Oscar night usually lends itself well to fun menus — movie-themed snack foods that can be eaten in front of the TV while ultra-thin stars parade down the red carpet. But this year I just wasn’t inspired. What kind of menu can you build around something called The Departed? I hadn’t even seen any of the five films nominated for the top award except Little Miss Sunshine, and we only watched that on Oscar afternoon. So no menu ideas presented themselves.
In fact, looking through the entire list of nominees, we had only watched three Oscar-nominated films in all of 2006: Superman Returns, Borat and Children of Men. My husband suggested a related menu of Tough Chicken, Over-cooked Cabbage and Hard-Boiled Eggs, and Suicide Pill, but that just didn’t sound appetizing. Well, let’s face it — I haven’t come up with a truly great Oscar menu since the year of Smoked Salmon Seabiscuits (that was 2004, for those of you keeping score at home).
So either we have to start seeing more movies or they have to come up with more food-themed titles. For this year, though, I took the easy way out and prepared some Mexican snacks in honor of the three directors nominated for Babel, Pan’s Labyrinth and the aforementioned Children of Men (for writing). For your next awards extravaganza, I offer the most successful of the night’s recipes, Black Bean Salsa.
Black Bean Salsa
Time to make: ~15 minutes, including roasting the chile
In a bowl, combine:
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jalapeno, roasted, peeled, de-seeded and minced
- ¼ red onion, minced
- 1 sm. tomato, diced
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. beer
- 1 tbsp. adobo seasoning
- ½ tbsp. chili powder
- salt to taste
Notes: This is a pretty mild salsa. If you like it hotter, add more chiles or a few drops of hot sauce. If you don’t have adobo seasoning, subsitute cumin, oregano, pepper and cayenne. Serve with tortilla chips.