A Star-Worthy Spread

The Academy Awards: an evening of glamor where the “who’s who” of Hollywood gather to honor the year’s most celebrated films. For a hostess, it is the perfect excuse to throw a party – but this couldn’t be just any part, it had to be in true Hollywood form: red carpet entrance, formal attire, and of course classy hors d’oeuvres.  For this post, I though I would share three of the dishes featured in the extensive spread: Coconut-Crusted Chicken Tenders, “Eggstremely Good” Deviled Eggs, and Fiery Jalapeño-Bacon Bites.
It’s worth mentioning that I created appetizers to pair with each of the various film nominees. These chicken tenders, for example, were grouped with The Descendants: a film starring George Clooney that takes place in Hawaii. Though simple in concept, the flavor of these was extraordinary (and a wonderful twist on the standard breaded variety). They can be served with any dipping sauce, though sweet chili sauce works quite beautifully – click HERE to see how to make these tasty chicken tenders! 
I think deviled eggs have received a bad rep as the appetizers found at any and every gathering, devoid of flavor and character. In reality, they provide the perfect canvas for creativity: wasabi, curry, even smoked salmon are all flavors to try! On top of that, they are great for large parties (budget-friendly!) and such an elegant addition to any affair. I paired these with the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (as their title suggests).
While deviled eggs are a classic, a solid foundation is vital to their success which, of course, starts with boiling. Too often are we plagued by hard-boiled eggs with gray, chalky yolks. Yet there is a trick to guarantee a perfectly cooked center every time – removing the eggs from the heat once the water reaches a boil. I was apprehensive of this method at first glance, though it is utterly foolproof. Click HERE to see the recipe for these “eggstremely good” bites!
These aren’t just spicy…they are downright addictive. Who would have thought the simple trio of jalapeño, cream cheese and bacon could have so much moxie? Warning: you will NOT want to stop eating these once you’ve started…a fate many of my guests fell victim to. I paired these with the film Girl with a Dragon Tattoo given their dangerous, “fiery” appeal. I guarantee these WILL be the star at your next event – click HERE to see how to make these addictive bites.
Movies are an addictive diversion: the excitement, the passion, the humor – it compels us to buy tickets or press play time and time again. With that in mind, I wanted a piece that truly captured the energy of the “movie magic”; a piece that pulls you in, and has a palpable, compelling story. Funnily enough, I was only recently introduced to this work, yet it is the ideal match: Poulenc’s Sonata for Violin and Piano. Composed during the German occupation of Paris, the piece is replete with passionate energy. It is dedicated to Federico García Lorca – a Spanish poet assassinated during the Spanish Civil War. The first and third movements are driven by a dark, potent energy that bring listeners to the edge of their seats, while the second evokes a deeper emotion for which we have no words (though Lorca does, with Poulenc attaching the following quote by the poet to said movement: “The guitar makes dreams weep”). The following recording is with violinist Josef Suk – enjoy!


Sources Cited:
Program Notes – WPAS: Itzhak Perlman, violin and Rohan DeSilva, piano,” Strathmore.org

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