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Oscars 2014: Wolfgang Puck's Governors Ball Menu

Oscars 2014: Wolfgang Puck's Governors Ball Menu

Wolgang Puck's Bacon Wrapped Dates

I love this easy appetizer’s combination of sweet, salty, nutty, meaty, and smoky flavors and smooth, creamy, and crispy textures — all wrapped up in just an intense bite or two. The effect works best when you seek out ingredients of the highest quality. You’ll need a wooden toothpick to secure each stuffed and wrapped date for baking and serving. And let me add one more important word of advice: People will love these so much that you might want to plan on making multiple batches.

— Wolfgang Puck



18 large dates, preferably Medjool, slit lengthwise and pitted
18 pieces good-quality Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano, each about 1-by-¼-inch
6 slices good-quality smoked bacon, cut crosswise into thirds


1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Insert a piece of Parmesan into each date. Wrap each date with 1 piece of bacon, securing it with a wooden toothpick.

3. Arrange the dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the dates over. Continue baking until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes longer. With the tongs, transfer the dates to paper towels to drain, carefully patting them dry with more paper towels. Serve immediately.

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Homemade Tomato Sauce


Whichever sauce you choose, make sure to buy the best tomatoes you can. In the winter, when tomatoes are not in season, choose a good quality canned WHOLE PEELED tomato. Not a sauce, not a puree, not a crushed tomato. Get a whole tomato and follow the recipe the same way. Or, better yet, make all the recipes in the summer with fresh tomatoes and freeze or can them for consumption in the winter.

Raw Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

2 pounds vine ripened tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 cup of fresh basil, chopped
freshy ground black pepper
crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Seed and chop the tomatoes into bit size chunks. Add them to a large bowl with the garlic, shallot, basil, olive oil and mix well.  Add salt and peppers to taste. Let the mixture stand at room temperature with a tea towel or paper plate covering the bowl for at least 1 hour, up to 3. What you will find is a luscious sauce that is perfect over al dente pasta or on top of crisp slices of bread. For extra flavor, grate Parmegiano Reggiano cheese on top of your dish when serving.

Barely Cooked Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

6 vine ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 small onions, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup of white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Seed and chop the tomatoes into bite size chunks. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, shallots and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add the wine, salt and pepper. If you like a spicier sauce, add a pinch of red pepper flakes at this point.  Simmer covered until the tomatoes start to break down and release their juices, about 30 minutes.

Serve over pasta.

Grandma Style Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings

10 vine ripened tomatoes
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks of celery
1 large carrot
2 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/4 cup of good red wine
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 dried bay leaf

Boil a large pot of water. When the water is rolling, turn the heat off and gently add in the tomatoes. Keep an eye on them, and when you see the skin start to blister, fish them out with a strainer. Carefully peel the skins off the tomatoes and gently squeeze out the seeds. Chop and set aside.

In a large heavy duty pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion. Using a grater, grate the celery into the pot. Repeat with the carrot, garlic and shallots. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Let cook together for 2 minutes.  Add half of the tomatoes and using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes well. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and the wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf before serving.


Cinco de Mayo Cocktail


Fresh Sauza® Margarita

1 can of frozen limeade

1 bottle of Light Beer

1 can of Sauza® Blanco Tequila

1 can of water

Pour frozen limeade and beer into pitcher with ice. Fill empty limeade can with Sauza Blanco and pour into pitcher. Fill empty limeade can with water and pour into pitcher. Stir and enjoy (responsibly). Makes 9 servings.

Rosangel is the world’s first and only hibiscus infused tequila and makes for a lively cinco de mayo cocktail. The tequila is aged in port barrels for two months then infused with hand picked Hibiscus for a perfumed, floral taste with a hint of vanilla. It’s subtle pink hue makes it as pretty as it is delicious.

Rosangel Margarita “Pink Margarita”

1 1/2 oz ROSANGEL

1/2 oz Premium Orange Liqueur

1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Juice of 1 Lime

1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Orange juice

1 Tbsp Cranberry Juice

Splash of Ginger Ale

1 1/2 cups of Ice

Mix all ingredients into a shaker filled with the ice and shake vigorously until blended well. Strain into a margarita glass and garnish with a slice of lime.

Rosangel Sunrise


1 Part orange juice

splash of pomegranate juice
Fill a glass with ice. Slowly pour the ROSANGEL into the glass. Add the pomegranate juice and then slowly top with the orange juice. Garnish with a cherry and slice of orange.


Coconut Curry & Shrimp Chicken

Althea Needham's Chicken & Shrimp Coconut Curry

Makes: 12 appetizer of 6 main dish servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 14 minutes
Althea Needham's Chicken & Shrimp Coconut Curry
  • 2  tablespoons flour
  • 1  can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1  can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2  tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1  tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2  teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1  pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1  pound shrimp

1. In a small bowl, stir together flour and 1 tablespoon water; set aside.

2. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, vegetable broth, ginger, lemon juice, curry powder, black pepper, garlic powder and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 10 minutes, until reduced.

3. Add chicken to saucepan and cook 2 minutes. Stir flour mixture and shrimp into pot and cook for 2 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through and liquid has thickened. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 12 appetizer of 6 main dish servings
  • Calories 157,
  • Total Fat (g) 8,
  • Saturated Fat (g) 7,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 79,
  • Sodium (mg) 291,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 3,
  • Fiber (g) 1,
  • Protein (g) 17,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Greek Green Salad Recipe

Vlita (amaranth) is one of the favorite greens for making salads on Crete. This wild green is just one of many gathered in the countryside that find their way onto tables in homes across Greece as horta - leafy green salads. Photo by Jim StanfieldGreens are hot right now. Especially the wild varieties grown throughout Greece. Here is an easy salad recipe that tastes great and packs all the antioxidant power of Greek greens!

  • 1 hearts of romaine, torn or rough cut
  • 1 bunch of mustard greens, torn or rough cut
  • 1 bunch of arugula
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, trimmed of fronds and tops (save the fonds and chop and sprinkle them over pasta) 
  • 1/4 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • A few sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 
  • juice of one lemon
  • cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Asiago or Parmigiano Reggiano, shaved for garnish


Place torn romaine and mustard greens in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.  Cut fennel bulb down the center, then again, quartering it and remove the core in each quarter. Slice the bulbs so that the layers separate and add to the salad along with the onions. Chop or hand tear parsley into the salad and mix all the greens together. In a small bowl  add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cayenne pepper. Mix it with a fork and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until a dressing forms, about a half of a cup will be enough, but if you want a heavier dressed salad, add more. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well with your hands. Add shaves of cheese on top and serve.

The greens in this salad can be subsituted with any of the below wild Greek greens, which are wonderful eaten raw, or add them in addition to the above ingredients for an extra green salad. 

  • Palmer Amaranth
  • Cabbages (white, red, kale, etc.)
  • Catnip (Catmint, Nepeta)
  • Chard
  • Chicory
  • Collards
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Golden Thistle
  • Leeks
  • Mache (Lamb's Lettuce, Wild Lettuce)
  • Mallow
  • Nettles
  • Palmer Amaranth (Albersia, Vlita)
  • Poppy
  • Sow-thistle
  • Spinach
  • Spiny Chicory
  • White Beet Leaves
  • Wild Parsley
  • Wild Parsnip

Here is a list of Greek greens that taste great cooked (i recommend a quick blanch and then sautee with garlic and extra virgin olive oil)

  • Brassicae greens (kale, collard greens)
  • Burr Chervil
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Eryngo
  • Notchweed
  • Palmer Amaranth
  • Sow-thistles
  • Spinach
  • Spiny Chicory
  • Wild Lettuce (Mache)
  • Wild Chicory
  • Wild Mustard Greens