For the purposes of party menu-planning, it's a good thing that so many of this year's Best Picture nominees are set in food-centric locales, from The Descendants in Kaua'i to Midnight in Paris in, well, Paris, obviously. The Hot Dish is bringing you some of our favorite foods inspired by this year's most acclaimed movies.
Will Levitt of the college cooking blog Dorm Room Dinner, said his line of thinking went from "Oscars" to "Oscar Meyer Wiener" when coming up with an idea for Oscars-themed food that went beyond cookies and cocktails. He uses the humble hot dog as his blank canvas and a range of creative toppings to represent all nine of the nominees for Best Picture. We particularly like the sounds of the "Southern Comfort Dog," inspired by The Help. It's a fried chicken sausage, braised collard greens, and gravy on a buttered bun. Though it's probably not the tastiest of the bunch, conceptually we got a kick out of the "Bruised and Bleeding Dog," inspired by War Horse. It's a messily scored, slightly burned dog, on a torn-up bun that uses strategically placed smears of ketchup to complete the beat-up look.
The egg. The symbol of life. She could have deviled them, scrambled them, or left them hard-boiled and still have a decent explanation as to why it could be a metaphor for any of the themes in this deep-thinker of a film. But since Tree of Life is set in suburban Texas, Haschka made the very good decision to do something rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. The fact that this is a ground chicken Scotch egg with a chicken egg tucked inside makes it a little lighter in calories but far heavier in all the layers of its possible meaning. This also might be a situation where the snack is far superior to the movie it's inspired by.
If your Oscars party is starting a little earlier than the red carpet arrival coverage--say, around brunch--this is a more socially acceptable way to have a morning brew but still feel like you're sipping champagne. Most every other Moneyball recipe we found was for homemade popcorn balls, fancy roasted peanuts, or baseball cupcakes. What about the cash? Or the statistics? Something having to do with Jonah Hill's significant weight loss since filming this movie? Oh well. Even if it's not the most creative recipe (basically Blue Moon and OJ), you have to have at least one cocktail at your party, so go easy on yourself and keep it to two ingredients in a fancy glass. That'll get you on base.
4. The DescendantsMalasadasfrom Epicurous, recipe by Tex Drive In in Hawaii
Beyond the Hawaiian pizza and macadamia nut cookies, there wasn't a whole lot of food inspired by this Best Picture nominee starring George Clooney. Just a whole lot of complicated frozen drinks involving canned tropical fruit salad. Ugh. Thankfully Epicurious provided a recipe for malasadas, a fluffy Portuguese-style raised doughnut that is massively popular throughout Hawaii. We would have liked to have seen a recipe that really fleshes out the infidelity theme, but we won't complain about fried dough.