Argo pick up the big kahuna.

85th Oscars Menu:
• Amour & Les Miz: Lillet Rouge and bubbly with orange twist cocktail
• Silver Linings Playbook: Yuenlings and “crabby snacks” made with real cheddar
  (instead of Wiz) on crostini (instead of English Muffins)
• Argo & Zero Dark Thirty: Hummus made with yogurt and sherry vinegar (adapted from
  Bon Appetit’s March 2013 issue) with Persian cucumbers, radishes and olives
• Beasts of Southern Wild & Django Unchained: Hush Puppies
• Life of Pi: Spicy Curried Chicken noodle stew (also adapted from Bon App)
• Clementines and Chocolate (just because)

Here’s a sample recipe from the night; an homage to Quvenzhané Wallis:

Hush Puppies

Hush Puppies

1 1/2 quarts peanut oil or vegetable, for frying
1 1/3 cups cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
5 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Heat oil to 350 degrees F. in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven.

In a 1-quart mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients with seasonings. Add the remaining items and stir until blended. Allow to stand 5 minutes.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonful into the hot oil. Don't overcrowd; leave room for the hush puppies to be turned. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with salt to taste, and transfer to a serving dish.

If you find they’re not all eaten by hungry guest as soon as they’re made, keep the cooked hush puppies warm in an oven while cooking up the last of the batter.