Southern Oscar Menu
Sunday is the big day: The 85th annual Academy Awards. And while popping up a batch of popcorn to snack on while watching the event would suffice, why not go a bit further and cook up a themed Oscars menu? With this year’s nominated films, from “Beasts of the Southern Wild” to “Lincoln,” having plenty of Southern ties, recipe ideas are plentiful. We searched the web and our own recipes for themed dishes and created a custom menu that’s perfect for celebrating the South’s appearance on the red carpet and stars like Quvenzhané Wallis’s big debut. The awards officially air at 7 EST, but pre-shows start at 4 p.m., so there will be plenty of stars to see while prepping and cooking in the kitchen.
Cranberry Apple Sparkler from Deep South
Climate in the state of Virginia, where “Lincoln” was filmed, is ideal for growing apples and an average of 5-6 million bushels are produced each year. Apples are also one of former Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s favorite foods, so this cocktail is a great way to kick off Oscar night.
Polynesian Pearl Diver from Beany Malone
Leonardo DiCaprio orders one of these from Candyland plantation’s resident bartender in “Django Unchained.” While it’s been debated that this cocktail wouldn’t have existed during the time period of the movie, we think Director Quentin Tarantino would advise using your imagination and whipping one up.
Crabby Snacks from Lindsey’s Luscious
In honor of “Best Actress” nominee Jennifer Lawrence’s Nashville roots, we decided to slip in a recipe from “Silver Linings Playbook.” In the film, Bradley Cooper’s mom serves “crabbies” as a gameday snack. Toasted English muffins with a crab and cheese spread mixture, they sound like the Philly version of pimento cheese.
Emeril’s Oyster Artichoke Soup from Deep South
President Abraham Lincoln is said to have also loved oysters and thrown parties at his house where nothing but the bivalves were served. We think he’d enjoy this creamy soup from New Orleans Chef Emeril Lagasse.
Chicken Breasts of the Southern Wild from Bon Appetit
In “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” we see Hush Puppy’s daddy cooking up whole chickens on his outdoor grill for her to eat. Bon Appetit has a fried version that cuts out some of the fat by using skinless, boneless breasts.
Boiled Shrimp from Louisiana Seafood
After the storm, the residents of “The Bathtub” in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” hold a big shrimp and crab boil. This would be an easy way to feed a crowd of Oscar night guests and salute the film.
Hush Puppies from Southern Living
This year’s Oscar meal wouldn’t be complete without the namesake of “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” also nominated for “Best Actress.”
Braised Turnip Greens with Ham Dashi and Polenta from Deep South
As Atlanta Chef Todd Richards explained in The Real Roots of Southern Cuisine, slaves like those depicted in “Django Unchained” relied on preservation methods like using meat and salt to preserve their greens. This also added flavor, something this recipe has plenty of.
Homemade Biscuits from Deep South
Butler Stephen, played by Samuel L. Jackson in “Django Unchained,” makes a mention of biscuits during the group’s ill-fated meal at Candyland.
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake from The Washington Post
In addition to oysters, Lincoln enjoyed a good slice of cake. This recipe allegedly comes from his wife, Mary Todd, and uses egg whites for what’s described as a classic layer cake with vanilla and almond notes.
See the full list of Oscar nominees here.