It’s almost Oscars time. If you’re planning a watch party for the 2015 Academy Awards, you can do much better than popcorn.
Instead, try some recipes inspired by a few of this year’s nominated films.
- RELATED: The “I Spy” Oscars game, Feb. 12, 2015
Better yet, show off your creative Oscars watch party food and drinks by posting photos in the comments.
Oscar nominations: supporting actress (Meryl Streep), costume design, production design
This fairy-tale movie includes numerous beloved characters. The catalysts for the film’s plot are the baker and his wife, so here’s a bread recipe.
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1 cup snipped dates
- 1 cup candied cherries, halved
- ⅔ cup chocolate chips
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Grease a loaf pan and line it with wax paper.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the fruit, nuts and chocolate chips. Stir well so the sticky cherries are separated and flour-coated.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well and gradually add the sugar.
- Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
- Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for 1½ hours.
Note: This bread stores well.
Oscar nominations: picture, original song
Since the movie is based in Alabama, here is a recipe inspired by Southern cuisine.
- 1 bunch of collard greens
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 ham hock
- 1 pint water
- 1 pint chicken stock
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 3 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1½ quarts cornbread batter (thin with buttermilk)
- Remove stems from collard greens and wash greens thoroughly, approximately four times. Cut greens into ½-inch strips.
- Place onion and ham hock in a large pot with water and chicken stock. Cook 1½ hours or until tender. Add more water if needed. Remove ham hock and let cool.
- Add greens to liquid and cook approximately 45 minutes, or until tender.
- Add crushed red pepper, white vinegar, sugar, salt and black pepper.
- Remove meat from the ham bone; chop meat into large pieces.
- Place cooked greens into a cast-iron skillet or rectangular baking dish.
- Sprinkle diced ham hock, 1 cup diced onions and tomatoes on top of collard greens.
- Pour a thin layer of cornbread batter over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until bread topping is golden brown.
- Serve with grilled okra, chow chow and hot sauce.
Oscar nominations: actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), supporting actress (Keira Knightley), picture, director (Morten Tyldum), film editing, original score (Alexandre Desplat), production design, adapted screenplay
In this movie, Alan Turing (Cumberbatch) uses an apple to try to build camaraderie with his co-workers.
- 4 medium-sized McIntosh apples
- ½ cup white sugar mixed with 1 t. cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- 1½ cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Make the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Make the sauce. Combine brown sugar, water and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter.
- Make the pastry. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks crumbly. Add milk and toss together lightly with a fork until the mixture holds together. Roll out the dough into a 10-inch by 10-inch square. Cut into four squares.
- Peel and core the apples, leaving them whole. Place an apple on each pastry square and fill with a couple of tablespoons of the dry sugar and cinnamon mixture.
- Bring the corners of the pastry up around the apples to cover each completely. Place dumplings in a greased baking dish. Cover with sauce. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally. Serve warm.
In one of the later scenes of this movie, which was filmed over 12 years, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) talks with his girlfriend about life and the future over a late-night snack of queso and chips.
- 4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
- 1½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 6 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup minced white onion (about 1 small onion)
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles, juices reserved
- tortilla chips, for serving
- Place cheeses in a large bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat. Transfer cheese mixture to a large saucepan and add milk. Set over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is smooth and melted, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir in onion and chiles with reserved juices until well combined. To serve, transfer dip to a slow cooker set on low or keep in the saucepan at a simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla chips.
Pastries are a key component to this quirky movie based at a hotel in Europe. Fortunately, the movie’s team released a recipe similar to the one used in the movie for Agatha’s treats.
- 1 cup plain flour, sifted
- 1 cup fresh water
- ¼ pound (1 stick) butter
- 4 eggs beaten in a bowl
- A pinch of salt
- A larger pinch of sugar
- 1½ cups whole milk
- Several large pieces semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 spoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Cornstarch to thicken
- Make a choux pastry. Bring the water, butter, salt and sugar to a boil. Remove from the fire and quickly mix in the sifted flour. Return to heat for a few minutes, stirring, and cook until the dough forms a single lump. Allow to cool just enough to keep the eggs from cooking, then stir in eggs very gradually with a strong wooden spoon.
- Cover your tray in parchment and pipe the dough into spoon-size dollops. You will need small, medium and large pastry balls (large tablespoon, teaspoon and hazelnut-size dollops) to make a courtesan. Bake in the oven at 350 for 25 to 35 minutes. The smaller pastries are best put on a separate tray as they will cook more quickly.
- Remove from the oven and make a small piercing in the choux to allow the steam to escape. Cool.
- Heat the milk gently and add chocolate, stirring to melt into a rich, almost steaming chocolate milk. Whisk egg yolks, flour, sugar, cocoa and a few spoons of cornstarch into a smooth mixture. Add half of the hot chocolate milk to the bowl, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Then add this mixture back into the rest of the hot milk, stirring over gentle heat for a few minutes until the mixture thickens to a custard. Remove from heat and chill.
- Spoon the chocolate crème into a pastry bag and pipe into the large and medium pastry balls.
- Prepare sugar icing of confectioners’ sugar, a dash of vanilla and enough milk to achieve the desired consistency. Separate into three small bowls and add food coloring to each — one pink, one lavender, one pale green. Reserve a small amount of white icing.
- To assemble a Courtesan, dip a large ball of filled pastry in the pink icing (to the midline) and place icing side up on a small tray. Repeat with a medium pastry into the lavender icing, and place it, iced side up, atop the first ball. Press it gently so it sticks in place. Repeat with the smallest pastry in the green icing. Decorate with filigree of white icing as desired. Place a cocoa bean atop the tower as a garnish.
- Serve fresh.
Enjoy, and happy Oscar watch party!