Wheat Orzo, Creamed


This is my easy substitute for Risotto.  I love risotto but I don’t like the time and care it takes to make it.  I find that orzo can give you the same rich texture of the risotto in a lot less time and effort.

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Ingredients:

1 cup wheat orzo

3 cups chicken stock, 1 cup reserved

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Ground pepper

Directions:

In a medium pot over medium high heat place the orzo and 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  When all the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is soft but chewy place the orzo in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in a little of the reserved chicken stock stirring until it is absorbed.. Continue to do this until the orzo is aldente. Season the orzo with the pepper   Add the butter and Parmesan cheese stirring until you have a creamy texture.  Remove from heat and serve.

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Vegetable Soup


What better to serve on a cold winter day but hearty soup.  This is my version of vegetable soup, make it yours by adding and subtracting your favorite vegetables.  Chicken can also be added turning this into a nice chicken soup.  Enjoy with a hearty crusty wheat bread.  Let me know what you think.

Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil

4 carrots unpeeled, sliced

½ yellow onion chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

3 medium white potatoes, unpeeled, cubed

2 roma tomatoes chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups of chicken broth

¼ cup orzo pasta

1 tbsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. dried basil

1 tbsp. dried parsley

1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh cilantro chopped

Preparation:

In a 4.5 quart stock pot heat oil over medium heat and add carrots, onion, garlic and sauté till the onions are soft.  Add the roma tomatoes and the salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, oregano, basil and parsley.  Stir and add stock.  Cover the pot and cook on simmer for 45 minutes.  Add orzo pasta, stir and cook till orzo is cooked.  Add cheese, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add cilantro at the end, check for seasoning and serve hot with a loaf of warm crusty wheat bread.

Serves 6