Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh! Oh! Orzo

Spring arrived last Saturday, but you would never have known that last night as we drove home in a near blizzard. It will be here soon though--spring that is.

The Spring Peepers have been out singing for over a week. You know what those are, don't you? This is the first freeze since they came out from their long winter sleep, so only two more freezes to go. That's what I was told when I was a little girl anyway. "When the Spring Peepers see their faces three times, spring is here to stay." I count their singing and corresponding freezes every year. And it's always been true as far as I know.

Here's what a Spring Peeper looks and sounds like (less the red color). These little frogs are about the size of a dime.

My family enjoys comfort food (all that snow made me think comfort). Here's a little side dish I made-up a little while back. It's quick and easy, and if you're a pasta lover like we are, it's guaranteed to satisfy. I call it "Oh! Oh! Orzo" because that was somewhat the reaction when I made it the first time. Besides, "Yea!" didn't quite sound right.

Oh! Oh! Orzo

1 1/4 cups dry orzo pasta
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese plus extra for table top
parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Cook orzo according to package directions then drain thoroughly.

While orzo is cooking, drizzle olive oil in bottom of a large non-stick skillet (maybe a couple of tablespoons); on medium-high heat, add butter and onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute until onion is caramelized. The caramelized onion is where much of the flavor comes from in this recipe, so be sure to let the onion get that beautiful golden color. Add the garlic a few minutes before the onions are finished. Garlic burns easily and then turns bitter. (To keep things quick, I use minced garlic in a jar). Remove from heat if pasta is still cooking.

Turn heat to high (let skillet get hot again if it was removed from the stove top); add cooked and drained orzo to onion and garlic mixture. After tossing orzo with onion and garlic mixture, add Parmesan cheese and stir until cheese is melted and thoroughly mixed through. Transfer to serving bowl, top with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Add baby peas or small steamed broccoli florets to the cooked orzo for color. I have even added cooked shrimp. But please do not add Spring Peepers to this dish. Otherwise we might have to rename it "Oh! No! Orzo."

Note to Self: Do not post pictures of slimy creatures with food recipes.

1 comment:

  1. I liked the picture of the little peeper :D
    Have a wonderful week!