Monday, February 24, 2014

Mushroom Orzo

Finding a good side dish is a huge, huge score!  I served this orzo a couple of weeks ago, and I knew I needed make it again for the blog.  I mean, you've got the fun of orzo, the delicious flavor of portobello mushrooms, and the fancy touch of Romano cheese.  What's not to love?  The best part is that the flavors say weekend, but the simplicity says weeknight.

Mushroom Orzo

3/4 cup uncooked orzo
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3 cups sliced cremini (portobello) mushrooms
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3/8 tsp. salt (Ok, I estimated because... 3/8?)
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced chives
1 oz. Romano cheese (about 1/4 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned. (This step is important.  Browning the butter lends a depth of flavor you'll miss if you rush.)  Add mushrooms, salt, and pepper.  Cook 4 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid, stirring frequently.  (I cook mine longer.)

Add broth and vinegar; stir in orzo and chives.  Top with cheese.

* This recipe is from Cooking Light, my favorite food magazine, but I changed a couple of things.  The original calls for white balsamic vinegar, but I used what I already had, and it worked just fine.

Let me take a second to tell you how much you need the Bamboo Grinder Set.  These are the most attractive grinders I've ever seen, and they're backed by the quality of the Pampered Chef.  The best part is that you can actually see when you're running out of something instead of figuring it out while in the midst of four hot burners.  I measured all of my ingredients, and then I used the 3 1/2" Paring Knife from the Forged Cutlery Collection to slice my chives.  To finish, I scooped them with the cute little Scoop 'n Measure.  (See below.)

Salt, pepper, and butter are in Pinch Bowls.  Broth and mushrooms are in Easy Read Measuring Cups, and the vinegar is in the Mini Easy Read Measuring Cup.  Then there's the cute Scoop 'n Measure I mentioned.  Adorable!  As always, I'm using the Large Cutting Board to lay it all out.

One reason I like laying all of my ingredients out on a cutting board is that it makes it easy for me to set them right by the pan where I'm cooking.  Then I don't end up scrambling to find things when the skillet is hot and the next ingredient is needed.  By the way, my orzo is boiling while I'm melting the butter, so everything ends up finishing around the same time.

Like I noted in the recipe directions, I cooked my mushrooms more than four minutes.  They're just so much better if you let them get good and brown.  I mean, look at how delicious these look!  In fact, you could stop here and have a fabulous side dish.  Anyway, the mushrooms are in the 10" Skillet from the Executive Cookware Collection, and I used the Mix 'n Scraper as my spatula.

Once your mushrooms are done, you just mix everything together.  Stir in the chives, top with the cheese, and you've got a gorgeous side that's worthy of any dinner guest.  By the way, the first time I made this, I forgot the cheese, and it was still delicious.  Don't tell Cooking Light.

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