There are Oscar parties and then there are foodies Oscar parties. This year, I made all of my guests bring a dish inspired by an oscar-nominated flick to my viewing party. On the menu: Hot Slumdog Millionaires, Benjamin Button Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley, Wall-e-nut brownies, Meryl Streeps of Meats (OK, this one was a bit of a stretch), Rachel Getting Wasteds and my Buttermilk Panna Cotta, inspired by the movie Milk.
Panna Cotta are, in my opinion, one of the easiest dessert to make, though they do require some advance prep. This recipe for 6 buttermilk panna cottas is from Epicurious:
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Assorted berries (frozen can be used, but I prefer fresh berries)
Pour 2 tablespoons water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. Lightly spray six 3/4-cup ramekins with nonstick spray.
Heat cream, lemon peel, and sugar in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring just to low boil, stirring occasionally. Add gelatin mixture; remove from heat. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Cool mixture to lukewarm, stirring often. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla; divide mixture among prepared ramekins. Refrigerate panna cotta until set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
Using small sharp knife, cut around panna cotta in each ramekin. Place plate atop each ramekin and invert, allowing panna cotta to settle onto plate. Top with berries and serve chilled.