Hello there, it's the BF [bracket-happy Editor], hijacking this entry. Thought we'd kick back into gear with something a little different, a cocktail to lead us into one of Chef Jacquie's favorite nights of the year: Oscar night.
For those unaware, Jacquie and I complement each other beautifully in the creative spaces. I worked for musician/music-industry-oriented magazines for roughly a quarter century, am the product of two San Francisco-based jazz pianists, and like to think I opened up her ears a little bit. She, in turn, helped me appreciate movies on an entirely different level. Still remember walking up the aisle after Pulp Fiction, feeling like I'd ridden a roller coaster with her all day. Since we met, I've been a more discerning movie fan.
And Oscar night? It's her Super Bowl.
For over a decade Chef Jacquie had weekend clients who unfortunately kept her busy on those Sunday nights, but now we settle in with appropriate libations and make our picks (ours are below), while trying to prepare ourselves beforehand by seeing as many of the nominees as we can. This year we were both excited to have so many good pictures to review.
For this Oscar ceremony, we're going a couple decades back to a date we had at Spago in Palo Alto, CA, where she ordered the restaurant's eponymous martini, and after started making her own version of it whenever she could.
It's Jolly Rancher good.
So we hope you enjoy this year's Oscars, and here are our picks for some of the major categories. Let us know yours in the comments!
Chef Jacquie: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood
The BF: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood
CJ: Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
BF: Mayes C. Rubeo, Jojo Rabbit
CJ: Roger Deakins, 1917
BF: Roger Deakins, 1917
Actress In A Supporting Role
CJ: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
BF: Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Actor In A Supporting Role
CJ: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood
BF: Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Actress In A Leading Role
CJ: Renée Zellweger, Judy
BF: Renée Zellweger, Judy
Actor In A Leading Role
CJ: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
BF: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
CJ: Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood [but pretty sure 1917 will win]
Stolen from: Spago's Restaurant [Ed. note: Not literally.]
Number of servings: 2-3 martinis
Cinnamon Sugar Rim
Good to the last drop.
So, Valentine's Day is this week, and at some point I usually make a dinner the BF really loves. [Ed. note: Hey we're going out too! Cripes, now we'll get letters.] The main course is a no-brainer: prime ribeye. [Ed. note: Changing reservation to a more expensive place.] For dessert, want to make a treat that we both swoon over. Well aware that chocolate and Valentine's Day are synonymous, it's just not always the case in our house. Now, the BF likes chocolate but, unlike me, he really has to be in the mood for something super-rich chocolatey. He actually can say no to chocolate—I know, gasp! [Ed. note: Watches hate mail pile up.]
This pot de crème is like a turbo-charged version of butterscotch pudding. A decadent custard that's silky, butterscotchy, caramelly, salty-sweet, with deep notes of brown sugar. Squarely in the BF's wheelhouse, and I definitely don't feel like we have to have chocolate every night. Got to spice things up sometimes, right?
Truthfully, this is a solid go-to dessert for guests as it takes no time at all to prep (talking about ten minutes) and looks-tastes pedantically fancy. As easy and straightforward as the directions are, the only vexing part is dirtying two pots and two mixing bowls. It's worth it.
An added bonus, can halve the recipe so it just makes two small ramekins.
This recipe is adapted from Molly of Orangette, who describes these pots de crème as "Cold and rich and almost hyperbolically creamy, the custard yields under the spoon the way a good down pillow does under your head: with a welcoming, slippery whoosh. The gates to heaven have never opened so easily."
She is not lying.
Adapted from: Orangette
Number of servings: 4
PS: A year ago I broke out the Paderno Brand 3-Blade Spiralizer for some kohlrabi "noodles" with bacon, carmelized onion and shaved parmesan (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/kohlrabi-noodles-bacon-caramelized-onion-shaved-parmesan).
PPS: For those of you muttering to yourselves through clenched teeth, "Fake vegetable noodles? Forget that and this butterscotch deal, I want chocolate," let's revisit this chocolate oblivion truffle torte (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/chocolate-oblivion-truffle-torte).
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.