Christmas 2014 - THREE: Hot In The City Tonight!
You know that anything from your kitchen is going to be a smash hit as a Christmas present. It will be set upon immediately by the recipients or, after languishing for three years at the back of a store cupboard, it will be the source of intense debate as to whether it is past its sell-by date. Either way, it will create an impression... eventually!
This recipe will end any quest for something which oozes class but which is also easy to prepare. It's one that will never be left to languish on a dark shelf - and it's not at all too late to make some before Christmas!
If you follow the link under my picture you'll be directed to words of wisdom from a rather wonderful woman. Diana Henry is one of my small group of go-to cooks and writers. Her descriptions are delectable; her recipes are approachable and delicious. Propriety forces me to state that I have never let the fact that she is a dusky, dark-eyed beauty get in the way of my enjoyment of her works!
Scarlet Pepper and Chilli Jam can be made all year round. At the end of visits from both our sons there seems to be an inevitable question about supplies of their favourite 'almost-any-savoury-foodstuff-whatsoever' accompaniment. Their most recent enquiries led to the discovery of dangerously low levels so I set to in our kitchen this morning with weighing and chopping. By early afternoon I was off to see Mike Leigh's latest offering, 'Mr. Turner', leaving jars of treasure to cool and wait for labels.
Scarlet, garnet, ruby...? You could argue about the best choice from the word colour chart. What you can't argue over is the quality of the product. After a couple of hours of careful attention you have vibrant, jellied jewellery. Perfect for giving as gifts - but you will struggle to be generous to others after you've tasted it yourself!
'Mr. Turner' gave me just enough inspiration to pick scarlet from the palette and to swap oil paints for felt tips to produce my own identity tags...
This is packed with hot, zingy freshness which is great with pork chops, sausages, chicken and some cheeses but a good glazing on spare ribs wouldn't be a bad idea - keeping plentiful cheeky dollops as reinforcements after serving!
There are more terrific recipes in the book from which this is taken:
More on Diana Henry (and her other publications) in this blog soon... how could I resist! Her influence is a regular feature in my cooking. In the meantime, do make her recipe as scintillating scarlet presents for all your favourite people.
Let's have a look at those lovely red-raw ingredients once again - before you scroll down to some festive fun!