As do many other food bloggers, I read cookbooks in my spare time. This semester, the words “spare” and “time” are not often found close together, since it’s basically been pure madness from January till now. However, with salvation (in the form of graduation) on this week’s horizon, I had a smidge more time to look at recipes.
I’ve actually had this idea in mind since I read an Earthbound Organic cookbook I was given for Christmas a few years ago. The authors made something similar with prosciutto and arborio rice and it just sounded excellent.
When you move, you often go though something Michael’s family fondly refers to as “Total Liquidation” which involves eating a random assortment of foods in effort to clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Michael and I haven’t had much space in this dainty little 400 sq ft. apartment, so we don’t have all that much to liquidate. But I did see a package of frozen peas and some homemade chicken broth in the freezer, some parmigiano reggiano in the fridge and a half-used package of orzo. So this was born. Not exactly arborio rice, but it actually performed quite well.
A note on cheese–until this year, I had never tasted Parmigiano Reggiano (the Grand Poobah of all parmesan cheese). I’d heard Giada over-pronounce it a million times on Food Network and have always heard it raved about, but I just thought “come on, people, it’s just cheese.”
Then I made lasagna using some for last month’s Daring Baker’s challenge.
And I’m a believer.
The flavor was so much more complex and you don’t have to use so much to get a great flavor in the dish. It was SO worth it! My market had it in the fancy cheese section selling it based on weight, and I bought a small wedge for $4.00, which was only $1 more than I’d have spent on the same amount of the cheap stuff.
Anyway, enough about cheese. This orzotto was excellent! It was the perfect, warm, comforting, creamy somthing to eat while the April showers came down in buckets.Print
- 3–4 strips of bacon, diced
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1c orzo
- 2–3c chicken broth or stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2c frozen peas (don’t thaw)
- 1/4c milk (you can use something thicker if desired)
- about 1/2c parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)
- In a large saucepan, cook diced bacon until crisp. Set aside bacon and drain fat from the pan, but leave any drippings. Add onion to pan and stir well to coat, cooking over medium heat till tender. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Stir in orzo to coat well. Add 1c chicken broth and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. When broth is almost entirely absorbed, stir in an additional 1/2c. When broth is almost entirely absorbed, check orzo for done-ness. If it still has some bite, stir in a bit more chicken broth.
- When orzo is tender, and broth is almost entirely absorbed, stir in bacon, peas, parmesan, and milk. Stir until mixture comes together. Season to taste and top with additional parmesan if desired.