This Sunday is the 83rd Academy Awards. Having lived in Los Angeles with the Wine Imbiber for thirty years or so, one begins to notice things—like how this time of year is akin to living in the North Pole (think: Santa’s workshop) during the month leading up to Christmas Eve. The whole city is abuzz for weeks in advance of the main event—planning, primping and promoting anything even remotely related to the Oscars.
If you are into star sightings like I used to be, you’d be thrilled to learn that it’s nearly unavoidable running into more than a few of them at restaurants and hotels. Securing reservations at any of the hot dining establishments the week ahead of awards day is near impossible unless your name is something like Angelina, Jolie or both. And if you develop a hankering for some of Wolfgang’s Smoked Salmon Pizza, you’d better exercise your adaptable side and be prepared to make it for yourself at home.
Believe me, I know from experience. Our wedding anniversary (and soon to be third blogoversary!) is during the latter part of March, so when the Oscars used to be held then, we had a heck of a time getting reservations at an anniversary–worthy restaurant. Eventually, we caught on and made the necessary celebratory adjustments, so all became groovy between us and Hollywood’s elite. Then the programming powers that be made the brilliant decision to move up the broadcast date by one month, thereby relieving the viewing public from relentless, expensive Oscar ad campaigns. How nice that said move, originally intending to be cost–effective for movie studios, resulted in us reclaiming our anniversary date night!
But what about actual Oscar night? Fuggedaboutit. Don’t even think of hitting the streets of LA or its environs in search of fancy food unless you’re prepared to get caught in multiple limo traffic jams or even worse, bounced at any restaurant you dare to attempt crashing. Who needs that crap when you can easily enjoy the glamour of the event sitting in your best fat–ass sweats on a cozy couch while nibbling on your own finest finger food creations?
That’s what we’ve always done anyway (betting and imbibing included). There’s usually a mixed group of kids and adults, so a good dessert or two is also present. Much like Super Bowl Sunday, Oscar Sunday has come to be synonymous with both good eats and fun bets at our place. Admittedly, I’ve usually not even seen most of the year’s nominated movies. But I always do my pre–Oscar homework and mange to win the pool every year anyway. Although, there was the lone year I lost (thanks to some cooking distractions). At least that’s the excuse I used and I’m sticking with it!
So, to avoid such a snafu ever happening again, I’ve learned to simplify my Oscar grazing menus. This means I only serve dishes that can be prepared ahead and whipped out when we’re all hungry, or finger foods that can be laid out on platters so people can eat as their hunger beckons. This year I’m going the finger food route as I’ve accumulated many tasty recipes that have been calling to me from my massive collections.
The recipe I’m posting today is not only easy to prepare, but also fun to eat. There is a bit of effort in the preparation, but nothing so complicated that you’ll need to consult with Martha. I also had a great time shooting it, so please forgive my photographic indulgences.
WI wine recommendation: The classic pairing for this appetizer is Pinot Grigio. Alterntively, Orvieto or Sauvignon Blanc would also pair nicely.
Grissini with Prosciutto–Wrapped Boursin Bundles
1 box of Grissini (Italian breadsticks)
1 package Boursin (French seasoned soft, creamy cheese)
Thinly–cut prosciutto slices (each measuring about 1×2 inches)
Chives (about 15–20)
Note: I didn’t bother giving specific measurements for this. It’s one of those recipes that you just start assembling, and when you run out of an ingredient, you stop. You’ll end up with leftovers of one or more ingredients anyway, so why sweat the measurements in advance?
Also, ingredient substitutions abound in this recipe. Can’t find Boursin? Try cream cheese or goat cheese (then you can mix in your favorite herbs). Don’t like prosciutto? Give smoked salmon a go (just make sure it is cut thinly so it will roll nicely).
Make a ball of cheese (about the size of a small grape) and place it onto one end of a prosciutto strip.
Take one of the breadsticks and slightly flatten the cheese ball with one end of the stick.
Lay the stick on top of the flattened cheese and begin rolling the prosciutto (from the cheese end) as tightly as you can around the breadstick. Poke in any cheese that tries escaping.
Use a chive to tie up the bundle. Don’t pull the chive too hard when tying or you run the risk of breaking it.
Trim the ends of the chive to desired length and lay completed Grissini Bundle on serving platter. Continue repeating the process until you begin running out of ingredients. Serve at room temperature.
February 27, 2011 at 7:25 am
Stacey West-Feather said:
Those look divine! Love your blog!!
Melisssa C said:
Made the Prosciutto wrapped boursin bundles for a get together tonight and they were a hit, everyone loved them.
Thank you for sharing such a simple and delicious recipe.
those look delicious! grissini remind me of venice