The wind is just starting to calm down. Earlier it was howling around the outside of the house and the wind has a bitter chill to it. The weather is a little confusing somewhat at the moment as Spring is trying its best to break through. There’s even blossom on the trees already. Unless we are just left with bare branches from this storm!
Days like today need a bowl of comfort food for dinner and back in October last year I created this recipe that is perfect for today. I actually came up with it for my regular slot on BBC Radio Leicester for using up leftover Pumpkins but you could easily substitute it for Butternut squash. You will be able to knock this recipe up within 15 minutes. So stay warm and cozy away from Storm Gareth and I can guarantee you will be back for seconds.
- 2-3 tbsp rapeseed oil or oil of your choice
- 150g orzo pasta
- 1/4 medium sized pumpkin chopped into 1inch sized pieces
- 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions diced
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 2 slices of smoked bacon sliced
- A good sprig of fresh sage finely chopped
- 1/4 chicken gel stock pot
- 100 ml water roughly
- Handful of rocket chopped
- 50 g feta cheese crumbled
- handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
- Preheat oven to 200 c fan. Place the pumpkin into a baking tray and drizzle with rapeseed oil. Cook for roughly 15 minutes or until starting to soften and sorting to brown around then edges.
- In a saucepan in water cook the Orzo to cooking instructions ( normally 10-15 mins)
- Then in a frying pan fry off in rapeseed oil the onion for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic, stir and cook for a further minute or two.
- Add in your bacon and fry off until cooked and browned around the edges.
- By this time the pumpkin will be done so add to the frying pan the pumpkin and stir. Cook for a further minute. Add in your orzo pasta.
- Then add in your sage, chicken stock and water, stir and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add in your feta, stir and then add in your rocket and parsley and you are ready to serve.
I was actually meant to post this before Christmas. I came up with this recipe for my weekly column as a great edible gift for Christmas. However if you are anything like me and enjoy the full 12 days of Christmas, you will still make these anyway. So why don’t you get some Sunday baking done tomorrow and keep it Festive! After all, today is still only the ninth day of Christmas!
Below is what I wrote for my column:
It’s less than 2 weeks till Christmas now so I thought I’d share with you another recipe of mine great for those edible gifts, an emergency sweet treat when guests suddenly turn up or even just great to eat at your leisure alone.
The great thing about biscotti is how long it lasts for so its perfect to be baking ahead now if you like. You can even freeze them down and cook when needed.
Biscotti are so easy to make yet they look like you’ve spend hours on them.
They look so pretty however you present them just Perfect with a mulled wine or Hot chocolate.
Chestnut, cranberry and white chocolate biscotti:
(Makes 16-18 biscotti)
- 175g plain flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 125g light muscovado sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 50g cranberries
- 50g chestnuts ( cooked vacuum packed ones ) chopped roughly
- sprinkle of cinnamon ( I use Spice Kitchen )
- sprinkle of nutmeg
- 75g white chocolate melted to drizzle
- Place your greaseproof baking paper onto a baking tray. Put your flour,baking powder, sugar and spice into a bowl and mix well.
- Stir in your egg, mix well. It will start to the form clumps. Bring the dough together with your hands and knead a couple of times to bring mixture together.
- Then add your chestnuts and cranberries and knead together.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and make into a sausage shape. Place onto the baking tray and pop into the oven for 25 minutes.
- At this stage it still will be slightly pale in colour. Take out of the oven, transfer onto a cooling rack until cool enough to handle.
- Using a bread knife cut into slices of about 1cm thick and lay individually back onto the baking tray. ( At this stage they can be cooled and popped into the freezer in bags)
- Turn down oven to 140c and then bake for 15 minutes, turn the biscotti and bake for a further 15 minutes until golden and dry.
* Pop onto a wire cooling rack to cool. Then drizzle with melted white chocolate. ( don’t be perfect with it ). Allow the chocolate to cool and then you are ready to eat.