Recipe: Aida Mollenkamp’s Perfect Oscar Party Treats

No Oscar party is complete without the perfect Oscar treats!

Chef Aida Mollenkamp has teamed up with Moet & Chandon for the perfect recipes for a fabulous French-themed Oscar party!

Pancetta, Thyme, and Fontina Gougeres

Makes: 32 cheese puffs /Total Time: 50 minutes/Hands-On Time: 15 minutes

4 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk or water

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs plus 1 yolk, at room temperature

3 ounces shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese

1 tablespoon thyme leaves, finely chopped (optional)

Heat oven to 375 degrees and arrange racks in the upper and lower third. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.

Place pancetta in a medium nonstick frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove pancetta to paper towel-lined plate and set aside to drain.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of the milk or water with the butter and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, dump in all the flour, and stir vigorously until flour is incorporated. Cook, stirring constantly, until dough comes together in a ball and feels dry to the touch, about 2 minutes.

Transfer dough to a food processor fitted with a blade or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Pulse or beat in five of the eggs, one by one, letting each egg completely incorporate before adding the next. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese then add pancetta, remaining cheese, and thyme; pulse or mix on low until thoroughly incorporated.

Drop tablespoon-size portions of dough on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them at least 1/2 inch apart. Whisk remaining egg yolk with the remaining 1 tablespoon milk and brush tops of cheese puffs then evenly sprinkle reserved Parmesan cheese over top.

Place in oven and bake, rotating halfway through, until puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. (Can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store, covered, at room temperature.)

Notes: Freeze the pancetta for 5 to 10 minutes to facilitate dicing. If you can’t find pancetta, use Canadian bacon or cooked ham instead (don’t crisp in the pan though).

*****

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Spears

Makes: About 30 bites

3 to 4 heads of Belgian Endive

1 pound roasted and peeled beets

1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

4 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

Trim off the bottom 1/2 inch of each Belgian endive head then separate into individual leaves (you want about 30 leaves total). Place in ice water until ready to use (can be done up to 1 day ahead).

Cut the beets into small dice then mix together with parsley, olive oil, vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Store refrigerated until ready to use.)

To serve, fill each endive leaf with 1 teaspoon of the beets, a sprinkling of goat cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil.

*****

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad Spears

Makes: About 30 bites

3 to 4 heads of Belgian Endive

1 pound ripe pears

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

4 ounces blue cheese

2/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts

Trim off the bottom 1/2 inch of each Belgian endive head then separate into individual leaves. Place in ice water until ready to use (can be done up to 1 day ahead).

Core the pear then cut into small dice. Mix pears together with olive oil, lemon, a pinch of salt, and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Store refrigerated until ready to use.)

To serve, fill each endive leaf with 1 teaspoon of the beets, a sprinkling of cheese and nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil.

*****

Mini Ham and Cheese Baguette Sandwiches

Makes: 16 mini sandwiches

2 (24-inch) sweet baguette*

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Kosher salt and Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced ham

4 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Slice the baguette crosswise at 3-inch intervals so you have about 16 mini baguettes. Slice each mini baguette in half lengthwise, cutting about three-quarters of the way through.

Evenly coat the cut sides of each mini baguette with butter and season with salt and pepper. Layer the ham and cheese on the bottom half of each mini baguette, close, secure with a toothpick to serve.

*Some stores and bakeries sell thin (about 1-inch wide) baguettes (sometimes called ficelle). If you can find them, they’re perfect for this recipe.

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And no Oscar party is complete without the perfect drink…

Moet Red Carpet Glamour Cocktail Recipe & Directions:

- Fill a chilled Champagne Flute 1/2 way with ice.

- Stir 1 ounce of Fresh Squeezed Sour Mix and 1 ounce of Hum Botanical Spirit with fresh ice.

- Strain into Flute to fill 1/2 way.

- Top with Moet & Chandon Imperial.

- Garnish with a Single Rose Petal.

- Continually refresh as you wish with Moet & Chandon Imperial as the Champagne will float on top of the Hum Sour, but its effervescence will deliver Hum’s heady cardamom & Kaffir lime notes.

- Fresh Squeezed Sour Mix Preparation: Make a syrup with 1.5 cups sugar and 1 cup hot water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Add 1 cup fresh lime juice and 1 cup fresh lemon juice and refrigerate. May be prepared the night before. Syrup may be substituted with 1 pint agave nectar.

For more Oscar party planning tips, visit Oscars.org. And tune in to the 84th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 26 on ABC.

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