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Oscar Night in N.Y.C.: What Daniel Boulud Is Serving

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Courtesy Daniel Boulud; Inset: Getty

Excitement is at an all time high for what promises to be a star-studded Oscar night, but for East Coast Academy members and celebrities that don’t make the trek to L.A., Daniel is the place to be for the ceremony. Chef Daniel Boulud’s namesake restaurant on the Upper East Side will be “the supporting actor” to the evening, Boulud says, revealing that the dishes he has planned are “a celebration of the movies” and “fun – not too cerebral.”

Boulud also admitted he could not choose all the nominees to pay homage too. “[I] loved Argo, but except for giving you a big pile of caviar or a soup with saffron, I am not versed on Iranian dishes,” he said at a preview of the meal earlier this week, adding he does “love the rice with butter” common to the country’s cuisine.

As for the movies he did pick – No, Life of Pi, Kon-Tiki, Amour, Royal Affair and Les Misérables – he created six hors d’oeuvres inspired by the story and its setting. For Les Mis that means a bread basket of finger sandwiches because Boloud says “there will always be bread.” And for Royal Affair he pairs smoked fish and potatoes for a “very Danish dish.”

Oscar-inspired food at Daniel
Kristin Boehm

After the appetizers guests will enjoy a trio of Scottish salmon, duo of beef and a milk chocolate crisp with Meyer lemon sorbet for dessert. But that’s not all: Boulud has even created a menu for your own Oscar party at home. His festive ideas can be found here and the main course recipe idea is below. Enjoy!

Marinated Lamb Chops with Two Sauces

Makes 4 servings
From Daniel’s Dish: Entertaining at Home with a Four Star Chef, Daniel Boulud, Filipacchi Publishing, 2003

For the Lamb:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, finely crushed or ground
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, finely crushed or ground
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 small dried chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 sprigs mint, leaves chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves chopped
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Twelve 3-ounce lamb rib chops (cut 1 inch thick), fat trimmed and bone cut to 2 inches
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Gingered Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger
1 shallot, finely chopped
6 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Spiced Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greek or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 sprigs mint, leaves very thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed into puree
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Crispy Salad:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 hearts of romaine, trimmed and leaves separated
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
10 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper

To Make the Lamb:
1. Put the coriander, fennel, cumin, and chile into a small skillet and toast over high heat until very fragrant. Set aside ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture for the yogurt sauce.
2. Stir together the remaining spice mixture, garlic, mint, thyme, and olive oil in a large baking dish. Add the lamb; toss to coat with the marinade, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

To Make the Tomato Sauce:
3. Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and shallot and cook until softened but not colored. Reduce the heat to low; add the tomatoes, and cook until very soft, about 45 minutes, crushing the tomatoes with the back of a fork as they cook. Season with salt and pepper; keep warm.

To Make the Yogurt Sauce:
4. Stir together the yogurt, lemon juice, mint, garlic, and the reserved ½ teaspoon spice mixture until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water. Transfer to a serving bowl; set aside.

To Make the Salad:
5. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Combine the romaine, fennel, radishes, and cucumber in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

To Finish the Lamb:
6. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Pat dry, cover with plastic wrap, and bring to room temperature.
7. Meanwhile, prepare a very hot grill. Brush the grill with vegetable oil. Season the chops with salt and pepper and grill for 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium rare.

To Serve:
Re-whisk the lemon dressing. Drizzle over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Place three lamb chops and some salad on each dinner plate. Serve the sauces separately.

The 85th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 24, from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.