Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Signature Dish: Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Mushroom Orzo Risotto
 This recipe started out as a side dish for tonight's dinner (herb crusted pork tenderloin- thanks Mom!), but stole the show without a doubt. Sometimes when I'm planning our meals, it slips my mind that my husband requires about a billion calories a day. So I need meals and/or sides that will stretch- i.e. feed him a lot and allow me to have a "normal-person" intake. Therefore we tend to include a lot of rice, pasta, couscous or other grain with our meals. In the future though, I'd say this one is worth doubling. It was truly a Muñoz Family Favorite. (I wish I had a better picture, but it was gobbled down pretty quickly)

For those unfamiliar, orzo is a tiny rice-sized pasta that cooks in minutes. By coating it in the butter first, and allowing to sit after cooking, it even gets the creamy risotto texture. Perfect for a quick last-minute side dish. I adapted it from a Whole Foods recips, which you can find here: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=1924. I modified and "healthified" it a bit, in true dietitian fashion. And according to my Offical Taste-Tester/Husband, he wouldn't change a thing. (Usually when given the option, he says "more cheese.")

Mushroom Orzo Risotto

8  medium mushrooms, quartered (About 2 1/2 cups when sliced)
2 Tbs finely chopped onion
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 cup uncooked orzo
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbs grated or shredded parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan or stockpot (something with a lid). Add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender but not browned, about 2-3 minutes.  
2. Add orzo and stir to coat, another 30-60 seconds.  
3. Add broth. Bring to boil and cook until orzo is tender, about 6-8 minutes.  
4. Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan and cover. Let rest an additional 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Makes 4 good-sized"side-dish" servings.

And because I was on a roll, we had some stuffed apples for dessert. These too, were pretty tasty, and very easy. Thanks Rachel Ray! (She puts them in muffin tins to bake so they don't topple over-genius!) I actually halved the entire stuffing recipe and decreased the brown sugar to 3 Tbs and they were still heavenly! (Make sure you scoop out the liquid from the bottom of the muffin tins when you serve them- yum!)

Oh- I am so excited for fall!

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