Red Carpet Recipes

The Academy Awards is a time for people to get together and talk about movies. Your little ones have a chance to see their idols dressed up while you mock – ahem compliment – the outfits. Around the country people get together for parties. People try to guess winners. Winner bingo is created, and prizes given. There may even be a dress up factor at your house.

But nothing makes a party a party like food! Tapas, smaller dishes made for sharing, are great for such an event. People can snack while watching Bay Area-native James Franco – grew up in Palo Alto – and the “Princess Diaries” star Anne Hathaway host one of Hollywood’s most prestigious nights.

Will it be “Toy Story 3” or “Inception” that will take home the little gold man for Best Picture? Watching could be a great time to chat about dreams. Local boy Franco, for example, is not only one of the youngest hosts but is also nominated for Actor in a Leading Role. Last year’s Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow who also won Best Picture for “The Hurt Locker,” grew up in San Carlos. Both got their start here, dreaming about movies.

Get the conversation started with some tasty food and pomegranate lemonade using these recipes from You may want to get some pita chips to go along with the garlic and edamame dip. Enjoy!

Tapas with Garlic Shrimp and Baby Greens

Tapas Spread
4 ounces thinly sliced serrano ham
4 ounces Manchego cheese, sliced into thin triangles
1 (12-ounce) bottle roasted red peppers, sliced
1 cup assorted marinated olives
1 cup Marcona almonds
1 baguette or other good crusty bread

1 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tsp. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 rounded tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
10 cup baby salad greens

1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3/4 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
1/3 cup fino sherry (or dry white wine)
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley


  1. For Tapas Spread: Arrange all tapas ingredients on a large platter.
  2. For Salad: Whisk together vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl.
  3. Whisk in olive oil, and add salt and pepper; set aside. (Dress greens before serving.)
  4. For Shrimp: Toss the shrimp with 3/4 teaspoon salt; set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. Warm the olive oil in a large pan, and gently sauté garlic over medium-low heat for 3 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to color.
  6. Add shrimp, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, and smoked paprika; cook over medium heat, turning the shrimp occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until just cooked through.
  7. Remove shrimp from pan with a slotted spoon. Add sherry to pan, raise heat to high, and reduce liquid (about 2–3 minutes).
  8. Add lemon juice, return shrimp to pan, and toss gently; sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.


Roast Garlic and Edamame Dip


1 small whole garlic head
2 cups water
1 (16-ounce) package frozen shelled edamame (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
5 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 Tbs. water
1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head, so the cloves are slightly exposed, but don’t peel the garlic. Wrap the head loosely in foil, and place in a preheated 400 degrees oven for 45 minutes or until garlic is very soft and golden. Let cool; then squeeze the garlic cloves out of the paper-like peel.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to a boil; add edamame, and boil 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. Combine edamame, garlic, cumin, and next 5 ingredients (through 3 tablespoons water) in a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Garnish mixture with the chopped cilantro and serve.


Pomegranate Lemonade


3 Tbs. sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup pomegranate juice (such as POM Wonderful)
2 1/2 cups water
Crushed ice


  1. Combine sugar and lemon juice. Stir well to dissolve.
  2. Pour lemon mixture and pomegranate juice into a pitcher, and stir well.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups water. Pour into 4 (8-ounce) glasses.
  4. Add crushed ice as needed to each glass.



Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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