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Oscar Party Menu from CT Bites

And the Oscar Goes to…

The Oscar’s are right around the corner, a night of glamour, drama and of course food.  This is the perfect night to glam up the house and invite friends over for a dinner worthy of a gold man.

Decorate the house with oversized shiny gold stars and old movie posters.  Rent rich red velvet tablecloths and bust out the good silverware.  This Oscar inspired menu will impress your friends and family and the best part?  Most of these recipes can be made in advance so you won’t miss a minute of the fun! Then call “The Butler” to help serve….Dallas’ Best Oysters Rockefeller, Omaha (Nebraska) Beef Wellington Nouveau, Zero Gravity Potato Gratin, Jumbo Asparagus with Blue Jasmine Vinaigrette, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Honey Gold Martini. 

Dallas’ Best Oysters Rockefeller

1 garlic clove

2 C. loosely packed fresh spinach

1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed

1/2 C. chopped green onions

3/4 C. (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 C. breadcrumbs

2 Tbs. Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur

1 tsp. fennel seeds, ground

1 tsp. hot pepper sauce

1 lb. rock salt

24 fresh oysters, shucked, shells reserved

1/4 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Finely chop garlic in processor. Add spinach, watercress and green onions to garlic. Process, using on/off turns, until mixture is finely chopped. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. 

Combine butter, breadcrumbs, Pernod, fennel and hot sauce in processor. Process until well blended. Return spinach mixture to processor. Process, using on/off turns, just until mixtures are blended. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.) 

Sprinkle rock salt over large baking sheet to depth of 1/2 inch. Arrange oysters in half shells atop rock salt. Top each oyster with 1 tablespoon spinach mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until spinach mixture browns on top, about 8 minutes. 

Omaha (Nebraska) Beef Wellington Nouveau

1 lb. beef tenderloin filet, well trimmed

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 lb. mushrooms (we used half cremini, half shiitake)

4 thin slices prosciutto

2 Tbsp. dijon mustard 

7 oz. DuFour puff pastry (needs 3 hours to defrost in refrigerator if using frozen)

2 egg yolks, beaten

1 Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a large pan on high heat. Season the filet generously with salt and pepper. Sear the fillet in the pan on all sides until well browned. Remove the filet from the pan and let cool. Once cooled, brush the fillet on all sides with mustard.

Chop the mushrooms and put them into a food processor and purée. Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Scrape the mushroom purée into the pan and let cook down, allowing the mushrooms to release their moisture. When the moisture released by the mushrooms has boiled away, set aside the mushrooms to cool.

Roll out a large piece of plastic wrap. Lay out the slices of ham on the plastic wrap so that they overlap. Spread the mushroom mixture over the ham. Place the beef fillet in the middle, roll the mushroom and ham over the fillet, using the plastic wrap so that you do this tightly. Wrap up the beef filet into a tight barrel shape, twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to secure. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry sheet to a size that will wrap around the beef filet. Center the filet on the pastry dough. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten eggs. Fold the pastry around the filet, cutting off any excess at the ends (pastry that is more than 2 layers thick will not cook all the way, try to limit the overlap). Place on a small plate, seam side down, and brush beaten egg yolks all over the top. Chill for 5-10 minutes.

Place the pastry-wrapped filet on a baking pan. Brush the exposed surface again with beaten eggs. Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, not going all the way through the pastry. Sprinkle the top with coarse salt. Bake for 25-35 minutes. The pastry should be nicely golden when done. (To ensure that your roast is medium rare, test with an instant read meat thermometer. Pull out at 125-130°F for medium rare.) Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Slice in 1-inch thick slices.

Zero Gravity Potato Gratin

5 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves
6 large Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 2½ lbs), peeled and sliced about ⅛”thick
2 C. half-and-half
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh nutmeg
1 C. grated Gruyère

Preheat oven to 400°. Rub the inside of an 8″ × 8″ baking dish with 1 tbsp. of the butter. Smash garlic with the side of a knife and sprinkle generously with salt. Chop and scrape the garlic into a mushy paste.

Combine garlic paste, potatoes, half-and-half, and remaining 4 tbsp. butter (cut into ½” pieces) in a pot; stir. Season with salt and pepper and taste the creamy liquid—it should be seasoned generously. Grate in a hint of nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. After 8–10 minutes the potatoes will be a little tender, and their starch will have thickened the liquid considerably.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish; smooth the top as much as possible. Cover the gratin with Gruyère and bake until deeply golden brown, about 20–30 minutes. Let gratin cool and set a little before serving.

Jumbo Asparagus with Blue Jasmine Vinaigrette

3/4 lb. fresh asparagus, woody stems removed
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Vinaigrette:
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbs. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 


Assorted edible flowers such as nasturtium

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss the asparagus in the olive oil, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Spread the stalks out on a baking sheet, in a single layer, and roast until tender but still firm and moist, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the mustard and lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking quickly to emulsify the olive oil into the juice mixture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Transfer the asparagus to a serving platter, toss with the vinaigrette and garnish with edible flowers before serving.  The dish may be eaten warm or cold.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Honey Gold Martini 

1 Tbs. lemon juice 

2 oz. vodka 

2 oz. water 

1 Tbs. golden honey 



Thinly sliced star fruit 

Edible gold leaf

Chill martini glasses. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake very well so the honey combines well. Strain into martini glasses. Garnish with sliced star fruit and a sprinkling of gold leaf.