The final menu for the Oscar party deviated only slightly from what I’d planned. My friend B brought bacon salt dip, and gutless rumaki (bacon-wrapped water chestnuts). The squash soup was served sans greens, and the cheese plate was postponed. Also, no carrots.
The desserts went over well. I also had some ice cream to go with them for those who wanted.
I really enjoyed the broiled citrus topped with butter and brown sugar, in a shallow pan, broiled till browned and bubbly.
The poached pears also were pretty good. I tried a trick with them, and it worked pretty well. I did not want to spend forever peeling the pears, so I split them in half and scooped out the flesh with a melon baller. They were a little uneven, but came out fairly well.
Oh, the other thing I had was a champagne punch. This was based on a recipe I got 10 years ago but never made. I modified it a bit because there was no raspberry sherbert at the store, but otherwise it was pretty close to the original
Broiled citrus fruits
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
Mix butter and brown sugar. Section grapefruits and oranges, reserving excess juice for another use. Toss sections into bowl to mix.
Spread fruit out in shallow baking dish so all fruit is in one thin layer. (can be done in advance to this point). Sprinkle brown sugar butter mix on top. Broil about 4-6 inches away from the heat for 5 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and just beginning to brown. Watch it carefully so that it does not burn. Serve warm.
Pear spheres poached in red wine
6 pears, firm, slightly underripe
1 bottle red wine
¼ teaspoon Chinese Five-spice powder
brown sugar or honey to taste, ¼ cup or more
orange zest from one orange
Cut pears in half. Using a melon baller, scoop out spheres, being careful not to hit the skin on the pears. (Can be done about a day aheadIf doing ahead, sprinkle with lemon juice and cover with plastic wrap). Add pears and the rest of the ingredients to large saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 45 minutes, letting the wine mixture reduce.
Using a slotted spoon, drain pears out of wine. Cook wine down a little bit more until it starts to get syrupy. Return pears to syrup, turn off heat. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature. Can make a day in advance. Reheat or bring to room temp to serve.
Lemon Berry Champagne punch
Make sure all ingredients are chilled before you start.
1 bottle champagne
1 bottle rose wine
1 pint strawberry sorbet
¼ cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1 cup frozen raspberries
Mix all ingredients except for sorbet and raspberries. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop ice cream into punch. Stir to combine. Add raspberries and serve.