Recipes Inspired by the 2015 Oscars Best Picture Nominees

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Alphabet Gulyassuppe (Gulash Soup) - The Imitation Game
Mathematician Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a curious fellow. For one, he doesn’t like sandwiches. He’d rather have a bowl of broth for lunch. What he does like is puzzles. And there is no greater challenge facing the allies during World War Two than cracking the elusive German code.
Pea Soup with Potato Thyme Cream - The Theory of Everything
If you can easily trace Stephen Hawking’s (Eddie Redmayne) theories of time and relativity, feel free to skip ahead to the recipe at the bottom. If, like the rest of us, you benefit from the relationship between space and quantum mechanics being explained by his doting wife Jane (Felicity Jones) with analogies of peas and potatoes, here’s something to do with them in the aftermath.
Semolina Grits with Mushroom Pecan Crumble - Selma
If you’re going to embark on a 54-mile protest march from Selma to Montgomery, you’re going to need a decent breakfast. If you’re going to agitate for a Voting Rights Act in the face of racist terror, you’re going to want some comfort food. And if you’re going to spend a good spell of time Alabama, you’re going to want some grits. Dr King ( David Oyewelo) and his colleagues are well practiced at slowly stirring hominy (in Richie Jean’s kitchen) and public sentiments.
Chicken Drumsticks with Blistered Pepper Dipping Sauce - Whiplash
How far is too far to be pushed towards greatness? It’s a question that will plague you after viewing the torment that Terence Fletcher (J.K Simmons) throws at aspiring jazz percussionist Andrew Neimann (Miles Teller) in Whiplash. You may also not have the stomach for the sight of more blood red taint on drumsticks, but if you do, might I suggest this dish? Here the blistering comes not from hours of traumatized practice in a soundproof room, but the searing burn of the oven and grill on vulnerable peppers and tomatoes.
Chicken Under a Brick with Gin Mayo - Birdman
Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) can’t escape the black cloak of Birdman. The comic book character who was once his ticket to fame is now a mocking specter, haunting any attempt to rehabilitate his artistic image and egging him into dangerous deeds. There is heavy pressure on Riggan from critics and co-stars to create quality art. It’s pressure that’s akin to the weight of bricks required to execute this classic dish. Here a bird is splayed and marinated in gin ( potentially left from method actors who insist on drinking it on stage), the heat of chilli and the sourness of lemon. The bricks hold the chicken down against the blaze of the grill. It’s served with a feathery slaw of bristly co-stars; shaved fennel and sprouts. And there’s an extra sly sousing of booze in the mayonnaise which gilds it all together. You can serve it on a platter and marvel at the bird-man appearance of it all, or if you really want to get meta, try and cleave the bird into 16 pieces, one for each of the visible cuts in the film.
Hunter's Lamb Kebabs with Hummous and Flatbreads- American Sniper
The most lethal sniper in U.S. history, Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) is brought up to believe: "There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs." It’s the job of sheepdogs like him to protect the rest of us from the wolves. In this dish, the hunks of marinated lamb appear equally vulnerable. Skewered on rosemary branches, these kebabs borrow flavors of the classic marksman’s dish ‘cacciatore’ (translating from Italian as ‘hunter’s stew’) before sending them on a Middle Eastern tour. Pieces of lamb fillet are still held shoulder to shoulder with their traditional compatriots; tomatoes and olives, yet instead of being stewed for hours, they get a trial by fire over the grill.
S'mores Birthday Cake - Boyhood
We celebrate the advent of years with birthday cakes. Unlike Richard Linklater's opus Boyhood, this particular project won't take twelve summers to complete. Our delight in watching Mason (Ellar Coltrane) physically age from six to eighteen through the course of the film is matched by the spotlight Linklater shines on the minor milestones in Mason's Texas childhood; bike rides, road trips, baseball games and camping trips. It's by a campfire in the company of Mason's sometimes-absent father (Ethan Hawke) that we learn the key to a perfect s'more. A perfect s'more hosts a marshmallow that is toasted until it is 'honey brown, with no burns'. That's what's here adorning this birthday cake. The almond and flax layers of cake have the cinnamon and honey twinge of a graham cracker, but with more give. The chocolate ganache is rich and sweet as a square of molten Hershey bar and the marshmallows have mellowed and toasted on the crown. This is a sweet taste of childhood that's well worth waiting for. For the recipe and step by step directions go here.
Courtesan au Chocolat - The Grand Budapest Hotel
“From the far away land of Zubrowka there lived a legendary pâtissier: Herr Mendl. He created a pastry that would captivate Zubrowka’s people for generations. Upon his passing his will stated that the recipe was never to be revealed. This recipe came from a 1963 recipe left lying on the floor in the kitchen of the Grand Budapest Hotel.”