Five Oscar Party Appetizers (That Will Really Impress Your Guests)
Hosting an Emmy Awards viewing party this weekend? If you're anything like us, you'll be tuning in to see which of your favorite shows will take home the biggest prizes.
But no screening is any fun without some snacks. And since the Emmys are a classy affair, why not give your party the same treatment?
READ: Surprising Foods that Fight Fat
We turned to Chef Stephen Kalt of Caulfield's Bar & Dining Room at the Thompson Beverly Hills for some of the fanciest (yet easy to make) appetizers around.
So save the chips and salsa for next time and give these a go.
(Note: For the avocado tempura and the truffle rice balls, you will need either a portable tabletop fryer or a heavy bottom 1.5-2 gallon capacity soup pot with a cooking thermometer that can be attached to the side of the pot. Have a “spider” or other sieve with a handle ready to add and/ or remove fry items, along with platters and paper towels to soak up any extra oil. When you are half an hour before the time you’d like to begin serving, pour 2 quarts of canola oil into your fryer or heavy soup pot with thermometer attached and heat to 350 degrees. If you are using the soup pot and thermometer, pay attention to the temperature as you may have to raise or lower the flame from time to time.) Place a paper towel on a platter on the side.
Avocado Tempura with Soy, Miso and Lime
4 medium size ripe Haas avocados
Sea salt or kosher salt
For the batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn starch
1 large bottle sparkling water or seltzer
Add the flour and corn starch to a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on medium and begin slowly adding the sparkling water. Stop at half a bottle. The batter will be thick at first and slowly thin as you add more water. You are looking for a relatively thin batter, considerably thinner than pancake batter. Continue adding sparkling water until you get the consistency described above.
For the dipping sauce:
4 ounces white miso
4 ounces fresh lime juice (6-8 fresh limes, strained)
4 ounces dark soy sauce
Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk until completely incorporated.
For the avocados:
Hold the avocado on a cutting board. Hold the avocado still and, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into the avocado lengthwise. Cut to the pit and then cut around the whole length of the avocado. Pick up the cut avocado and “unscrew” the top half from the bottom half. Hold the side with the pit in your weak hand and smack the pit with the sharp end of the knife so it is embedded in the pit. “Unscrew” the pit and discard. Repeat with all of the avocado. Hold the cut halved and pitted avocado until ready to fry. When ready, cut the halves into thirds lengthwise and gently peel away the rough skin.
Place half of the avocado slices into the tempura batter. Piece by piece, place the dipped slices into the hot fryer. They should be a light golden brown in 60-90 seconds. Remove carefully with a spider or slotted spoon and place on a platter with paper towels. Season with salt. Repeat with remaining avocado slices. Serve with bowls of the miso marinade.
Black Truffle Sicilian Rice Balls
2 cups carnarolo or vialone nano risotto rice
4 cups water
1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 oz. virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup grated gruyere, fontina, or other mild meltable white cheese
2 Tbsp. black truffle oil
2 ounces fresh Summer truffles, finely chopped
4 whole eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups plain bread crumbs
Have a platter ready nearby. Heat the water in a small sauce pot. Warm a casserole or soup pot over a medium flame for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and butter and wait until the butter melts. Add the chopped onions and the salt and sauté until the onions are softened, about 8 minutes. Keep the flame low so the onions don’t brown. Add the rice to the sautéed onions and stir, coating completely with the oil, butter and salt mixture. Add the white wine and stir. When the rice reduces to almost dry, add the water. Stir every 2-3 minutes and allow the rice to cook and soak up the water around it. The rice should take about 20 minutes to cook and be "just to the tooth," or not too soft. When the rice is done, pour it onto a platter and allow it to cool. Place the platter with the cooked rice in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Beat the eggs in one container. Place the flour and the bread crumbs in two other containers. When the rice has cooled, remove the platter from the fridge and scrape the cooled rice into a mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese, the black truffle oil, and the chopped truffles to the chilled rice and incorporate well. With a small ice cream scoop or spoon, make 24 equal rice balls. Roll the rice balls in your hands and place them down. When they are all rolled, place them one at a time first in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Set them aside once they are breaded.
Place the rice balls gently into the hot oil in batches, probably 8 at a time. They will take approximately 3-4 minutes total. Remove with a sieve or slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Serve warm.
Shrimp and Dill Toast
1 lb. fresh 16/20 shrimp in the shell, or similar size
1 ounce chopped fresh dill
1 ounce chopped fresh chive or scallion
3 oz. crème fraiche
1 oz. mayonnaise
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 thin French baguette
For the cooking liquid:
2 quarts water
½ cup white wine
2 Tbsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. fennel seed, optional
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 24 slices of the baguette 1/3 inch thick. Place the sliced baguette on a cookie sheet and place in the heated oven. Cook to just golden brown, about 3-4 minutes and remove from the oven. Fill a large bowl with ice. Bring the water, wine, salt, bay leaf, onion, fennel seed, and garlic mixture to a rolling boil. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Strain the shrimp and place them in the ice. Add a bit of water until the shrimp are submerged. Allow the shrimp to cool in the ice water for 5 minutes. Remove the shrimp and peel them. Slice the cooked and peeled shrimp crosswise about ¼ inch thick. Place the cut shrimp in a bowl and add the crème fraiche, mayonnaise, chopped fresh dill, chopped chive, salt, and freshly ground pepper. When ready to serve, spoon the shrimp mixture onto the toasted baguettes.
Tuna Poke with Seaweed Wraps
2 lbs. high quality sushi grade tuna
1 ounce dark soy sauce
1 ounce dark sesame oil
1 ounce canola oil
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. fresh grated wasabi or mixed wasabi paste
2 oz. mixed fresh chopped chive and Thai basil (or basil)
24 sheets nori (pressed seaweed)
Slice the tuna into 1/3 inch pieces and cut the slices into approximately 1/3 inch strips. Then cut the strips into approximately 1/3 inch cubes. Place the diced tuna into a large bowl and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, toss the diced tuna with all of the above ingredients. Serve the poke in an attractive with a pile of the nori sheets and a spoon so guests can make their own hand rolls.
Smoked Trout Toast
1 ½ lbs. smoked trout
¼ cup equal parts chopped fresh chive, tarragon, flat leaf parsley
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced, cut into thin strips (julienne)
2 ounces grainy mustard
2 ounces mayonnaise
One thin French baguette
½ cup micro greens, optional
2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled, chopped
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut 24 slices of the baguette 1/3 inch thick. Place the sliced baguette on a cookie sheet and place in the heated oven. Cook the toast until just golden brown, about 3-4 minutes and remove from the oven. Remove the skin from the trout if necessary and crumble into a mixing bowl. Crush the meat of the trout with a fork. Add the mustard, mayonnaise, chopped fresh herbs, 1 tsp. salt and some freshly ground pepper. Mix with the fork and incorporate all ingredients well. Spoon equal amounts of the trout mixture onto the 24 toasted baguette. Garnish the trout with the julienne radish, the chopped egg, and some of the micro greens of you have them.