Best of the Oscars Cocktail BuffetForrest Gump (1990) “You-Never-Know-What-You’re-Gonna-Get Chocolate Bark” Life is like a box of chocolates (duh). Will the bark you bite into contain pineapple and papaya? Toffee and pretzels? Walnuts and dried cherries? I don’t know! Ask Forrest. Casablanca (1942) Eggplant Caponata Crostini Just like this old-fashioned love story, Moroccan food is distinguished by the judicious mix of sweet and savory. That’s assuming that Bogart and Bergman’s Morocco featured the same winning combination a full 70 years ago. Bring everyone back to the age when a romance could take home the Oscar with these tasty one-bite treats. Oliver! (1968) Mushy Pea Crostini Food glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard! Cold jelly and custard! While you could opt to illustrate Oliver! with skewers of sausage, we’ve decided to skip the cold jelly and make mushy peas, which Oliver and his cohorts must have eaten. It’s just so British. Annie Hall (1977) One-in-the-Pot-One-on-the-Floor Lobster Rolls You all know that scene in Annie Hall, right–the one where Diane Keaton and Woody Allen are trying to cook lobsters and they’re just too neurotic to do so? Skip past that part and make lobster salad by buying cooked, shelled lobster meat and stuffing it into slider rolls. Toy Story 3 (2010) To-Infinity-and-Beyond! Chicken Finger Rockets Chicken fingers are kid food. But the whole point of Toy Story 3 is that Andy is too grown up for Buzz Lightyear and Woody. To herald his passage into teenage-dom, these chicken fingers got a chipotle kick that’s clearly much too mature for any kiddo to enjoy. Chariots of Fire (1981) Pesto-Potato Focaccia How would two British runners hope to do well in the 1924 Olympics if they hadn’t carbo-loaded beforehand? Whether you rooted for Eric or Harold, eating this potato-bread combination will give you the stamina to make it to the Oscar finish line. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) Atlanta Oven-Baked Ribs During all that driving Miss Daisy must have noshed on something! Our choice: these slow-cooked ribs with lots of spices and a good southern mop for extra flavor. Cut them into one-rib servings to make the ribs fit in with your cocktail spread. American Beauty (1999) And-Then-I-Blackmailed-Him-for-Almost-$60,000 Pass the [Puff Pastry-Wrapped] Asparagus Ah, the dark side of American suburbia! Before Mad Men arrived on the scene and made us think of the suburbs with nostalgia, there was American Beauty and the famous freak-out dinner table scene. Try not to throw your plate of delicate hors d’oeuvres at the window in imitation of Spacey. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) Baked Potato Samosas If it seems wrong to you to serve a dish inspired by a movie where children live in abject poverty, well, you just may be right. Still, we’d rather pay homage to this one with homemade samosa than with an empty plate. If echoes of “chai, chai,” still clamor in your head, add Chai Tea Lattes to your menu. If assembling samosas is too labor-intensive, you can also just serve our Potato-Pea Masala.
Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine are the pair behind the popular food blog known as Big Girls, Small Kitchen and Small Kitchen College. They released their first cookbook, In the Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes from Our Year of Cooking in the Real World, in 2011, and the book is available on Amazon. PBS Food chose the cookbook as one of the “11 Cookbooks We Liked in 2011.”