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Weekday dinner inspiration: Easy orzo pasta recipe and more

Mon | Super soup

To make Asian Dumpling Soup, puree 2 cloves garlic with a 2-inch piece of peeled ginger and saute in vegetable oil with 1 bunch sliced scallions. Add 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth and 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil and add frozen dumplings, julienned carrots and snow peas. Serve with baked egg rolls.

Tues | Southern delights

Serve Mac & Cheese With Ham & Biscuits for the ultimate Southern comfort food. Make your own cheesy pasta or get a boost from a store-bought kit. Add sliced tomatoes on top if baking; a handful of grape tomatoes on a stove-top mac and cheese. Frozen biscuits bake up fluffy; just make sure you have a thick piece of ham to slap between the halves. Greens on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Pulled-Chicken Sandwiches have almost everything you need for one meal between the bun. Place shredded chicken in a sauce pan and add 1 cup (or more barbecue sauce), 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. Heat until hot, stirring a lot. Pile on split rolls with deli coleslaw. Baked beans and carrot sticks on the side.

Thurs | Bacon makes it better

Serve Twisted Pasta With Bacon and a green salad before everyone splits to do their own thing tonight. Cook six slices of chopped bacon until crispy. Remove bacon; leave rendered fat to saute 1/2 medium diced yellow onion for 5 minutes. Add a 28-ounce can of tomato puree and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer while you cook 3/4 pound of fusilli. Drain and put it all together. Stir in bacon and sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley.

Fri | Super side dish

Earthy, nutty Orzo With Brown Butter and Parmesan (recipe below) is perfect with any grilled meat or seafood. Add toasted pine nuts, sub veggie broth for chicken and it's a delicious meatless entree, too. Variations at the end of the recipe.

Sign up for Easy Meal Ideas from Janet's Kitchen at enews.tampabay.com. Get a free recipe e-mailed to you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Submit your ideas for quick weeknight meals to jkeeler@sptimes.com.

EASY

Orzo with Brown Butter and Parmesan

1 1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup orzo

1/3 cup dry white wine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Thinly sliced fresh chives, optional

In a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the orzo and stir with a wooden spoon to coat well. Cook until the orzo just begins to turn a light golden color, about 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the simmering broth mixture, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the orzo is just tender, about 12 minutes; the mixture may still be wet but will set up.

Stir the orzo, season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper, and mix in the Parmigiano. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Add the chives (if using) and serve.

Variations: Vary the flavor by adding basil and toasted pine nuts, sauteed mushrooms and thyme, or peas, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories, 8g fat, 9g protein, 210mg sodium, 1g fiber.

Source: Fine Cooking

>>easy

Orzo With Brown Butter and Parmesan

1 1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup orzo

1/3 cup dry white wine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Thinly sliced fresh chives, optional

In a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, bring the chicken broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat.

In a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter turns golden brown and smells nutty, about 2 minutes. Add the orzo and stir with a wooden spoon to coat well. Cook until the orzo just begins to turn a light golden color, about 2 minutes.

Pour in wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add simmering broth mixture, stir, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until orzo is just tender, about 12 minutes; the mixture may still be wet but will set up.

Stir the orzo, season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper, and mix in the Parmigiano. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Add the chives (if using) and serve.

Variations: Vary the flavor by adding basil and toasted pine nuts, sauteed mushrooms and thyme, or peas, mint and a squeeze of lemon.

Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories, 8g fat, 9g protein, 210mg sodium, 1g fiber.

Source: Fine Cooking

Weekday dinner inspiration: Easy orzo pasta recipe and more 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 5:30am]

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