Hollywood award season is in full swing after last Sunday’s drunkfest of a season opener, the Golden Globes. Fueled by 7,500 glasses of Moet champagne, the Globes rarely fail to disappoint. As last year’s host, Tina Fey, said to the Hollywood Reporter, “Get a bunch of people in a room who don’t eat much, give them one drink — it gets good fast.”
Simple math tells us that most have had more than one drink since a quick glance at the audience shows that it is well shy of the 7,500 mark. Predictably, hilarity ensues.
The Golden Globes’ history of over-imbibing goes way back. In 1958, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association got drunk enough to lose control of the show to Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the Rat Pack, giving birth to the concept of the celebrity host as ‘Old Blue Eyes’ slurred his way through the rest of the evening.
At least back in Hollywood’s glory days, the stars actually ate. Some of them even cooked. Or at least had favorite recipes. So for the rest of award season, why not nosh on some celebrity snacks while watching celebrities make fools of themselves with their fashion choices and idiotic comments? Provided below are some snacks and finger foods preferred by the stars of Old Hollywood. Recipes from current stars are not readily available as they either don’t actually eat or eat such peculiar diets that they are not easily comprehended by regular folks. Except Miley Cyrus. She likes pizza.
Three time Oscar nominee and one time winner, Claudette Colbert, cleverly re-purposed martini olives into a tasty snack by wrapping them in cheese dough. Martini olives as a pantry staple is a charmingly vintage notion, very Hollywood and ripe for revival.
Henry Fonda, who won two Oscars, one of them honorary, and was nominated two other times, surprisingly had a recipe for Swedish meatballs. His public persona never indicated that he was a devoted cook so maybe they were just a favorite of his. The recipe indicated the meatballs are an entree to be served with mashed potatoes but just stick some toothpicks in them and put them out with Claudette’s olive puffs for a “Drums along the Mohawk” vibe.
Whether you decide to go Hollywood for your next awards show or not, you owe it to yourself to whip up a batch of Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies. Like the Great Kate herself, they are simple and straightforward and completely delicious. They only take a few ingredients, all of which you probably have on hand. By the second time you make them, and you will make them a second time, you may not even need to look at the recipe. They are that simple. They are that good. Just don’t overbake. they should be gooey.
The SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild) are Jan. 30, Grammy Awards are Feb. 15 and the Oscars wind up the season on Feb. 28 so drag out your best ballgown or press your tuxedo, as the case may be. There’s still time to live like a rock star. Or a movie star, if that is your preference.
Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies
This recipe is found in many places on the internet and is reported to be in a book written by Hepburn.
½ cup cocoa
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 cup chopped or broken-up walnuts or pecans
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Heat oven to 325°F. Melt butter in saucepan with cocoa and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, nuts and salt. Add to the cocoa-butter mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch-square pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Do not overbake; the brownies should be gooey. Let cool, then cut into bars.
Claudette Colbert’s Cheese and Olive Puffs
from the “Dead Celebrity Cookbook” by Frank de Caro
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. Tabasco
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
2 (10-ounce) jars of pimento-stuffed green olives, drained and blotted dry
Add cheese and butter to bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Add flour, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce to form dough. Wrap each olive in a small amount of dough, completely covering the olive and forming a ball. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and freeze. Transfer to a plastic bag and store in freezer until ready to use. To cook, place on a baking sheet and bake at 400˚ F for 12 minutes, or until crust is golden. Serve hot.
Mini Pepperoni Pizza Bites
This recipe is in honor of Miley Cyrus and her love of pizza. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Cyrus is allegedly not afraid of a snack.
24 slices of good quality pepperoni or salami
½ cup sweet bell pepper, thinly sliced
⅓ cup tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
4 oz. cheese, sliced into cubes
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Press one slice of salami or pepperoni into each cup of a mini-muffin tin. Fill each pepperoni cup with sweet peppers and tomatoes. Add about 1 tsp. of sauce to each cup. Add the cheese on top of the sauce, and sprinkle some fresh basil on top of each mini pizza. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until salami is crisp. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Barbara Eden’s Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Eden was nominated for two golden Globes for “I Dream of Jeannie” and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Recipe from recipegoldmine.com
24 large mushrooms
2 1/2 tsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. grated Romano cheese
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. bread crumbs
4 ounces crabmeat, rinsed and tossed
with 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. cognac
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Remove mushroom stems. Combine 2 tablespoons of the Romano cheese with remaining ingredients in a bowl; beat with mixer for 5 minutes. Fill mushrooms with a 1/2-inch crown left on top. Lightly butter a large baking sheet and arrange stuffed mushrooms with a space between. Bake 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms from oven; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Romano cheese. Heat broiler. Place mushrooms under broiler until cheese melts and is golden.
Yields 24 servings.
Henry Fonda’s Swedish Meatballs
Serving size: 4
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup yellow onion minced
3 tbsp. sweet butter
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cinnamon or allspice (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Soak bread crumbs in milk until milk is absorbed. Mix with a fork to form smooth mixture. Sauté onion slowly in 1 tablespoon butter until golden; remove onion to mixing bowl. Add beef, veal, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and beaten eggs. Mix well with fingers. Cover; refrigerate several hours. Form meat into 2-inch balls with fingers. Heat oven to 350°F. Heat remaining butter in skillet until it sizzles. Brown meatballs quickly over medium heat on all sides by shaking skillet. Transfer meatballs to ovenproof baking dish. Add a few tablespoons of milk to skillet; deglaze skillet stirring over medium heat; pour over meatballs. Bake about 15 minutes, or until meatballs are heated through.
Serve with mashed potatoes and sauce made from juices in the bottom of the casserole. (Blend with a little heavy cream over direct flame until slightly reduced to the consistency of thin sauce. Taste to correct seasonings.)
Sophia Loren’s Pizza alla Napoletana
Loren won two Oscars, one of them honorary, and was nominated for a third. She was the first actor to win for a role in a foreign language film. This recipe honors her native Naples and is from recipegoldmine.com.
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup marinara sauce or peeled, chopped tomatoes, to taste
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced, or to taste
2 ounces anchovy filets or strips of thinly sliced prosciutto, to taste
1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or dried, to taste
1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 tbsp. olive oil
To prepare dough, dissolve yeast in water. On a clean surface, combine flour and salt. Make a well in center of flour and add the dissolved yeast. Blend together and knead thoroughly. Add oil and continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl; cover and let stand in a warm place for one to three hours, until doubled in bulk.
Flatten dough and roll out to form a 10-inch circle about one-quarter-inch thick. Place dough on a flat surface sprinkled lightly with cornmeal. (If you don’t have an extra-wide spatula or flat lifter of some sort with which to move the assembled pizza, transfer the dough to a board or the flat side of a tray sprinkled with cornmeal so that the pizza will slide off easily into the skillet.) Spread tomato sauce over top of dough. Add mozzarella, anchovies or other toppings, as desired. Sprinkle with basil, Parmesan and pepper, to taste.
Heat oil in large, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet. When oil is sizzling, transfer the uncooked pizza to the hot skillet. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until crust is golden and topping is bubbly. If needed, cover pizza for a few minutes toward the end of cooking to speed melting the cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Nominate your favorite cook to share their love of food with readers of The Mount Airy News.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699, on Twitter @BillColvard.