Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Perfect Appetizers for the Oscars

Who's excited for the Academy Awards this Sunday? I'm still not sure where I'll be watching but I plan to be planted in front of a TV for the pre-show which starts at 4P and stars Kelly Rowland from Destiny's Child, Broadway Star Kristin Chenoweth and some other names I don't recognize. Side note, did you see Kelly Rowland's dress at the Grammy's? So much for the memo "banning excessive flesh."

photo from

But back to the Academy Awards. There are few things in life that I love more than award shows and the Oscars are THE Super Bowl of fashion. There's really no better reason to drink champagne all afternoon and critique the stars than the Oscars. But if you're starting at 4P like me, you need to remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint, and you need to throw some snacks in there with your cocktails. 

That's why I'm sharing the easiest and most delicious appetizer that I've created especially for the Oscars. It's a spicy tuna flatbread with an Academy Awards twist. 

The recipe comes from Guy Fieri but don't hold that against me. It's fantastic. 

Start by mixing all the following ingredients in a bowl to create your tuna topping:

Tuna Salad: 
2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons sour cream 
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Siracha (Asian hot sauce)
2 to 3 dashes sesame oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 pound maguro (sushi-grade tuna)*

Now don't freak out when you see sushi-grade tuna. It's easy to find. You can call your favorite sushi restaurant and place an order for tuna sashimi (I called Lemongrass and ordered the tuna sashimi for $12) or if you want a better deal, you can pick up a block of sushi-grade tuna at Tensuke Japanese Market at 1167 Henderson Road for under $8. Slice your tuna into 1/4 inch pieces and mix with the other ingredients above.

For the next step, you can make your own dough from scratch like Guy Fieri or you can buy some flatbread from the grocery store like I did and save yourself the hassle. And the real secret to my presentation is the cookie cutter I used to cut the flatbread into an Academy Awards statue. I purchased this particular cookie cutter from Columbus Cake Craft, a hidden gem and family-owned business at 5438 Cleveland Avenue. They have everything you could ever need to bake or decorate a cake but they also have hundreds of cookie cutters like the skull & bones and flamingo cookie cutters below.

I found this groom cookie cutter for $1.00 and it's pretty close to an Oscar statue, if I do say so myself. 

With the help of the cookie cutter, I easily cut slices of flatbread which I browned under the broiler for a few minutes per side, just until toasted. But you'll need to keep a close eye on your bread because it can go from perfectly browned to burnt in just seconds. 

How cute are these? When they're cool enough to handle, top them with the tuna salad. 

And if you really want to add some flair, you can top them with some microgreens (I used baby arugula), and some aged balsamic vinegar. And there you have it. The easiest Academy Awards appetizers that are colorful, tasty, and sure to impress your guests.

One last tip... if you're having friends over to watch the Oscars and you like to gamble, I suggest printing out this ballot from the Everyone who wants to gamble can guess the winners by filling out a ballot and throwing $5 into a hat. At the end of the night, the person with the most correct guesses wins all the money. Happy Oscars, happy gambling, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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