Top 5 most delicious Oscar winners of 2018


If you missed the big Oscar nominees and winners in the theater, they’re now available to view at home. Though a word of warning: Once you watch the best pictures of last year, you may never see peaches, hard-boiled eggs, and hotel breakfast buffets the same way again. Keeping the meals shared in these five terrific features in mind, we handpicked recipes for the perfect food and drinks to accompany your Oscar movie night at home.

The Shape of Water

Film: The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, starring Sally Hawkins, Michael, Richard Jenkins, and Octavia Spencer

Where to find it: On Amazon for $14.99

Recipe: Tarragon Shallot Egg Salad Sandwiches from Epicurious

While the bad guys are chomping on lobster, the most unlikely sci-fi love affair between a mute cleaning lady and an amphibious swamp creature is boiling into a frenzy, like eggs on a stovetop. As you fall under the spell of this cinematic fairy tale, it’s easy to buy the interspecies romance, which begins to simmer over a shared lunch of solid yet supple, surprisingly sensual, golden-hearted, hard-boiled eggs. They are, after all, nature’s perfect food.

To pair with The Shape of Water, you could make some deviled eggs and call it dinner, or perhaps slice a hard-boiled egg over avocado toast. However, the old-timey feel of this film will more likely have you craving something simpler: the sort of egg salad sandwich Elisa Esposito would pack in her brown-bagged lunch. We love this straight-ahead egg salad, which gets some depth of flavor from finely chopped shallots, a touch of white wine vinegar, and the bittersweet anise-like flavor of tarragon, which pairs so well with eggs in any preparation. For a side dish, skip the popcorn and celebrate the Amphibian Man with some roasted seaweed snacks.

Call Me By Your Name

Film: Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, screenplay by James Ivory, based on the novel by André Aciman, starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer

Where to find it: On Amazon for $14.99

Recipe: Risotto Alla Milanese from Saveur and Giada’s Osso Bucco from The Food Network

A beautiful teenage boy. A handsome young man. The bucolic countryside of Northern Italy. Trees heavy with apricots and peaches. A lilting Sufjan Stevens song breaking your heart in the background. Stolen kisses in hidden creeks. Armie Hammer dropping some ’80s dance moves on an outdoor dance floor to the shimmering sounds of the Psychedelic Furs’ “Love My Way.” And just when Call Me By Your Name seems like too much lushness to handle, the young lover’s mom and dad step in to demonstrate a level of parenting that the mainstream cinema has seldom seen.

We’re not going to give anything away, but trust us, you’re going to need a meal that can stand up to the overwhelming emotional nature of this film. How about a classic Northern Italian feast, something that you’ll have to work for a little bit? We recommend starting some osso buco a couple of hours beforehand, let it simmer on the stove, and then start preparing some saffron-laced risotto alla Milanese about 30 minutes before the movie begins.

Warning: We’d veer away from any desserts of the peaches-and-cream variety, as they might cheapen one of the more emotionally intense moments of the film. Also, there might be a gross-out factor. You’ll see what we mean.

The Florida Project

Film: The Florida Project, directed by Sean Baker, written by Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch, starring Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, and Willem Dafoe

Where to find it: On Amazon, starting at $4.99 to stream

Recipe: Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole from Two Peas & Their Pod, plus some strawberries and raspberries on the side

Though The Florida Project only scored one Oscar nomination (and Willem Dafoe didn’t end up taking home the prize for Best Supporting Actor), we think it’s essential viewing. The main character in the movie, 6-year-old Moonee, is living month-to-month in a shabby, kitchen-less room in a lavender-pink, low-budget motel, just outside Disney World. Her way-too-young mother can barely pay the rent, so it’s never clear when Moonee’s next meal is going to show up, but no time is wasted focusing on her hunger. She’s too busy hustling a soft-serve ice cream cone from Twistee Treat, sneaking into an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn, or feasting on a gluttonous diner meal her mother can’t afford. Though Moonee is a joy to watch, this film tells the heartbreaking story of the “hidden homeless,” people who are struggling to survive in semi-permanent housing, rather than on the streets or in shelters.

You may get hungry watching Moonee gleefully consume eggs, bacon, and strawberry waffles with lots of maple syrup. If you don’t have a waffle iron on hand, we recommend this Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole, a one-dish breakfast-for-dinner option. Serve with some strawberries and raspberries on the side, but don’t eat them all until you see how Moonee approaches a berry combo.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Film: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, directed by Martin McDonagh, written by Martin McDonagh, starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell

Where to find it: On Amazon, starting at $4.99 to stream

Recipe: Alton Brown’s Who Loves Ya Baby-Back Ribs from the Food Network, plus St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake from Smitten Kitchen for dessert

Whether you see Three Billboards as a dark, thoughtful satire or heavy-handed exercise in liberal politics, this film will give you a lot to chew on. Frances McDormand’s Oscar-winning performance as the angry, vengeful, justice-seeking Mildred is fascinating to watch, regardless of the fact that most of the characters are caricatures. The film takes viewers on an unpredictable ride, marked with hate, suffering, and you know, a couple of comedic moments here and there. No matter how you spin the story, the Three Billboards paints Middle America as a pretty dismal and hopeless place.

But hey, that’s where dinner comes in! St. Louis barbecue isn’t easy to replicate at home, but we found an Alton Brown recipe for baby back ribs that does the trick. And Smitten Kitchen’s take on gooey butter cake is almost as good as the dreamy, decadent, made-in-St. Louis original. This film asks you to consider the less-than-ideal direction of the human race, but once you’ve finished off a rack of ribs and a square of this ridiculously sweet and gooey confection, you’ll be pleasantly reminded some of the finer things humanity has to offer.


Film: Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees, written by Dee Rees (based on the book by Hillary Jordan), starring Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige and Jonathan Banks

Where to find it: On Netflix, free

Recipe: Red Beans and Rice from Saveur, plus good chocolate and whiskey

To say that this is a brutal movie to watch is an understatement, but only because it captures a truly dark period in American history. A husband uproots his wife (Carey Mulligan) and young daughters from a genteel neighborhood in Mississippi to a godforsaken cotton farm in the 1940s. Their nearest neighbors/tenants, a black sharecropper family whose matriarch is played by Mary J. Blige, are adjusting to their eldest son’s deployment to Europe during World War II, just as Mulligan’s brother-in-law—a strapping hunk played by Garrett Hedlund—leaves for the service, too.

As equal as these two men are while fighting the Germans, they come home to discover that time, and the virulent racism that courses through cotton country, has essentially stood still. The film is impressive in its unflinching gaze at the pure evil of racial violence in the South, but there are enough moments of grace and redemption that make it possible to not lose all faith in humanity. Also Mary J. Blige, nominated for best supporting actress for her role, Mulligan and Hedlund are all compelling characters to watch.

The film calls for an austere meal, like red beans and rice, along with some pickled peppers reminiscent of the ones Blige prepares at her kitchen table. Wash it down with copious amounts of whiskey. (Personally, I’m a fan of a one-to-one mix of rye and Amaro Nonino with a twist of orange peel.) Make sure to pick up one really good bar of chocolate to savor at an especially tender moment in the film. On second thought, go ahead and get two.—Nicole Davis

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