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Academy Award winning recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

You don't have to be at the show to enjoy the thrill of the Oscars. These red carpet recipes will have your friends and family treating you like a movie star chef.

The biggest night in Hollywood is upon us yet again and, as always, it promises to be over-the-top. The 80th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24th will be a showcase of fabulous (and not so fabulous) fashion, heart-felt acceptance speeches, enchanting movie stars, wild after-parties, and, of course, delicious food and lots of Champagne. You may not get the thrill of being there in the flesh but you can throw an Academy Award feast and relish the excitement at home with a Academy Award winning recipesgroup of hungry friends or family. The Atmosphere
Since the Academy Awards are typically the most formal and glamorous award show, make your get-together a formal feast. Play paparazzi
When your guests walk in, have a red carpet laid out and take photos with a digital or Polaroid camera to give out at the end of the night. Hang silver glittered stars from the ceiling and the walls, craft a huge "Hollywood" sign and put it in a place where you can pose for pictures in front of it, and embellish the party with movie posters from your local video rental store, films reels, and other movie memorabilia. Treat your guests like Hollywood royalty
Have a star walk of fame in the kitchen or living room with your guests' names on it. Purchase mini-replicas of the Oscar awards and use these as awards for your guests based on best-dressed or worst-dressed or best celebrity look-alike. Drape your buffet table with a crisp white tablecloth and set with plastic champagne flutes, white candles, and white flowers. Do your own voting
One of the most entertaining parts of the Oscars is watching the red carpet pre-show and playing "Fashion Police." Give your guests blank paper and have them write down their favorite fashion hits and misses. At the end of the night, vote on the best- and worst- dressed celebrities. Print out nomination ballots at www.Oscar.com and have your guests fill them out before the show begins. At the end, give out your own Oscar awards based on who guessed the most winners or who guessed the least in each of the categories. Award each winner a chocolate Oscar and a prize basket of microwave popcorn, movie-sized boxes of candy, and movie tickets, or you can let them pick a movie poster off your wall. The Menu
Make your Oscar night menu a buffet, with foods inspired by nominated movies. Atonement: The Aphrodisiac Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette
No Country For Old Men: Shrimp, Mushroom, and Avocado Quesadillas
Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber Fried Meat Pies
Ratatouille: Ratatouille
There Will Be Blood: Baked Cherry, Raisin, and Brown Sugar Dumplings
Michael Clayton: Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake Recipes
Oysters on the Half-shell with Mignonette
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
3 dozen raw oysters, shucked, kept on the half shell, chilled, save liquid
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
Salt
Ground white pepper Directions:
Combine wine and vinegar in a pot and heat until reduced to about half. With heat off, mix in shallot, salt, and pepper to taste. Add in any juices from shucked oysters. Serve the sauce in a small bowl in the middle of the oysters, letting guests spoon sauce on top of oysters. Shrimp, Mushroom, and Avocado Quesadillas
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces wild mushrooms
1 1/2 cups baby shrimp
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt
Black pepper
5 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
Olive Oil
16 (5 1/2 inch round) corn tortillas Directions:
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté chili powder, garlic, and oregano about 1 minute. Add in mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes or until wilted. Take pan off of heat and stir in shrimp, onion, and cilantro. Let mixture cool. Mix in half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat grill or grill pan. Lightly coat one side of each tortilla with oil. Lay 8 tortillas, oiled side down on a flat surface. Top each with an equal amount of shrimp mixture. Lay avocados on top of shrimp. Sprinkle with remaining cheese then top with remaining tortillas, oiled side up. Place on grill or grill pan and cook about 3 minutes per side or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. Demon Barber Fried Meat Pies
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons bacon or salt pork drippings
2 pounds ground beef
8 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon each thyme and oregano
4 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons red wine
4 tablespoons flour
4 hard cooked eggs, chopped
2 (16-ounces each) cans beef broth
Pastry for four pie crusts
Oil for frying Directions:
Cook onion in bacon drippings until golden. Mix in beef and cook until browned. Mix in garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red wine. Add flour and broth and cook 10 minutes. Turn heat off, mix in egg, and let mixture cool. In a deep sauce pot or frying pan, preheat 3 inches of oil to 360 degrees F. Roll pie dough out into 12 (6-inch) circles. Spoon 3 tablespoons meat mixture onto one side of each circle. Fold dough over and seal with a fork. Fry pies in oil about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Serve warm. Ratatouille
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 medium eggplant (1 pound), cut into 1-inch dice
1 pound zucchini, sliced crosswise 1-inch thick
2 medium red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper Directions:
Sauté onion in a deep saucepot, in oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and cook 1 minute. Lower heat to low and add in tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place lid on pot and let simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf before serving. Serve warm. Baked Cherry, Raisin, and Brown Sugar Dumplings
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
12 cups fresh or frozen cherries
1 1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins
3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
12 refrigerated uncooked large flaky biscuits (from 16.3-ounce tube), room temperature
3 large eggs, lightly beaten Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If using fresh cherries, put cherries in a glass pie plate and microwave for 5 minutes or until tender, let cool. If using frozen, let defrost and drain. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Add 9 tablespoons of mixture into a pot with raisins and 9 tablespoons heavy cream. Heat over low heat until sugar is fully dissolved. In a bowl, whip remaining heavy cream and cinnamon-sugar until peaks are formed and refrigerate until ready to use. Roll out biscuits into 8-inch circles. Brush each with egg and top with cherries, forming a ring. Raise edges of biscuit slightly and spoon raisin mixture into middle of cherries. Pull sides up all the way and twist to seal tightly. Transfer dumplings to a baking sheet and brush with egg. Top with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 18 minutes and top with cinnamon whipped cream. Decadent Dark Chocolate Cake
Makes 12 servings Ingredients:
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
6 large eggs, separated
12 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch spring-form pan and then line with parchment paper and butter parchment. Combine chocolate and butter in a pot and heat over low heat until smooth. Take pot off of heat, let cool, stirring occasionally. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks with 6 tablespoons sugar, about 3 minutes, until very thick. Mix in chocolate mixture and vanilla. In a separate clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Slowly beat in remaining sugar, until medium-firm peaks form. Combine egg whites with chocolate mixture in three sections. Spoon batter into spring-form pan. Bake cake about 50 minutes. Top of cake will be puffy. Let cool. Remove sides of pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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