So Matt and I have finally decided the month to hold our engagement party: June. Seriously, this party is more complex than the wedding itself. I've almost planned a menu and today, you get to see the fruits/ribs of my labour.
This is one addition that Matty can get behind. Fried chicken. I whipped these up one Saturday afternoon. They were arranged artfully on the bamboo platter, designed to be nibbled on over a glass of bubbles, a cute napkin in hand. Sexy fried food doesn't happen too often, but I thought I'd nailed the genre.
Then we tried one. So good. Maybe too good. We stood over the platter, shovelling ribs and purée into our gobs as like we hadn't eaten for months. Dead unsexy.
These ribs are an absolute cinch to make. The most complex part is frenching the rib. Before you start making out with a piece of chicken, frenching is a culinary term used to describe the trimming of a bone. I'm not making this any less erotic, am I?
The pea purée is a gorgeous, simple dip for the ribs. It takes a little over 4 minutes to whip up - all while the chicken is frying. Make sure you taste the dip before serving - it needs plenty of lemon juice to elevate it from baby food to sexy, sexy purée.
It takes a lot to get included on my engagement party menu. The delicate balance is hard to achieve: easy to eat standing up, simple to whip up in minutes but still visually appealing. Being delicious goes unsaid.
So my problem with my engagement party menu? I have almost nothing vegetarian. That would be OK, but my meat dishes are exceptionally meaty. I will never want for protein in this lifetime. Every restaurant or bar we visit, I'm scoping out veggie based dishes, but each time I spy a good one I think to myself "Oh, this would be awesome with bacon". But then, really, what would be improved with bacon? And, ladies and gentlemen, that's about as philosophical as I get.
20 chicken ribs
1/2 cup cornflour
3 tbsp chilli powder (or your favourite spice mix)
2 cups peas
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
Take a small sharp knife and trim one end of the chicken ribs to about half way up the bone.
Heat the oil over a high heat. Drop a cube of bread in - the oil is hot enough if it sizzles and brown in 20 seconds.
Combine the flour and spice mix. Season as required. Coat the chicken ribs in the flour mixture. Drop the ribs in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on a baking rack.
To make the pea purée, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and and the peas. Boil for around 2 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water until the peas are cold. Add to the bowl if a food processor with the rind, juice, water, oil, salt and pepper. Blend briefly until combined but still chunky.
To serve, spread the pea purée over your platter. Place ribs on top and squeeze some lemon juice over the top.