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Academy Awards Bash



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Academy Awards Bash

Celebrate!: Cookbook
Sheila Lukins with Peter Kaminsky
Copyright © 2003 by Sheila Lukins (Workman Publishing)

“There may be more dinner parties in America (and maybe the world) for the Academy Awards than for any other event. Gathered around the television,
you ooh at the beautiful and daring gowns (and of course trash the ones
that never should have made it off the sketchpad), ahh the gorgeous guys,
and argue the fine points of every nominee in every major category.
Like most TV-oriented gatherings, the food should be as manageable as
finger food or served in small bowls. For years, my tradition – in fact a
lot of people’s tradition – was to order in Chinese food. If you’d rather
order in, go right ahead, but then you’ll miss the oohs and ahhs these
Chinese-inspired recipes will elicit from your fans.”

Buffet for Eight

Starlet Summer Rolls with Sweet Chile Sauce
and Spiced Chile Sauce (recipes below)

Shrimp and Vegetable Fried Rice (recipe below)

Spicy Sesame Noodles (recipe below)

A Honey of a Spare Rib

Bali Chicken

Star Slaw

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy

Outrageous Brownie Sundaes
with Double Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream


“This is a meal meant to be eaten in from of the TV, so it’s organized as a
buffet. I started with some familiar Chinese restaurant dishes and added
the influences of Vietnam, Thailand, and Bali...
After this big feast and with all the awards excitement, a gooey sundae is
just the thing to accompany a lot of good gossip and gown-gazing.
Set out blur and white Asian bowls for your guests, with bright red lacquered chopsticks – and forks for those who prefer them. The serving dishes should
vary in size, shape and color. Look for half moons, small cups, fish shapes,
and deep bowls. Intermingle small Chinese figurines among the dishes. Buy
a batch of fortune cookies and fill a pretty little lacquer basket with them.
Create large flower arrangements of dark blue or purple irises. A blue-and-
white bowl filled with little hyacinths would also be beautiful. Once you
set it up, take it easy and enjoy the show: Only the nominees are supposed
to be nervous!"

The Music
Hooray for Hollywood
movie tune compilation

The Wine
Off-dry German Riesling
Côtes de Castillon


Starlet Summer Rolls

“First came the fried egg roll (heavy and kind of wintry in feel), then we got the spring roll (a thinner, lighter, but still fried version of the egg roll). Best known
in its Vietnamese incarnation, it is usually a refreshing mix of fresh herbs, pork
or shrimp, and shredded or julienned raw vegetables wrapped in a silky rice crepe and dipped in a spicy sauce. Here they are at their lightest – a filling of just vegetables and herbs – with two contrasting sauces, one spicy, one sweet. It’s
said you should be able to eat the whole thing in four comfortable bites.”

Makes 16

2 heads Boston lettuce
3 carrots, peeled
4 scallions, including 3 inches green
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
16 rice paper (spring roll) wrappers
8 1/2 inches in diameter
32 fresh mint leaves
32 small sprigs fresh cilantro
Sweet Chile Sauce (recipe follows)
Spiced Chile Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Discard any damaged outer leaves of the lettuce. Separate the remaining leaves, rinse them, and pat them dry. Tear out any tough center ribs in
the leaves and discard them. Set the lettuce aside.
2. Cut the carrots, scallions, and bell pepper into 4-inch-long matchstick pieces.
3. Dip a rice paper into a bowl of water for 5 seconds. Shake off the excess water and place it on a flat surface. (I like to work on a clean kitchen towel.) Stack a couple of lettuce leaves on the bottom third of the rice paper. Top
the lettuce with a few carrot, scallion, and bell pepper matchsticks, followed by 2 mint leaves and 2 cilantro sprigs.
4. Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the vegetables. Fold in the sides, and then roll it it. Repeat with the remaining rice paper, lettuce, vegetables
and herbs. Arrange the rolls on a serving platter. Keep the rolls covered with
a damp paper towel until serving time if you prepare them in advance (they will keep for about 2 hours). Serve the rolls with bowls of the dipping sauces.

Sweet Chile Sauce

“Forget about the bottled red stuff in the condiment aisle of the supermarket.
The inspiration here is the pungent, tangy, spicy, sweet, salty sauces of Thailand. Sauces are often considered the most important elements in the Thai dining experience, their varied layered flavors and hues weaving a flavor tapestry that
unites magnificently with fish, meat, and salads, While Thai food may be on the
hot side, the sauces cool the palate. This Sweet Chile Sauce is similar to the ubiquitous sweet dipping sauce sold in markets all over Thailand.”

Makes about 1 cup

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 sup sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Chinese plum sauce
1 tablespoon freshly minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh red
serrano chile with seeds, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with
1 teaspoon cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a small heavy saucepan. Bring the mixture to
a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring constantly, to blend the flavors, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat
and cool to room temperature. Puree the mixture in a food processor until nearly smooth. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Spiced Chile Sauce

Makes 1 cup

“Well spiced but not overwhelming, this sauce has just the right amount of bite to excite the palate. Jalapeños are not terribly hot, so if you wish to turn up the fire, seek out a hotter chile. [The Major can tell you a lot about heat as well.] Lime and vinegar brighten the tastes, and fresh mint – which often accompanies chiles in Southeast Asian cuisine – pulls out all the flavor in Starlet Summer Rolls.”

1/4 cup finely diced shallots
1 ripe plum tomato, seeded and cut into 1/8-inch dice
1 to 2 teaspoons minced red or green jalapeño chile, seeds
removed according to desired hotness
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and serve within 2 to 3
hours. For the freshest taste, serve within 1 hour.


Shrimp and Vegetable Fried Rice

“Fried rice can be a mundane dish, but not here. I like it lavish, so I’ve loaded up
on the vegetables and added plenty of small shrimp. The only ting missing from
the standard take-out fried rice is the quick scrambled egg that’s usually whisked
n at the end – but I don’t think you’ll miss it. Serve this hot on a platter, so you
can see the puffs of steam rising off the rice.”

1 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons corn oil
1 cup slivered onions
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 green cabbage, cored and coarsely
chopped (1-inch pieces)
2 1/2 cups cooked white rice
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup dry Sherry
1/4 cup basic chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
12 ounces small shrimp, cooked*
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, including 3 inches green,
thinly sliced on the diagonal

* How to Cook Shrimp
Peel and devein the shrimp and then rinse them under cold water. Drain well.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the shrimp until they are pink all over and
just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on size. Drain and use as directed.

1. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the carrots and cook until just tender, 1 1/2 minutes. Using a
slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a colander to drain, then pat
dry and transfer them to a bowl.
2. Add the bell pepper to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 1 minute. Transfer the pepper to the colander to drain, then pat dry
and add to the carrots.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat. Add the
onions, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until the onion softens,
5 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until softened, 10
minutes more.
4. Stir in the rice, soy sauce, Sherry, and broth. Cook, stirring constantly
to combine, 3 minutes. Then add the peas, shrimp, corn, and the
carrots and peppers and cook for 1 minute more.
5. Fold in the cilantro, using a fork to keep the rice fluffy. Transfer the mixture to a platter and serve immediately, garnished with the scallions.


Spicy Sesame Noodles

“Sesame Noodles are meant to be slurped up! They are prepared here
with more sauce than is traditional because the wetter they are, the
easier to slurp. The vegetables add a nice crunch.”

1 1/2 pounds dried linguine
3 cups Hot-Stuff Dunk (recipe follows)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into
3-inch-long matchstick pieces
1 hothouse (seedless) cucumber, unpeeled,
halved lengthwise, center scooped out, and
cut into 3-inch-long pieces
8 scallions, including 3 inches green, cut
into 3-inch-long matchstick pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the
linguine and cook until cooked through, but still firm to the bite,
about 11 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.
2. Add the Hot-Stuff Dunk to the bowl and toss well.
3. Place the noodles in a large shallow serving bowl. Arrange the
carrots, cucumber, and scallions decoratively in little piles around
the rim of the dish. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

Hot-Stuff Dunk

“Garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, the holy trinity of Asian flavors,
are spiced up with a little peppery heat in this dipping sauce –
strong tastes in perfect balance, a very Zen combination.”

Makes 1 3/4 cups

1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter,
at room temperature
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chili oil

1. Place the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt, ginger, garlic, and 6 table-
spoons water in a blender or food processor. Process on high speed
until the ginger and garlic are puréed, about 1 minute. Add the
peanut butter and process for 1 minute longer.
2. Combine the oils in a small pitcher. With the blender running, drizzle
the oils into the sauce. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to
2 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Academy Awards Bash continues...

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Pancakes with Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Grilled Lemon Chicken with Satay Dip
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Jicama And Green Papaya Summer Rolls
Nigella's Noodles with Scallions, Shiitake
Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Noodles, Cold, with Sesame Sauce (Mark Bittman)
Om Fried Rice (The Major)
Pork Dumplings with Soy-Ginger Sauce
Shrimp Dumplings (Dim Sum)
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Warm Shellfish and Asian Vegetables
with Spicy Ginger-Lime Dressing

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