Make sure your Oscar fete takes Best Party honors.  Fox News's Lilian Huang Woo gets tips from Chef Wolfgang Puck, James Beard Foundation editorial director Alison Tozzi Liu and mixologist Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty NYC

Take a LISTEN:

Wolfgang Puck Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Iranian Osetra Caviar photo credit: Carin Krasner
Wolfgang Puck Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Creme Fraiche and Iranian Osetra Caviar
photo credit: Carin Krasner


(Recipe courtesy Wolfgang Puck, 2004) 

12 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

2 ounces Iranian osetra caviar

Crème Fraîche  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry potatoes.  Wrap individually with aluminum foil.

Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.

Remove potatoes from oven and set aside.

Crème Fraîche

2 tablespoons buttermilk

1 cup heavy cream

Stir together the ingredients and let sit at room temperature, covered, until the mixture thickens, usually overnight.  Scrape into a container, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Score and pinch each potato.  Dollop with a little bit of the crème fraîche and osetra caviar.

Yield:  Serves 12

photo credit: Carin Krasner

Yield:  Serves 4

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 pound organic red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 pound organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup white wine

2 cups organic chicken stock

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1/4 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup shelled or frozen peas

Approximately 1/2 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted following package instructions

1 cage-free egg

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour until evenly coated.  In a large skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.  Add the chicken pieces, reduce the heat slightly, and sauté, turning them occasionally, until light golden and thoroughly cooked, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.  Add the remaining oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan, then add the potatoes, carrots, and onions and sauté until they begin to look glossy and bright, 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, and bay leaf, and sauté, just until the vegetables begin to color slightly, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Add the wine, turn up the heat, stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan deposits, and simmer until the liquid reduces by about half, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the 1 cup of cream.  Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer briskly until the liquid reduces by about half again and is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.  Remove the sprig of thyme and the bay leaf.

Stir in the reserved chicken pieces and the sherry.  Stir together the butter and remaining flour and stir this paste into the mixture.  Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to 4 large individual ovenproof 2-cup soup bowls, 4 ramekins of the same size, or a 2-quart baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the filling is cold, at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Make sure the puff pastry is no thicker than 1/4 inch.  With the tip of a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 4 circles that will overhang the rim of the serving bowls or ramekins by about half an inch; for a single large baking dish, cut 4 circles that will cover its top, or use one large sheet.

In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon cream to make an egg wash.  Brush the tops and outsides of the rims of the bowls.  Place the bowls, ramekins, or baking dish on a baking tray and place the puff pastry circles on top, pressing them gently over the sides of the dishes. Pierce the tops with the tip of a paring knife.  Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash.  Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling hot and the pastry is a deep golden brown, 25 to 35 minutes.  Serve hot.

Follow Lilian Woo on Twitter: @LilianNY


Servings: Serves 4


8 ounces elbow macaroni

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 1/2 cups milk

3 tablespoons finely chopped black truffle (optional)

1/2 medium white onion

1 bay leaf

10 ounces sharp aged white Cheddar, shredded

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded

1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne

2 drops black winter truffle oil (optional)

1 cup fresh brioche or challah bread crumbs

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

Thinly sliced fresh black truffles, for garnish (optional)


Step One: Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente, tender but still chewy, about 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to lightly oiled baking pan. Set aside.

Step Two: While macaroni cooks, melt 3 tablespoons butter in separate pot over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.

Step Three: Add milk, chopped truffle, onion, and bay leaf to butter-flour mixture. Raise heat slightly and simmer for 10 minutes, until creamy, stirring regularly. Discard onion and bay leaf. Remove from heat.

Step Four: Stir in 3/4 of aged Cheddar along with other cheeses. Season with salt, black pepper, cayenne, and truffle oil if desired. Fold in macaroni. Pour into 2-quart casserole. Top with remaining Cheddar.

Step Five: Melt remaining butter in sauté pan. Add breadcrumbs and parsley. Toss to coat. Spread crumb mixture evenly over top of macaroni.

Step Six: Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven let stand for about 5 minutes. Top with shave truffle, if desired, before serving.


Makes about 2 1/2 cups, 10 to 12 servings

So many people today enjoy edamame, those delicious little fresh soybeans, usually served as a snack in Japanese restaurants, simply boiled in their pods, sprinkled with some sea salt, and popped from pod to mouth. But thinking of other ways they could be enjoyed, my team and I came up with the idea of including them in guacamole, pureed along with ripe avocados and seasonings. The result is a touch lighter in taste and texture (and fat) than traditional guacamole, with a beautiful pale-green color. Serve it with your favorite chips or fresh vegetable crudités for dipping.

1 cup shelled edamame

3 ounces sour cream

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium-sized ripe Hass-style avocados


Freshly ground black pepper

Put the edamame, sour cream, lime juice, and olive oil in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse until pureed.

With a sharp knife, cut the avocados lengthwise in half, cutting around the pit. Twist the 2 halves between your hands to separate them. With a sharp-edged tablespoon, scoop out and discard the pits.

Scoop the avocado pulp from each half into the food processor bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper and process until smoothly blended, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl.

Carefully transfer the guacamole to a serving bowl. Serve immediately

(courtesy Wolfgang Puck)


photo credit: Carin Krasner

More Decadent Comfort Food

King Crab Mac and Cheese Credit: © 2016 Ben Fink © James Beard's All-American Eats by The James Beard Foundation, Rizzoli New York, 2016.
King Crab Mac and Cheese
Credit: © 2016 Ben Fink
© James Beard's All-American Eats by The James Beard Foundation, Rizzoli New York, 2016.

King Crab Mac and Cheese, St. Elmo Steak House, Indianapolis, IN


  • Salt
  • 1 pound ditalini or other small pasta
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick)unsalted butter
  • ¹⁄₃ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (1 quart) half-and-half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound smoked Gouda cheese, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • ¾ cup coarse bread crumbs or panko
  • 8 ounces chopped lump king crab crabmeat

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 2 minutes before al dente. (You want to slightly undercook the pasta as it will continue cooking while in the oven.) Drain and rinse until cool. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter is melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour. Place the pan back on the heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the half-and-half, cream, 1 tablespoon of salt, the white pepper, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and smooth. Add 2 cups of the cheese and stir until the mixture is thoroughly blended and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Stir to combine.

To assemble the dish, return the pasta to the cooking pot. Add the cream sauce and stir well to combine. Use 1 table-spoon of butter to grease a 2-quart baking dish. Spoon the pasta into the baking dish and top with the bread crumb mixture. Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, the bread crumbs are toasted, and the sauce is bub-bling, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, gently heat the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet. Add the crabmeat, season with a pinch of salt, and sauté just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

When the macaroni and cheese is done, remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Top with the warm crab-meat and serve.

Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY.
Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY.

Chocolate Ice Box credit: © 2016 Ben Fink © James Beard's All-American Eats by The James Beard Foundation, Rizzoli New York, 2016.
Chocolate Ice Box credit: © 2016 Ben Fink
© James Beard's All-American Eats by The James Beard Foundation, Rizzoli New York, 2016.

Chocolate Ice Box Cake, El Chorro Lodge, Paradise Valley, AZ


  • 2 (4-ounce) bars German's chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large eggs, separated (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 (7-ounce) package ladyfingers (about 24)
  • Whipped cream

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a large metal bowl set atop a pot of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Add 3 table- spoons water and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating vigorously to incorporate each one. Add the confectioners' sugar and walnuts and stir well to blend.

In a large, chilled bowl, beat the heavy cream just until stiff. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the beaten egg whites and whipped cream into the chocolate until incorporated.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with the ladyfingers. Top with the chocolate mixture. Chill for 12 to 24 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Note: This recipe calls for uncooked egg yolks and whites. If you're concerned about the safety of raw eggs, pasteurized eggs can be used.

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The Furious Skull Recipe created by John Henderson of The Happiest Hour NYC
The Furious Skull
Recipe created by John Henderson of The Happiest Hour NYC

Celebrate Best Picture Nominee Mad Max: Fury Road with...The Furious Skull

Recipe created by John Henderson of The Happiest Hour NYC

If there's one thing Mad Max and Furiosa could have used after their high-speed chase through the desert, it could've been a refreshing ice cold drink to take the edge off. In this cocktail, the ice cube is the star, and is also a nod to the skull-like mask worn by the merciless villain Immortan Joe.

<image007.jpg>1 ½ parts Sugar Island Spiced Rum

¾ part sweet vermouth

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 Campari ice cube*

In a short rocks glass, combine Sugar Island Rum, sweet vermouth and dash of Angostura bitters. Place the Campari ice cube in glass and if desired, garnish with a SMALL pinch of pink salt. As the salt hits the cube, it will spur the Campari cube to melt.


*Campari ice cube: Overnight, freeze a mixture of Campari and water in a skull-shaped mold, at a ratio close to 50:50


Celebrate Star Wars: The Force Awakens with...Fate of the Stars

Created by Niccole Trzaska of The Liberty NYC

Just like Kylo Ren who's torn between the dark and light side, this Sugar Island Rum cocktail transforms in both color and texture and finishes with a (spoiler alert!) wickedly boozy kick. 


1 part Sugar Island Coconut Rum

¼ part Butterscotch Schnapps

1 part coconut water

¼ part fresh lemon juice


In a mason jar, gently place two different colored cotton candy bunches; mix all ingredients and shake over ice; slowly pour over the Mermaid Hair to liquefy and morph the color of the cocktail. Once all is liquefied, top with ice, a straw and enjoy!

Celebrate Best Actor Nominee Leonardo DiCaprio with...The Bear Claw Recipe created by John Henderson of The Happiest Hour NYC

After a "grizzly" bear attack, we're certain Leonardo DiCaprio's Revenant character could have used a life-sustaining cocktail... amongst other things. With an orange swath reminiscent of a bear claw, this morphing Maker's Mark cocktail is surely the perfect drink to cheer on Revenant for a Best Picture win.

parts Maker's Mark Bourbon

¼ part Cherry Heering

1 dash Chocolate Mole Bitters

1 2x2 cola cube*

¾ part soda water

Orange swath


Place one cola cube into a short rocks glass; add Maker's Mark, bitters, and soda water. Drizzle Cheery Herring over the top of the ice cube (which will slowly sink to the bottom of the cocktail for bloody effect!); stir briefly to incorporate and express an orange swath over the surface of the drink. *Cola cube: Freeze Mexican Coca-Cola overnight in a 2x2 ice cube tray

The Spill-Proof Shot Created by Niccole Trzaska, The Liberty
The Spill-Proof Shot
Created by Niccole Trzaska, The Liberty

Celebrate Best Actress Nominee Jennifer Lawrence (from Joy) with...The Spill-Proof Shot

Created by Niccole Trzaska, The Liberty

  1. Law's character in Joy became an overnight success by inventing the Miracle Mop, and has been known to take a few on-stage tumbles in real life. But lucky for you, no clean-up will be necessary with these spill-proof gelatin shots that you can make ahead of your viewing party.


Makes 12-14 gelatin shots

5 ounces Ménage à Trois Straight Vodka  

5 ounces water

5 ounces Tres Agaves Margarita Mix 

1 Packet of Gelatin


Mix all ingredients until smooth and no bubbles appear. Pour into gelatin molds in the shape of your choice. Set in refrigerator until it becomes a gel (Gelatin is not a solid nor a liquid it is both. So the higher the alcohol the thinner the mixture will be)


Celebrate Best Picture Nominee The Martian with...Man O' Mars

Cheers to the endurance of Astronaut Mark Watney for proving himself a survivor of the fittest while engineering ways to survive Mars on his own with this Maker's Mark Mars-inspired libation as an ode to sweet success.


1-1/2 parts Maker's Mark® Bourbon

1 part DeKuyper® Orange Curacao Liqueur

1/2 part sweet vermouth

1/2 part orange juice

Maraschino cherry for garnish

Shake all together for 30 seconds. Strain into chilled Manhattan glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry (served up, no ice).

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