Thank you Sarah from Maison Cupcake – I am honoured to be hosting this month’s Forever Nigella event – in the month of the Royal Wedding. Well, for me, the second Royal Wedding since “the” wedding will always be Prince Charles and Lady Di’s in 1982. At my Catholic all-girls school, where I was in Grade 7, everything stopped and we crowded around a tiny TV to watch the proceedings. Err, all day! I love a good Royal Wedding and Neil and I are already planning a Royal Wedding party for the end of the month (yeah, I know, any excuse!).
This month, in honour of the Royal Wedding, Forever Nigella participants are throwing a Street Party! Street parties are a very British tradition to celebrate national events such as royal weddings, coronations and anniversaries. Everyone comes together in the street with their neighbours to have a big party and brings some food to share. We have a royal wedding themed prize for Forever Nigella 4, this limited edition Emma Bridgewater “William & Kate” tea towel featuring illustrations by Matthew Rice. Emma Bridgewater and Matthew Rice’s designs are iconic in the UK and you can expect this to be a collector’s item in years to come.
I will be judging the winner based on the the food/ post which exudes the most “Nigella-ness” (yes, that is a word!)
If you’ve been reading this blog a little while, you will know that I love lots of little tastes of many dishes so I have opted to bring two savoury and two sweet dishes – each in mini size, so you can enjoy a lot of them! I used the Nigella Express (“Good Food Fast”) book – one that I love because it really does have “express” recipes. Case in point, each of these dishes took maybe 15 minutes to put together and two of them were ready to eat immediately. My kind of party food! If you don’t already own a Nigella book, I highly recommend this one – it’s full of do-able and delicious recipes that are not intimidating but which produce impressive results. My kinda book! You can find it on Amazon or Amazon Canada.
The first dish I chose is the “instant canapé“: Quick crostini with avocado and green pea hummus.
Now I don’t know about you but this is my idea of a perfect canapé. In fact, when I was perusing the book, it stood out not just for its colour but for how fresh and springlike it looked. Can’t you just see this being passed about at a posh English party? Just a handful of ingredients (peas, avocado, lime juice, salt and pumpernickel bread – though any crackers would do), a few minutes’ work and you have an elegant hors d’oeuvre (or a fancy lunch in the middle of the week!). Nigella makes this with processed (canned) peas – the famed “mushy peas” but I used frozen with just a little more effort.
Next up, Potato Cakes with Smoked Salmon:
Many of you know that I don’t eat salmon (smoked or otherwise) unless I am on national TV and being polite LOL, so I did not partake in this one. Instead, Neil had a lovely fancy pre-tennis snack (all that sentence is missing is some champagne, strawberries and cream!). Also, Cleo enjoyed this one. Nigella’s potato/ scallion cakes are made with Smash (instant mashed potatoes) which I did not have access to (but – sssh! – which I love the French version of – la purée mousline) so I used baby new potatoes very successfully. These were so easy to make, they will definitely make an appearance at a future dinner party, I am sure. Topped with a little sour cream and some salmon (ours was hot smoked salmon, hence the thicker slices), it made a decadent treat on a busy Saturday for the other members of my household.
Ok, onto dessert. I admit that I picked this next recipe because of the tiny serving size (60ml). Even Nigella thinks this one is so rich and sweet, it needs to be served in “uncharacteristically small portions”! White Chocolate Mint Mousse:
This. Was. Exquisite. And oh so rich. As a party dessert, you could easily serve half that and people would be satisfied. Yes, it’s that rich! So easy to make, you could also substitute dark chocolate if you are not a fan of the white. Personally, I think it looks elegant in white.
Do you still have room? Because next up, we have Glitzy Chocolate Pudding. Which, clearly I chose for the name. Oh, and because it’s topped with “shards” of Cadbury Crunchie.
Again, ridiculously simple, though Nigella does not tell you this is going to rise a lot when it cooks.. Next time, I would only fill the ramekins 3/4 of the way. Like a soufflé, it deflates once it’s out of the oven but you can cover up the ugly parts with chocolate glaze and smashed up Crunchie. I think I will serve these at a dinner party soon because I want to see what Nigella calls “the greedy silence that falls over the table as you put these out.” Indeed.
And what to drink with all of that? Why a Pimm’s Cup, of course!
We enjoyed these last March in New Orleans at the Napoleon House but drink Pimm’s quite often at home too.
Want to join us?
Here’s a reminder of the rules:
Forever Nigella #4 “Street Party”
Challenge: To cook any Nigella recipe that would be suitable to bring to a street party i.e. any party food suitable for big groups.
Deadline: Sunday, May 1st at midnight wherever you are.
Round up: A few days later. Maybe a week. It depends how many of you enter. The next challenge will be publicised as soon as this one ends and most likely before the Street Party round up.
No rules about how often you must take part
No rules about stuff being secret until certain dates (although you are encouraged to tease us on Twitter about what you are making)
No rules that everyone cook exactly the same thing
No rules about not being able to submit to any other blog contests – in fact Sarah actively encourages you to do this. Just make sure it doesn’t contravene any rules the other guys may have.
But there are 3 rules:
1. We want everyone to keep buying lots and lots of Nigella books so that she keeps writing them so you must NOT reproduce recipes verbatim as shown in Nigella’s publications. If you are sticking exactly to the original recipe, just tell us which book it was from and if available, provide a link to it on Nigella.com which publishes a lot (but not all) of her recipes. (You may also find some recipes on sites for some TV stations and newspapers). Alternatively, you may blog an adapted Nigella recipe so long as you have changed at least two ingredients and write the directions in your own words. Tell us what you changed and why.
2. Publish your Forever Nigella blog post (in English) by the closing date including the latest Forever Nigella graphic and giving a link to this post and the Forever Nigella home page. Your entry must have been published since the announcement post. You may only re-blog something from your archives if you republish it with the badge and links to this post before the deadline.
3. Email the details to me and please Cc Sarah – I need your name, your blog name, a link to your post and a photo no more than 300 pixels wide. No billboard sized images please.
Don’t forget to tweet your post with the hashtag #forevernigella.
Sarah and I are looking forward to seeing what you come up with!