Along with Callie, her annual Oscar party made the move to Dallas this year. And with the promise of a free ticket and the chance of winning a Tom Ford swag bag of goodies, I showed up to help her throw it all together. In a show of support, my Mom sent up a batch of the Oscar cookies she’s been perfecting over the years to serve as favors for all of Callie’s lucky guests.
For the menu, we decided on heavy appetizers so that everyone could graze during the commercials and the awards for sound mixing and foreign animated short films. Not having a Nit Noi or a Rice Epicurean nearby, we found new places to pick up spring rolls and chicken tenders. And then we spent the better part of the morning picking up everything else we needed from Central Market. Thank God there’s one of those in Dallas.
For my part, I made a caramelized onion dip that turned out really good (even if it did take two hours to make) and a couple of different kinds of crostini. The onion dip was adapted from a recipe I found on Food52. It sounds like a ton of onions, but they cook down significantly while they’re caramelizing. The original recipe had you put everything in a food processor to blend together, but I thought it would look better with at least some of the caramelized onions kept whole. I added a few cloves of garlic as well for extra flavor.
Caramelized Onion Dip (Adapted from Food 52)
5 lb. yellow onions, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces sour cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 bunch chives, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper
Melt butter and olive oil together in a large dutch oven. Add in the onions and saute on medium-low heat until they caramelize and turn a rich, dark brown. This takes about an hour and a half, so just leave it on the stove and stir occasionally, scraping up any brown bits that develop on the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic cloves towards the last few minutes of cooking and saute for another minute or so. Allow to cool, and blend half of the onion mixture in a small food processor with the remainder of the ingredients. Stir in the other half of the onions with a spoon and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. Season to taste and top with some extra chopped chives and fresh black pepper. Great with your favorite potato chips.
I also made a couple different kinds of crostini. The first was based on an Ina Garten recipe for herbed ricotta. I added some fresh chopped basil, lemon zest and juice and a little olive oil to the mix, and they were great.
I think the second batch was my favorite though. I had seen this recipe for minted pea dip on Dinner a Love Story and had been waiting for a good occasion to test it out. So, so easy, and really good. You just throw everything in the food processor and you’re done. We topped ours with some toasted pine nuts for texture and color. Pretty though with or without them.
For desert, Callie made these awesome cupcakes that looked like little boxes of popcorn. She bought the little cups and then made vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from a store-bought mix. Once they finished baking, she coated the top of each with some honey, and covered them with marshmallows. Under the broiler for a few minutes, and voila! Popcorn cupcakes. They were so cute!
It was a really fun party. Excited for next year!!!