Thursday, March 15, 2012
Serves 3 people as a meal accompaniment
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, chopped
1 large handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp grated/ground ginger
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1 pinch hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (or more to desired spice level)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt to taste
1. Wash eggplant, cut into 2 or 4 pieces. Place in microwave safe container with a few teaspoons of water and a lid. Microwave until cooked, for approximately 12 minutes (more or less time depending on the strength of your microwave). Remove the eggplant from the cooking container, allow to cool, and then peel. Discard the skin. Chop/crush the eggplant flesh and set aside.
2. In a non-stick pan, heat canola oil. Add mustard seeds and wait until they start to sizzle and pop. Then add the pinch of hing, followed by the onions.
3. Saute the onions until soft. Then add the garlic, ginger, and all of the remaining spices. Stir for a minute or two to avoid burning.
4. Add the tomatoes. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes until they start to break down.
5. Add the eggplant and make sure to combine all the ingredients together well.
6. Add the cilantro. Turn off the heat. Stir the cilantro in well, and serve hot.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
|Enjoying the red carpet|
|No longer the Kodak Theatre, but not enough time to change to it's new name before the ceremony day|
Let me start by describing the ceremony itself. All of us guests entered via the red carpet. The only thing dividing us regular folk from the stars was a rope. There was a lot of screaming from the grandstands when big stars entered, lots of networks doing interviews, and of course, lots of paparazzi. The red carpet into the former Kodak Theater was pretty long, giving us a lot of time to soak in the atmosphere. Upon ascending the sparkling staircase into the lobby of the theater, we were offered champagne. There was champagne, more champagne, and seemingly more champagne, and yet interestingly a void of all other drinks, even water.
|Ready to kick off the 2012 Oscars|
After two hours of perusing the red carpet, brushing elbows with various celebrities, and enjoying the general hubbub of the paparazzi, we entered the theater and took our dress circle seats. The show was run with ease and the atmosphere was generally relaxed - minus the few people always running back to their seats when the production announcer said, "Less than 30 seconds to air, ladies and gentleman PPPLLEEAASSEE take your seats!"
|Empty popcorn box from the ceremony and gold chocolate Oscar|
About 2/3's of the way through the show they came around with little containers of popcorn. Cute idea, but would have been nice if we would have also been offered some water! Nevertheless it was a welcome treat after not having had anything to eat for hours.
The moment the show was over, everyone jumped out of their seats to either exit, or, if they were lucky enough to have a ticket, enter directly into the Governors Ball. I was excited to attend the Governors Ball because my favorite kind of celebrity, the famous chef, Wolfgang Puck, was catering the party.
|The Governors Ball|
It turns out, that I didn't even get to sample all of the huge variety of items on offer. Mini-dinner plates were served to us like appetizers. There was lots of caviar, and lots of truffle flavored items. There was comfort food (like chicken pot pie) and luxurious lobster. There were adorable plates of beautifully presented mixed mini appetizers - mini potato latkes, crostini with prosciutto, miniature one-bite tacos and super tiny baby vegetables. Baked potatoes were wrapped in gold foil and topped with mounds of sour cream and caviar. Single racks of lamb were served with a delicate mint sauce and pea puree. There were short ribs, pot stickers, sliders, and smoked salmon pizza too. In the back of the room, there was a chocolate lovers dream; chocolate fountains, truffles, cookies etc. And in the middle of the room, there was a giant, revolving band, led by Tony Bennett belting his heart out.
The thing that fascinated me most was how this event was made feasible. Somehow, Wolfgang Puck managed to serve every dish warm to each of the 1500 guests. To top that off, the food kept on coming, round after round, and hour after hour. I'd loved to have viewed the behind the scenes kitchen to see they were operationally managing to make all this magic happen!
|One small section of the chocolate fountain bar|
|Passed mini-dessert plates, mini chocolate strobe light (on the left) included|
|Red beet pasta, delicious!|
|Mac and Cheese topped with a giant piece of truffle|
Memorable; yes. Exciting; yes. Once in a lifetime; yes. Cross it off the bucket list; yes!
My apologies again for the terrible photo quality!!! I defer you all to Google Images (search: food at the Governors Ball) to see some really fantastic photos.