I attempted for weeks to plan a menu based on either one of the Best Picture nominees or a combination of all of them. I wasn't happy with any of my ideas. So I decided to just go Ultra Elegant like the Oscars of long ago used to be.
Here's a few pics of the menu and table:
Let's start with our Red Carpet Arrival: Seared Bay Scallops drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and lemon zest
Dry bay scallops with a paper towel. Heat 1 t. olive oil in small skillet over medium high heat. Place scallops into skillet and let cook for about 1 minute until deep golden. Turn over gently and cook for about 30 seconds more. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and top with freshly grated lemon zest. Voila!
Coming Attractions: Lobster Salad over Mixed Greens
1 cup cooked lobster (I steamed two lobster tails for about 7 minutes and then removed meat from shells very carefully to keep it in large pieces)
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/3 cup mayonniase, or to moisten
1/4 t. salt
dash of pepper
mixed salad greens
Sprinkle lobster meat with lemon juice. Add celery, salt & pepper. Stir in mayonnaise, chill thoroughly. Arrange lobster salad on top of mixed greens.
adapted from http://www.southernfood.about.com/
On to The Main Event: Steak Oscar - filet mignon topped with bernaise sauce, crab and asparagus
Here's Ina Garten's version:
Season the steaks liberally with salt and coarsely ground black pepper on both sides. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat until it's almost smoking, then sear the steaks on each side for 1 minute. Lower the heat to low and cook the steaks for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Serve with the bernaise sauce on the side or on top or under......
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good white wine2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
3 extra-large egg yolks*
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
For the sauce, put the vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons. Cool slightly.
Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With blender on, slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in the lid. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves and blend only for a second. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of white wine to thin. Keep at room temperature until serving.
Supporting Characters: Understudy Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
For the potatoes, I cubed 10 red new potatoes. Tossed them with granulated garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and put in a preheated toaster oven for about 15 minutes on 400 degrees. Sprinkled 1 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary over the hot potatoes just before serving.
Trailers: Silky Chocolate Truffle Pie
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place chocolate squares in a large microwaveable bowl. Add cream. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool slightly.
Add eggs, sugar and flour. Beat with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour into lightly greased 9 inch pic plate.
Bake 35 minutes or until outer half of pie is puffed and center is sightly soft. Cool. Top each slice with grated chocolate, whipped cream or fruit. Or a combination!
adapted from http://www.allrecipes.com/
The Ultimate Accolade
1/3 ounce orange juice
top with your favorite champagne or sparkling wine
We had fun with this menu. Let me assure you, we don't have filet mignon and/or lobster every day. Not that there's anything wrong with that!