Wolfgang Puck is Cooking Up a Latin Menu for the Oscars

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The annual star-studded dinner will feature a veggie risotto paella and Spanish ham for 1,500 guests that include Academy Award winners, nominees and presenters. We sure that Spanish stars Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem (who is nominated for Best Actor) to certainly enjoy the evening.

“Our goal each year is to honor Hollywood’s brightest stars and most accomplished artists with a culinary masterpiece,” Puck said of the planned specialties. “Only the finest ingredients and flavors will do”

He is keeping his word after reportedly ordering 800 pounds of lobster, 60 sides of salmon and 1,200 bottles of Moet & Chandon Champagne. For anyone looking to add your own Spanish flavor to that Oscar Party try this delicious recipe below.

Vegetarian Paella

Vegetables rich in flavor (and vitamins!) replace seafood in a meatless spin on this Spanish classic.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:

  •     1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, sliced
  •     1 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
  •     4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  •     1 medium onion, diced
  •     1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper
  •     2 cloves garlic, minced
  •     2 cups basmati rice
  •     2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  •     1 cup white wine
  •     1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  •     1 large red bell pepper, diced
  •     4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  •     1 jar (6 oz.) artichoke hearts
  •     1/2 lb. Swiss chard, chopped

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 425°F. On baking sheet, place leek and squash, brush with 1 tbsp. olive oil and put in oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, then remove and reduce oven to 350°F. In large paella pan, heat 3 tbsp. oil, then add onion and sauté over medium heat until softened. Stir in cayenne pepper and garlic. Add rice and cook while stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. Add stock, wine, leek-squash mixture, peas, bell pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and Swiss chard, then stir and simmer 5 minutes. Place paella pan in oven and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, until rice is tender and stock is absorbed.

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