Here are recipes suggested by Ro Howe—chef-owner of Barraud Caterers, in New York—as munchables that will give you a meal but still keep you in the living room on Oscar Night. She ends with day-ahead preparation tips. She offered a more extended menu in our previous post.—Ed.


Mushroom Frittata

Yield: six portions as part of a grazing cocktail buffet


Measuring cups and spoons

2-inch pastry brush

Cheese grater or Microplane

Medium wire whip

11-inch ovenproof sauté pan

1 small bowl

1 medium bowl

Large, heat-proof rubber spatula

2 large platters



2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 C chopped onion

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1⁄4 C extra virgin olive oil

3⁄4 # Cremeni or other mushrooms, brushed clean of soil and chopped

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 tsp. Herbes de Provence, minced

Kosher salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

9 large eggs, beaten

3/4 C grated mixed Gruyère and cheddar

1/4 C chopped flat leaf parsley



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat an 11-inch ovenproof sauté pan. Add olive oil. When shimmering, add minced onion. Sauté until the onions are golden—about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Reserve them in small bowl.

Heat sauté pan again. When shimmering, add chopped mushrooms in two or three batches and sauté over high heat to caramelize them. Return onion, garlic, and mushrooms to the sauté pan and add seasoning, stirring over medium heat.

Whisk eggs well in 10-inch medium bowl. Pour into mushroom pan and stir to disperse evenly.

Sprinkle with cheese.

Cook over medium heat until the bottom is set—about 3 minutes.

Place pan on top shelf of oven. Cook until the eggs are just set—about 10 to 12 minutes. They should have a little jiggle in the middle, which “carry over cooking time” will take care of.

Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes.

Using a heatproof rubber spatula, release the frittata’s edges from the pan. Place a platter upside down on the pan and, using oven mitts, reverse the pan so the plate is on the bottom. Remove the pan. Repeat the procedure with another plate to put the frittata right-side up

Cut into 1 1⁄2-inch squares and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve hot or at room temperature.


Pâté de Campagne, Poached Pear, and Pickle with Dijon-Buttered Toast

This is a simple put-together dish, but be sure to buy good-quality pâté from a good grocery store. I suggest Les Trois Petits Cochons or D’Artagnan

Yield: six portions as part of a grazing cocktail buffet



Measuring cups and spoons

Small saucepan


Half sheet tray

Slotted spoon

1 small bowl

Small rubber spatula



1# good-quality Pâte de Campagne

2 seasonal pears

1 1⁄2 C red wine

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

1 piece star anise

¾ C sugar

11⁄2 cornichon pickles, sliced

1 French baguette, sliced 1⁄2-inch straight across

6 Tbsp. sweet butter at room temperature

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard



For the pears, place wine, sugar, and spices in a small saucepan. Heat to melt the sugar and infuse the spices.

Peel the pears and dice into half-inch pieces.

Gently cook the pears in the red wine until crisp-tender. They must not fall apart. When done, scoop out the pears onto a cold plate to cool. Reduce the red wine until syrupy. Put in a small bowl drizzled with a Tbsp. of syrup.

For the toasts, pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine the room-temperature butter and mustard and spread on the toasts. Place the toasts on a half sheet tray and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes until starting to become golden around the edges and becoming crisp in the middle, remembering that they will crisp up as they cool. Place in a small basket or on a platter.

Cut the pâté into thin slices and arrange on a plate. Cover smoothly with plastic wrap until guests arrive, since the pâté will oxidize. Arrange the pickles, pears, and baguette around the plate of pâté, providing small forks and spoons for guests to help themselves to the various components.


Blue Cheese, Apple, and Berry Port Tortillas

Yield: six portions as part of a grazing cocktail buffet


Measuring cups and spoons

Small saucepan


Half sheet tray

Slotted spoon

One small bowl

Small rubber spatula

3 1⁄2-inch round cookie cutter

Sauté pan

Metal spatula



1⁄2 C good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam

1 tsp. red port

1⁄4 C apple, peeled and diced 1/3-inches

Pinch red-pepper flakes

1⁄2# blue cheese at room temperature

4 large flour tortillas

1/4C olive oil



Combine the jam, port, diced apple, and red-pepper flakes in a bowl.

Cut tortillas into circles with the cookie cutter and store them under a clean tea towel to prevent drying out.

To fill the tortilla, brush the edge with a little water.

Spread the tortillas in the center with the jam mixture.

Dollop a teaspoon of the cheese on top.

Fold over the tortilla so the edges meet and you can pinch the edges to seal. Store covered until ready to fry.

Heat a large sauté pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil. When shimmering, add a few tortillas at a time. When golden brown, turn onto other side. When both sides are cooked, remove to paper towel-lined platter. Continue till all cooked.

Serve warm.


Hummus with Radish and Cucumber 

Here’s another “shop-well, put-together” dish. If you’re in lower Manhattan, Hoomoos Asli (spelled as it is supposed to be pronounced), on Kenmare & Cleveland Place, makes a really good one.

Yield: six portions as part of a grazing cocktail buffet


2 quarts good-quality hummus, preferably from a Middle Eastern deli-grocery or restaurant.

2 English cucumbers, washed and sliced 1⁄2-inch

2 bunches radishes with tops (not cello bag), washed, tops and tails trimmed, and quartered


Day-Ahead Preparation Tips

As always, go through your recipes, printing them out if possible and modifying them for the number of guests.

Write a comprehensive shopping list, including those non-food items that you’ll need for your event.

Prep the kitchen ahead, clearing counters, emptying garbage, and having recycle bins ready to receive the detritus from the course of the evening.

Have the munchables ready to set out when your guests arrive, along with glasses, napkins, and plates (if you’re planning to use them).

Have the coffee machine and kettle ready to go if you’re planning to offer coffee and tea at the end of the night. This can be a useful tip to nudge the stragglers off home.

It will be a long evening so check the ice compartment in the fridge and buy extra ice if necessary. Calculate one pound of ice per person if you’re serving mixed drinks—less if you’re offering only wine and beer, so long as you have enough room in the fridge to chill them.

Do as much as possible the day or at least the morning ahead. Your job as a host is to be with your guests, not tied up in the kitchen frying tortillas or stuffing and folding crepes—unless, of course, you’re also giving demonstration cooking lessons on the same night!


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