Who, after all, is good at saying goodbye? In a few weeks, after 14 years on the East Coast, I’ll be loading all of my belongings onto a truck and moving to California. Instead of farewell, I wanted much more to say “thank you” to my friends, old and new, so one evening last weekend I threw a smorgasbord party featuring some of my favorite things: French 75s, curry fried chicken, and blueberry ice cream.
RADISHES with BUTTER & FLEUR DE SEL
OLIVE OIL TORTAS with AVOCADO, MANCHEGO & SPICED PEPITAS
ROASTED CORN & SCALLION EMPANADAS
CHILLED PEA SOUP with HAM BISCUITS & BLACK PEPPER HONEY
CURRY FRIED CHICKEN SKEWERS
BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM CONES
1 ounce cognac
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounces dry sparkling wine
1 lemon twist
Shake cognac, lemon juice, and simple syrup with ice.
Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe or flute.
Top with chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with lemon twist.
MADRAS CURRY FRIED CHICKEN SKEWERS
8-12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/3 cup of Madras curry powder, plus 2 tbsps.
1 quart buttermilk
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Madras curry powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
canola oil for frying
Cut each chicken thigh into two strips. In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the curry powder. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl. Prepare a wire rack or paper towel-lined platter for draining the fried chicken. Heat about 3-4 inches of oil in a large, heavy cast iron pot on medium-high flame. Press the chicken strips into the flour mixture, then into the buttermilk, and again into the flour mixture. Fry the chicken in the oil in batches, being careful not to overcrowd. Turn them over once in the oil. When the chicken is deep golden brown, remove them and drain on a wire rack. Season with salt, skewer them, and serve immediately.
BLUEBERRY ICE CREAM
for 1 quart:
2 1/2 cups picked-over blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
In a saucepan bring blueberries, sugar, and salt to a boil over moderate heat, mashing berries and stirring with a fork. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently, 5 minutes and cool slightly. Purée the blueberry mixture in a blender or food processor. Pour the purée through a sieve into a bowl, preferably twice, pressing on solids with back of a spoon. Discard the solids. Combine the blueberry puree with the milk and cream. Chill this mixture, covered, at least 2 hours, or until completely cold, and up to 1 day. Freeze mixture in an ice-cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.