Didn’t get your invite to the Academy Awards this year? Neither did I. It could have been that flaming Babylon review I wrote. In any case, no worries! Just in time to make your own home Oscar party snacks eat or movie night munchies any time of the year, we have special, insider info on the best film food ever!
With food photographer and recipe developer Rachel Riederman’s “Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood: 50 Movie-Themed Cheese Platters and Snack Boards for Film Fanatics,” you can celebrate your favorite films of all time with delicious cheese boards, creative charcuterie platters, and movie-themed snack recipes in this punny and tasty cookbook.
The book is a unique, full-color cookbook starring 50 different snack board ideas, from timeless cheese boards and charcuterie to candy platters and cocktail pairings, all themed around iconic movies, absolutely perfect for you home Oscar party snacks or movie night munchies.
And these work all year ’round, not just during awards season. Whether having a movie night and streaming an AFI classic or classically bad movie, munchies are a must-have.
With gorgeous flat-lay photography for every movie-themed board, “Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood” outlines what you need to create cheesy cinematic pairings (and even cheesier puns) like:
- May the Fromage Be with You (Star Wars)
- Draw Me Like One of Your French Gruyères (Titanic)
- I’ll Harvarti What She’s Having (When Harry Met Sally)
- Here’s Looking at You, Curd (Casablanca)
- Brie-king Dawn (Twilight)
- Roquefort Horror Picture Show (Rocky Horror Picture Show) and many more!
“If you love movies and you love cheese, this is the book for you,” says Riederman. “As you settle in to watch your favorite film, don’t merely serve popcorn, but rather a perfect selection of cheeses, meats, candies, and snacks, all perfectly paired to complement whatever 90- to 180-minute adventure you’re about to embark on.”
Riederman has very generously offered to share with us five of her favorite recipes for tasty and clever Oscar and movie night snacks. Take a look:
5 great ideas for home Oscar party snacks and movie night munchies
MAY THE FROMAGE BE WITH YOU // Star Wars
Construct a droid-shaped ball of cheese you will, young padawan. Awaken the force (or, in this case, the fromage) within you and become the Jedi Master you were born to be as you create the cutest and tastiest cheese ball in the galaxy. Serving this board with a side of crunchy galactic mix easily makes this spread the best snack from here to the Outer Rim.
For the board:
BB-8 Cheese Ball (see below)
Galactic Mix (see below)
handful of assorted crackers
crudités, of your choice
Place the assorted crudités and crackers on the serving plate with the BB-8 cheese ball.
Position the galactic mix on its own serving plate, in a nearby orbit.
BB-8 CHEESE BALL
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sour cream
2 green onions, white parts only, finely sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 or 4 drops hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (8-ounce) block sharp white cheddar, finely shredded
1/4 pound sliced yellow cheddar
1 black olive, cut in half
To a large bowl, add the cream cheese, sour cream, green onions, garlic powder, onion powder, hot sauce, pepper, and salt. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat on medium until fully combined. Add the shredded cheese, and use a rubber spatula to combine.
Place in the fridge for one hour to firm up. Spray your hands with nonstick cooking spray. Use three-quarters of the cheese mixture to form a round ball for BB-8’s bottom. Spray your hands again if needed, and roll the remaining mixture into another ball, flattening the bottom on the counter or a plate, for BB-8’s head. Place both balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes, to ensure they hold their shape.
Meanwhile, use a mat knife or a sharp paring knife on a cutting board to create 5 circles from the sliced yellow cheese for BB-8’s body. It is helpful to use a cookie cutter, a biscuit cutter, or a small glass to cut the main circle. You can make a template for the center cutout or cut it freehand. Cut thin cheese strips for BB-8’s head, and use the olive halves for his sensors/lenses.
Place the larger cheese ball in the center of a serving dish or platter. Use a wood skewer for support. Push it into the center of the larger ball and break off the excess, so that only 1½ to 2 inches stick out of the top. Place the smaller cheese ball over the skewer, pressing down gently. Add the cheese circles to the larger ball, and the cheese strips and sliced olives to the head.
TIP: This cheese ball is best made a day in advance and kept in the fridge covered in plastic wrap. Make BB-8’s decorations the day the cheese ball will be served, so they do not appear dried out.
1 (12-ounce) bag red chocolate melts
1 (12-ounce) bag blue chocolate melts
20 pretzels sticks
¼ cup yogurt-covered raisins
½ cup chocolate-covered nuts or raisins
½ cup puffed cereal of your choice
¼ cup M&M’s
2 tablespoons star sprinkles
1 tablespoon silver sprinkles
To make the lightsaber pretzels, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set it aside. Melt half the bag of red chocolate melts and half the bag of blue chocolate melts, following package directions. Save the unused melts for another project. Place the melted red chocolate in a small
juice glass, and the melted blue chocolate in another small juice glass. Dip half the pretzels into the red chocolate about three-quarters of the way up the pretzel, letting any excess chocolate drip off. Place the dipped pretzels on the baking sheet to cool. Repeat the process for the blue chocolate. Put the lightsabers in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes to fully harden.
In a medium bowl, add the yogurt-covered raisins, chocolate-covered raisins or nuts, cereal, and M&Ms, and toss to combine. Add the lightsaber pretzels, tossing gently to combine. Transfer the mixture to its own serving dish and top with the assorted sprinkles.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BRIE-KING DAWN // The Twilight Saga
You don’t have to be named Bella to enjoy this Italian-inspired board. Fans of both the books and movies will enjoy the apple and flower imagery we know and love so well from the series. This selection of apples, dark chocolate, crostini, and biscotti paired with gorgonzola and salami is sure to bring the whole pack together and make your friends exclaim, “You brought a snack!”
For the board
1 Rome or Macintosh apple
1 Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
Mixed Berry Baked Brie Bites (see below)
Charcuterie Rosettes (see below)
1/4 cup honey
8 Mulino Bianco Cioccograno cookies or other Italian cookies of your choice
2 cups mini biscotti, preferably with dried red fruit and nuts
1 handful of assorted breadsticks or crackers
3 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate bar, coarsely broken into medium to large pieces
½ cup Marcona almonds
3 tablespoons pomegranate arils
Homemade Crostini (see below)
pomegranate juice or a nice barolo, to serve
Place the Rome or Macintosh apple in the center of the board. If the apple rolls or tilts to one side, slice off the bottom to create a stable base.
Halve the Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Pink Lady apple, remove the core, and cut each half into ¼-inch-thick slices. Carefully transport each half of the apple, making sure the slices maintain their original shape, and place them on opposite sides of the board. Place the gorgonzola in another open section of the board
Group the Mixed Berry Baked Brie Bites in opposite open sections of the board and do the same for the Charcuterie Rosettes, and add a jar or bowl of honey. Fill in the remaining open sections with cookies, biscotti, breadsticks or crackers, and chocolate bar sections. Add almonds to any last open areas, and lightly scatter pomegranate arils over the board. Arrange the crostini on a separate platter.
MIXED BERRY BAKED BRIE BITES
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
8 ounces brie
¼ cup mixed berry jam
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)
flaky sea salt, to taste
To make these mini baked brie bites with mixed berry jam, which are a nod to the berry cobbler Charlie Swan eats every week, preheat the oven to the temperature suggested on the package of puff pastry. Lightly spray a mini 24-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
Gently unroll the thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into an even shape, then cut the sheet lengthwise into 4 even strips and crosswise into 6 even strips. Each of the 24 squares will be about 2½ inches on each side. Gently separate the squares and press them into the mini muffin pan to create puff pastry cups, leaving the corners pointing upward. With the tines of a fork, prick the bottom of each puff pastry in 2 or 3 places.
Leaving the rind on, cut the brie into 1-inch cubes. Place 1 cube in each puff pastry cup, then add a small dollop, or ¼ teaspoon jam, over the brie, and top with a sprinkling of chopped pecans, if using.
Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown and crispy, about 12 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before adding a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Carefully remove the mini bites from the muffin pan while still warm to prevent sticking. Makes 24 brie Bites.
TIP: The mini bites are best made fresh and served warm. However, they can be assembled the night before and left in the fridge until ready to bake.
4 ounces salami of your liking, very thinly sliced
Fold a slice of salami over the opening of a glass with a small mouth, like a champagne flute or a shot glass, making sure that half of the slice hugs the inside of the glass and half the outside.
Take the next slice, fold it, and place it halfway over the previous layer, again being careful that half of the slice is inside the glass and half outside. Press and mold the layers together with your fingers to keep the shape. The more layers you add, the fuller your rose will be.
Flip over the glass and remove the rosette so that the layered parts sitting inside the glass now face up. Gently mold the layered slices into a round shape if needed, and your rosette is complete. Repeat the process to make the second rosette.
1/2 baguette or demi baguette, sliced about 3/8 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
fine sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the slices evenly with garlic powder, if using.
Bake until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle with fine sea salt while warm.
I’LL HAVARTI WHAT SHE’S HAVING” // When Harry Met Sally
This board is no consolation prize, Harry. It’s honoring the iconic 1989 Nora Ephron romcom that addresses whether straight men and women can ever be just friends. While Sally may take an hour and a half to order a very satisfying sandwich (with sauce on the side!), this NYC deli–inspired board is not high maintenance thinking, it’s low maintenance—the worst kind. It’s quite easy to assemble. You make this board because when you realize you want to eat a pastrami sandwich, you want that meal to start as soon as possible.
For the board
8 slices rye bread
1 pound pastrami
1 pound corned beef
8 ounces havarti with dill, cut into slices
1/4 inch thick, then cut crosswise to make triangles
Mini Potato Knishes (see below)
12 mini hot dogs, cooked according to package directions
½ pound kosher dill pickles
¾ cup sauerkraut
½ pound coleslaw
⅓ cup spicy brown mustard
⅓ cup Russian dressing
On a large board or serving tray (butcher block works well to emulate Katz’s vibes), arrange the bread and meat. Lay out the havarti triangles, and scatter groupings of the knishes, hot dogs, and pickles. Then add small saucers of the sauerkraut, coleslaw, mustard, and Russian dressing.
Assemble the pastrami and corned beef into 2 sandwiches each, and don’t forget to slather on condiments and pile on anything you like from the board. Slice each sandwich in half.
MINI POTATO KNISHES
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to salt the water
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup flour, for dusting
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
In a medium saucepan, bring a full pot of water to a boil and season generously with kosher salt. Add the potatoes and boil until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt, and sauté low and slow. Stir constantly until the onions are deeply brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the stove to cool.
Drain the potatoes in a colander, and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to the temperature listed on the package of puff pastry. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Once the potatoes have cooled, add them to a medium bowl. Mash with a fork, leaving some small lumps for texture. Once the onion has cooled, add it to the bowl, along with 1 teaspoon of salt and freshly ground pepper to your liking, and combine.
Dust a clean work surface with flour. Gently unroll the thawed puff pastry over the dusted surface, and lightly use a rolling pin to even out the shape. Cut the longest side into 4 equal strips, then cut crosswise into 3 equal strips (4 strips if your puff pastry is more square than rectangular).
Fill each piece of puff pastry by adding 1 tablespoon of the potato mixture to the center. Pick up all four corners to wrap around the potato mixture, and pinch and twist the corners over the center to securely close the pastry. Repeat the process until all the pieces are filled and wrapped. Place the knishes on the lined baking sheet, spacing them approximately 2 inches apart. Brush the knishes with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Bake until golden brown and puffed, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 12 knishes.
TIP: The mini potato knishes can be preassembled and frozen raw to be baked at a later date.
YOU’VE GOAT MAIL // You’ve Got Mail
Fall in love at first byte like Joe NY152 and Kathleen Shopgirl with this classic NYC-inspired board featuring everything bagel hot dogs, pretzel chips, and fresh veggies you can find at your local shop (which may or may not be around the corner). A classic rom-com with heart and sweet ’90s nostalgia: You’ve Got Mail.
For the board
1 (16-ounce) package everything bagel dogs, cooked according to package directions
1 cup pretzel crisps
2 celery stalks, cut on a sharp diagonal, around 3/8 inch thick
3 Persian cucumbers, sliced lengthwise
3 carrots, sliced lengthwise, then cut on the diagonal
8 ounces cauliflower florets
6 ounces baby cauliflower
4 mini New York–style cheesecakes
1 (4.5-ounce) creamy goat cheese spread
½ cup Castelvetrano olives, or olives of your choice
¼ cup spicy brown mustard
1 cup mini San Marzano tomatoes or any small tomatoes
4 ounces sugar snap peas
On a large platter or board, add the bagel dogs, pretzel crisps, celery, cucumbers, carrots, cauliflower florets, baby cauliflower, and mini cheesecakes. Add small bowls of the goat cheese spread, olives, and mustard, and fill any open areas with the tomatoes and sugar snap peas.
TIP: Vegetable prep can be done a day in advance, and the vegetables kept in the fridge in containers with some water to keep them from drying out.
Get even more ideas for home Oscar party snacks and movie night munchies from Once Upon a Rind in Hollywood: 50 Movie-Themed Cheese Platters and Snack Boards for Film Fanatics,” by available for $19.95 on Amazon.
What goes better than movies and cheese? Here are 5 great ideas for home Oscar party snacks and movie night munchies that work all year round.