PARTY TUTORIAL: OSCAR NIGHT

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of McCain Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s that time again, awards season has taken over Hollywood!  While we can’t all attend the star-studded events of the season, we can certainly partake in the festivities with a viewing party of our own!  This year, I’ve invited friends over to watch the Oscars together and celebrate in style.  Hollywood glam attire is obviously a must and while we may not be competing for Academy Awards with the film industry’s best on the big night, we will be having our own friendly competition amongst ourselves for a perfect prediction score.  Simply print out your own “Oscar Night Prediction Scoresheet” pages with a line for “Name:” and each “Category:” and have your guests fill them out before the show starts!  

No gathering is worth having or attending without some delicious eats on hand, and since modern-day musical La La Land is nominated for a handful of awards this year (and my blog is called Lost in Lala!), the film seemed the perfect fit to inspire my Oscar Night tablescape.  McCain’s products make the ideal bite-size bases for individual grab-and-go party favors and with their wide range of products, I was able to get creative with La La Land-inspired recipes!  Any foodie who has been to LA knows about Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and Phillipe's and/or Cole’s famous French Dip.  These iconic eats of Los Angeles are finger licking good but not so party-friendly so I decided to recreate them using McCain Craft Beer Battered Fries that I purchased to make individual servings that would satisfy guests without a big ol’ mess!

French-Fry Dip Au Jus

Ingredients

McCain Craft Beer Battered Potatoes - Thin Cut
1/2 tablespoon butter
Drizzle olive oil
1/2 sliced deli roast beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef broth

Prep:

Preheat oven to 425°F and place a baking sheet full of McCain Thin Cut Craft Beer Battered Potatoes into oven for ten minutes.  Shred roast beef into bite sizes bits/strips, small dice shallot and mince garlic while fries cook.  After ten minutes of cooking, toss fries and place back into oven for another 8-10 minutes.

Heat butter and oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add garlic and shallot and sauté for a few minutes until slightly softened and fragrant.  Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, pepper, beer and beef broth.  Stir to combine ingredients for a minute.  Add roast beef.  Bring mixture to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes.  Remove fries from oven and set aside.  Remove beef from jus with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Place fries into individual serving containers and top with beef bits.  Serve alongside bowl of jus for dipping et voila!  This French-Fry Dip is a delicious spin on the traditional favorite dish of Angelenos!

Chicken ’n’ Waffle-Fries

seasoned-waffle-fries.png

Ingredients:

McCain Seasoned Waffle Fries
2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle of black pepper
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
4 cups vegetable oil

Prep:

Cut chicken breasts into 1” cubes.  Mix buttermilk, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt in a bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Marinate chicken in spiced buttermilk mixture for minimum 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 425°F about a half hour before you start cooking the chicken.  While you wait for oven to heat, mix flour, baking powder and garlic powder together in a bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Toss chicken cubes in dry mixture until thoroughly coated and set aside. Once oven is heated, place McCain Seasoned Waffle Fries on a baking sheet and pop into oven for 10 minutes.  After ten minutes, toss fries about a bit and pop back into oven for 8-10 minutes.

While the fries cook, heat oil on medium in a deep sided pan or pot on the stovetop.  Using a candy thermometer, check that oil reaches but does not exceed 350°F-375°F.  Place flour coated chicken cubes into pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Remove and place onto paper towel-lined dish or pan to catch excess oil.

Place fries onto serving tray and top each with a piece of fried chicken.  Dollop a bit of honey mustard on top and your dish is complete!

These two recipes are sure to wow your guests and their fun bite-size takes on some of La La Land’s favorite dishes are the perfect snacks for your Oscar Viewing Party.  I finished off my table setting with a simple dessert Angeleno’s love, “Velvet Red Carpet” cupcakes and some Hollywood glam decor.  Even my beverage serving glasses got a glamorous makeover for the occasion!  Make sure your guests get the black-tie memo or they’ll feel underdressed when they see your tablescape! Let me know which nominated film inspires you most and how you plan on making your Oscar Night viewing party the talk of the town in the comment section below!