Looking to get in the Oscar spirit this Sunday? David Venable, host of QVC’s popular cooking and dining show, In The Kitchen With David, offers themed recipes that are sure to win a nod of approval from your guests. Channel your inner southern pride with The Help inspired Down Home Southern Fried Chicken or experience Midnight in Paris with a savory French Onion Soup Meat Loaf with Mashed Potato Topping. Not so hungry? Test out David’s delicious Loaded Frozen Piña Colada in honor of The Descendents. No matter who you’re rooting for, David Venable’s recipes will make sure your Oscar celebration is a hit!
BAKED BRIE WITH RASPBERRY JAM, ALMONDS AND CRANBERRIES – Dine like a star off the red carpet. This easy to prepare appetizer will make you famous at your Oscar party. Any greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet can be used. To make this appetizer look even more impressive, use the leftover scraps of puff pastry to decorate the brie and cut-out shapes like leaves, flowers, or letters, brush them with the egg wash, and delicately place them on top before baking.
1 (10-inch x 10-inch) piece frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 (8-oz) wheel Brie cheese, rind in-tact
2 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries, softened in hot water, drained, and patted dry
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
Crackers (optional, for serving)
Sliced baguette (optional, for serving)
Sliced apples (optional, for serving)
Grapes (optional, for serving)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then set aside.
Slice the Brie in half (like a bagel) so you have two circles. Place the puff pastry on a greased- or parchment-paper-lined cookie sheet. Spoon out 1 Tbsp of the raspberry jam and drop it in the middle of the puff pastry. Spread the jam into a circle approximately the size of the Brie.
Place one half of the Brie, rind-side-down, on the jam. Spread 1 Tbsp of jam over the Brie then sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top. Place the second half of the Brie, rind-side-up on top, and spread with the remaining raspberry jam. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash then fold up the edges to cover the cheese. Trim any excess pastry and press to seal.
Flip the covered Brie over and brush the other side with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Serve with crackers, baguette, apples, or grapes.
CHICKEN OSCAR – With the exception of the hollandaise sauce, the entire dish can be prepared a day ahead. As long as you add the butter very, very slowly, the ingredients won’t separate, nor will the eggs scramble. Instead, the sauce will be smooth and creamy.
For the Dish:
4 (5-oz or 6-oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 oz jumbo lump crabmeat
16 spears of asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup butter
To prepare the asparagus, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the asparagus and boil until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
To prepare the chicken, first mix the flour, salt, and pepper on a medium-sized plate and set aside. Lay the breasts in-between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound the chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture and coat completely; pat off any excess. Heat the oil in a medium, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken breasts on both sides until browned and firm, about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the chicken (and keep warm until ready to serve), then add the onion to skillet and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes. Sauté until most of the moisture has evaporated, then season with salt and pepper. Decrease the heat to low and add the crab meat; toss gently, just until hot.
To prepare the hollandaise, put the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, mustard, and cayenne in a blender; set aside. Heat the butter in a small pan until bubbly; be careful not to burn. Cover the blender, pulse well to combine, and continue pulsing while very slowly pouring the melted butter into the blender. Stop pulsing when the mixture has thickened.
To serve, set one chicken breast on each plate and arrange four asparagus spears on top. Spoon the crab mixture over the asparagus and drizzle with hollandaise.
Down Home Southern Fried Chicken (The Help)
1-3/4 lbs. chicken, cut up into 6 parts
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. marjoram
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. pepper
Add the ingredients for the buttermilk brine to the 21-cup Lock & Lock container and mix. Incorporate the chicken pieces into the brine and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Just before using, pour the chicken into a colander and allow the excess buttermilk to drain.
Fill a very large pot 4 — 6 inches deep with oil and preheat to 350°F.
Combine the dry ingredients for the flour mixture in the 14.38-cup Lock & Lock container. One-by-one, add the chicken pieces and thoroughly coat with flour on all sides. Shake the excess flour off each piece of chicken and drop the chicken into the hot oil, piece-by-piece.
Note: the oil-temperature will drop as you add the chicken. Thus, turn the burner to high to maintain a temperature of 350°F as the chicken cooks. Make sure each piece cooks for 12 — 18 minutes until golden brown and a meat thermometer reads at least 160°F at the bone.
Remove the chicken and place on a rack to drain and season immediately with salt. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then serve.
French Onion Soup Meat Loaf with Mashed Potato Topping (Midnight in Paris) – This is the perfect comfort food recipe that will give your guests that “at home” feeling while remaining a classic.
2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped onions
2 slices of bread, crumbled
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 package dry onion soup mix
Salt and pepper to taste
2-1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Mix all the ingredients except the potatoes and cheese. Shape into a loaf. Bake for 1-1/2 hours at 350ºF. During the last 20 minutes, spread potatoes over the meat loaf and top with grated Gruyere cheese.
Loaded Frozen Piña Colada (The Descendents) – Cut different types of fruit up and add to your drink for instant Tropic color that your guests will enjoy.
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
Splash of maraschino cherry syrup
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup coconut rum
1/4 cup white sugar
7 cups of ice
Orange slices, to garnish
Pineapple wedges, to garnish
Maraschino cherries with stems, to garnish
In a blender or frozen drink maker, add the coconut milk, pineapple juice, heavy cream, maraschino cherry syrup, both rums, sugar, and ice. Blend well until drink becomes smooth yet slushy in consistency. Pour mixture into goblet or daiquiri glasses. Garnish the rims of each glass with an orange slice and wedge of pineapple. Place a maraschino cherry on top of the finished piña colada, and serve.