PELHAM, N.Y. -- Having folks over for Oscar night but not sure what to feature? Pelham caterer and event planner Nisa Lee offers the following ideas for a culinary tasting themed to some of the Best Picture nominations.
"Birdman": This New York-centric film which takes place in the fishbowl that is Times Square and Broadway calls for cocktails such as the Manhattan, Cosmopolitan, or South Side. Consider Carnegie deli signature sandwiches (pastrami on rye, potato pancake with apple fig chutney, lox and bagel bites) or anything Wolfgang Puck since he's known for catering to the stars. Ideas include Canadian bacon crab cakes, fresh mozzarella and beef steak tomatoes or pommes frittes with chipotle mayo.
"Selma": Go back to the 60’s with festive cocktails like Limoncello Collins or Pisco Sour. Put out crispy baked chicken cutlet and biscuits (or grilled veggies with Gruyere cheese and biscuits for the vegetarian eaters in the crowd) or go fondue. "Everyone loves dipping cheese with meats, vegetables, breads, and so much more," she said. Another idea? Go retro with “Swanson’s" dinner plates -- offering small tastings of various varieties of meats, grains, and vegetables for guests to help themselves.
"The Theory of Everything": The setting again is the 60s, though this time it's Cambridge, England. Consider drinks like Pimm’s, Mint Julep, or Dark and Stormy, prime rib tea sandwiches, mini Yorkshire puddings or fish and chips.
You can also make it easy for yourself with a "Grab and Go" help-yourself snack table featuring homemade popcorn with chopped apple smoke bacon sprinkle (in lieu of salt), a three layer dip topped with corn tortilla chips (for gluten free lovers) and Caesar in a glass.
Something else fun and simple: Putting items in Chinese take-out containers for folks to grab and head to the TV with. Ideas include homemade mixed nuts, hamburgers, pasta dishes (small penne pasta with vodka sauce, macaroni and cheese, farefalle pasta with salmon and chopped broccoli rabe), and quinoa with roasted vegetables.
"Pretty much anything that is your own signature creation can be placed in a take outbox for everyone to enjoy," said Lee.
After all, you want to watch, too. Go to www.nisalee.com/ for more ideas.
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