It's Oscar week, and nobody, but nobody, is more excited than your Cod. All week long, I'll be offering tips to help you get ready for the big night.
Best Supporting Actor:
George Clooney in “Syriana” (Warner Bros.)
Matt Dillon in “Crash” (Lions Gate)
Paul Giamatti in “Cinderella Man” (Universal and Miramax)
Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain” (Focus Features)
William Hurt in “A History of Violence” (New Line)
This category has a lot of challenges, and a lot of opportunities. With time and patience, you'll be sure to wow your guests. Gyllenhall is probably the easiest choice if you are pressed for time. Chops, cut thick and grilled over a natural charcoal fire is the way to go. You'll know he's ready to go on the grill when you cannot hold your hand two inches over the grill for more than a few seconds.
For the ambitious chef, a whole roasted Clooney is a real show-stopper. However, be careful preparing this dish, as the Syriana hunk's liver and gall bladder are poisonous!
If you decide to go with Hurt, plan ahead. You'll need to order him special from your grocer, and allow time to soak in several changes of water before poaching in water with a bouquet garni--or, for a down-home touch, RC Cola!
Dillon is another performer that needs a skilled chef to coax out what he has to offer. He'll never be Timberlake-tender, but grilled and served Tucscan-style with plenty of garlic, he offers a hearty treat.
If inclement weather means grilling is not an option, why not try a braised shank of Giamatti? Traditionally this dish is served with risotto milanese, but sushi rice cooked in homemade chicken stock is a great shortcut! Just be sure to have gremolata on hand, the traditonal acompaniment of parsley, chopped garlic, and lemon zest.
See you tomorrow with ideas for the distaff second bananas!