Autumn Food Flowers Quick Dinner

Sunday Dinner For Three, September 2012

Homemade chilli jam with roast chicken, lemony orzo risotto, sweet potato crisps and greens

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A quick and quite elegant Sunday dinner. The orzo pasta in the risotto makes for an even more comforting form of this great comfort food and has a lovely texture. I used some of the chicken stock from the roasting pan in mine but any good chicken stock would be fine. I usually choose not to add white wine as I prefer the flavour of risotto without it but it would work fine in this if you have a bottle open.

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Chilli Jam

6 tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced (to peel, pierce skin and pour boiling water over the tomatoes)

1 cooking apple, peeled and diced

250g granulated sugar

2 cloves of garlic

6 tiny or 3 small chillies

2tsp salt

1tsp fennel seed

1tsp dried ginger

1tsp nam pla (optional)

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 a cup of white wine vinegar

– Peel, core and dice the apples and tomatoes and add to the pan. Dice the garlic and the chillies and add in also. Add everything else to the pan and, in the words of my great home ec teacher, ‘boil the hell out of it’. Make sure the mixture is not sticking or at risk of burning. It’ll cook down and should be ready in about 40 minutes.

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Orzo Risotto

2 cups of orzo pasta

3 cups of weak chicken stock

Zest of a small lemon; juice of half

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

Sunflower oil

Butter

Parmesan

Single cream

Chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve

Salt and pepper

– Fry garlic and add onion, cooking till soft and golden. Add the orzo and fry gently for a moment. Start slowly adding the chicken stock, ladleful by ladleful. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring all the while. Keep stirring and adding liquid until the orzo grains are soft and plump, and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste. Add 2 tablespoons of parmesan and about 150ml of single cream. Warm through and serve with more parmesan, salt and pepper and chopped parsley.

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East of India ribbon from A. Rubanesque, Powerscourt Townhouse

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