"It sounds like something on a very trite T-shirt, but life is what happens."
~ Nigella Lawson
Tomorrow, Prince William and his bride Kate (Princess Catherine?) will officially commit to each other, and as we watch them do this live, they will be committing their commitment to the rest of the world as well. What a bagpipe of nerves they must both be in the midst of high expectations of their fairytale union...
My advice to you, Will and Kate, is to just chill out and enjoy your big day. Laugh a lot, kiss each other because it's spring and the flowers are out but more importantly, because you mean it. Forget about the rest of us. A regular wedding bash, let alone a Royal Wedding, is so overrated anyway. Afterwards is what really matters. Oh, and Kate, keep your wedding bouquet. You'll need it to remind you someday why you're in this for the long haul. Bouquet and yes, that delicious ring.
Now that that's out of the way, let me get to the heart of this post. This British Royal Wedding gives us an opportunity (or excuse, rather) to gather family, friends and neighbors round and throw a street party à la Nigella! This month's Forever Nigella host is Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write blog. She's done a great job in coming up with exquisite food for the street party using Nigella's express recipes, so I'm just going to follow in her cleverness.
Since these are very easy and non-time consuming recipes that I've picked, I've decided to make three types of dishes you can simply pick up and eat with your fingers. Licking them afterwards (your fingers, not the plate) is very much allowed, encouraged even, because this is Nigella's realm, after all.
Halloumi with Chilli
My first contribution to the street party is grilled Halloumi with Chilli. Before I made this, I had never eaten halloumi but Nigella's description of it as "that squeaky, salty Polystyrene-textured cheese" made me want to have a taste of it right away. And she was right, you know. If you've ever bitten into polystyrene (what do you mean, you've never?) and felt it bounce back against your teeth, well that's what halloumi is like. It's springy in texture and the flavor is salty, mellow and tangy.
The cheese doesn't melt when it is fried and I only needed to dry-fry this quickly in a non-stick pan. After drizzling some chilli-infused olive oil - extra virgin would of course be lovely but is not requisite in naughty Nigella's kitchen, nor mine - all over the cheese slices, they were suddenly ready to be served! A splash of acidity from the lemons worked wondrously to balance out the spicy, salty flavors. How can something so simple look/taste so beautiful? I wonder if they'll be serving these to the Royal Wedding guests? Perhaps not, they won't know what they're missing. This superquick recipe can be found at Nigella.com.
Pigs in Blankets
My second party dish is Pigs in Blankets, essentially cocktail sausages wrapped in the same dough you would use to make scones. Unlike the tender touch you'd need with scones, this dough can be manhandled without any consequences. The three-step process of 'roll, wrap and bake' was so annoyingly pleasurable that it was quite easy to make 50 pieces from a single batch of dough! One thing I did change in the recipe was to use chicken cocktail sausages instead of pork. Perhaps these should now be renamed Chix in Blankets?
As easy as roll, wrap and bake.
Lastly, a dessert. What, no more space for dessert? But you must make room for some.... because you wouldn't want to miss out on a piece of this loveliness that is Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake. I threw this together in such a short space of time (10 minutes?), it's almost embarassing. It's an absolutely no-bake recipe and only needed to be set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. The luscious cherry topping was shhh.... out of a jar of very fruity St. Dalfour jam. No one needs to know that this labor of love isn't as laborious as it looked in the end. Trust me, the recipe insists that you don't break out into a sweat while making this.
Take a slice for the Street Party!
So there you have it. I hope you've enjoyed my quickies selection. Now I'm going to make myself a hot cup of tea (like the British do), kick off my flip-flops and put my feet up. In line with all things Royal Wedding, I leave you with these famous words from when Shrek rescues Fiona:
Shrek: You've had a lot of time to plan this, haven't you?
Have a wonderful future together, Will and Kate!