Brian Doben
February 10, 2009 06:00 PM

On Oscar night, star chef Bobby Flay will throw a viewing party for 400 at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. For those hosting at home, he s created this easy exclusive menu that can be made for less money than taking eight friends to the movies (see PEOPLE magazine’s March 2 issue for more details).

The Menu:

Sparkling Pear Cocktail
Mini Burgers with BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw and Pickles
Grilled Shrimp on Tortillas with Avocado Relish
Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding Pies
Sweet and Spicy Popcorn

Sparkling Pear Cocktail
Serves 8
Watch Bobby Flay mix it up here! >

16 oz. pear nectar
2 bottles champagne, Proseco or other sparkling wine, very cold
1 pear, halved, seeded and thinly sliced

1.Thirty minutes before serving, place the champagne flutes in the freezer to get really cold.
2. Place 2 tbsp. of the pear nectar and 1 slice of pear in the bottom of each champagne flute. Fill to the top with sparkling wine. Serve immediately.

Mini Burgers with BBQ Sauce, Coleslaw and Pickles
Makes 16

¼ cup prepared mayonnaise
2 tbsp. cider, red wine or white wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground celery seed or celery salt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups packaged coleslaw mix
3 lbs. ground chuck (80/20 blend)
4 tbsp. canola oil
1 ½ cups of your favorite prepared barbeque sauce
Dill pickle slices
16 small hamburger buns

1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, celery seed in a medium bowl. Add the coleslaw mix and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate while you cook the burgers.
2. Divide the meat into 16 equal portions (approximately 3 oz. each). Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
3. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Cook half of the burgers until golden brown on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium doneness. Repeat with the remaining meat.
4. Place 1 burger on the bottom of each bun, top with a tablespoon or so of BBQ sauce, a few teaspoons of coleslaw and a few pickles.

Sparkling Pear Cocktail
Brian Doben

Grilled Shrimp on Tortillas with Avocado Relish
Makes 24

2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and finely diced
½ small red onion, finely diced
Juice of 2 limes
1 or 2 jalapeños (depending on how spicy you prefer them), seeded and finely diced
6 tbsp. canola oil
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Blue, yellow or white corn tortilla chips (or a combination of all three)

1. Put the avocado, onion, lime juice, jalapeño, 2 tbsp. of the canola oil and cilantro in a medium bowl and gently mix until combined; season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tbsp. of the canola oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Put half of the shrimp in the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 1 ½ minutes per side; remove to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and shrimp.
3. Spread a few teaspoons of the avocado relish on each chip, top with a shrimp and garnish with a cilantro leaf.

Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding Pies and Sweet and Spicy Popcorn on the next page!

Brian Doben

Upside-Down Chocolate Pudding Pies
Makes 8

Chocolate Pudding
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. kosher salt
3 ½ cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium sauce pan. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the milk until it creates a paste. Whisk in the remaining milk, then the heavy cream. Cook over medium heat, using a wooden spoon, scraping bottom and sides of pan until pudding thickens and begins to bubble slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Stir in the chocolate until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into a bowl, cover and let cool in the refrigerator, at least four hours.

Assemble
1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cold chocolate pudding, recipe above
8 chocolate wafer cookies
Chocolate shavings, optional
Mint sprigs, optional

1. Combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and using a hand-held mixer, mix until soft peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Remove ½ cup of the whipped cream and set aside. Divide the remaining cream among eight 6-oz. glass ramekins (or other small serving dish) and smooth the top. Top with several large spoonfuls of the pudding, smooth the top and place a chocolate wafer cookie on top. Top the cookie with a small spoonful of the remaining whipped cream, sprinkle with chocolate shavings and garnish with mint sprig, if desired.

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn
Makes about 10 cups

¼ cup canola oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 tsp. kosher salt

1. Coat the bottom of a 4-qt. pan with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the popcorn in a single layer on the bottom of the pan, cover the pan.
2. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let kernels cook, shaking occasionally to prevent burning. When the popping slows to 3 to 5 seconds between pops, remove pan from burner and stir in the sugar, ancho powder and salt until combined. Transfer to a bowl.

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