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Inspired by the comforting chicken with orzo at Zaytinya, I picked up some orzo at the grocery store today and am planning to cook it as a part of dinner. I have lifted some recipes from Joy of Cooking and online, but would be glad to receive any suggestions from the peanut gallery.

I'm planning to serve it with skirt steak accompanied by a red wine reduction with shallots and some vegetable tbd.

One caveat: my +1 is on a low sodium diet so certain foods (like tomatoes unfortunately) are out. Anything I do make, I will salt for myself after cooking so as to avoid sending him into la la land. :lol:

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Inspired by the comforting chicken with orzo at Zaytinya, I picked up some orzo at the grocery store today and am planning to cook it as a part of dinner.  I have lifted some recipes from Joy of Cooking and online, but would be glad to receive any suggestions from the peanut gallery.

I'm planning to serve it with skirt steak accompanied by a red wine reduction with shallots and some vegetable tbd.

One caveat: my +1 is on a low sodium diet so certain foods (like tomatoes unfortunately) are out.  Anything I do make, I will salt for myself after cooking so as to avoid sending him into la la land.  :lol:

Think of the orzo as a transportation device for whatever flavor you want transported. After all, orzo is just a form of pasta isn't it? Perhaps some sort of pesto dressing would go well. Use your imagination. Or, sauteed with butter, garlic and and a few red pepper flakes.

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I sauté red onions in olive oil (sometimes lime olive oil), and throw in smoked chicken, pine nuts, jalapeños, and cilantro with the orzo. You could also add roasted corn.

Mexican style: savory fabulousness.

This sounds like something my kids would love, minus the jalapenos. Thanks!

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I have a recipe that for a cold orzo salad that has been a great (quick) standby - it consists mainly of cooked orzo mixed with chopped (fresh) tomotoes, basil, parsley, and crumbled feta tossed with a dressing of olive oil and lots of lemon juice. Maybe not quite you were looking for, but another of the many ways to use orzo.

Just noticed that this sounds very similar to Mrs B's recipe above - not sure if hers is hot or cold - looks like it would work either way.

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This is similar to a couple of the recipes posted above, but I made it up a couple months ago and it got pretty good reviews from my friends.

Cook a whole box of orzo and cool completely. Mix with a pint of grape tomatoes (cut in half), a container of feta with Mediterranean herbs, chopped flat leaf parsley, a can of artichoke hearts cut up into bite-sized pieces. I think I may have also put in some cucumber. And red onion would be good too. Basically like a Greek salad with orzo instead of lettuce. Dress simply with olive oil, salt and pepper.

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An suggestions for mimicking the orzo and goat cheese gratin offered at Charlie Palmer Steak? I assume it's one of those not-so-complex things, but I am [still] a novice in the kitchen. I'm looking more or less for a step by step recipe.

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I really enjoyed the results of a recipe I found in a "Food and Wine Magazine" cookbook. What you do is lightly toast the orzo as you might rice for risotto in olive oil with some finely chopped onion and minced garlic, then add some chicken stock (I threw in a little of the white wine I was drinking since...that's how I'd do the first pass for risotto anyway even if the recipe didn't say to :) ) then simmer until the stock is absorbed.

While that's going, halve some cherry tomatoes and toss them in extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, basil chiffonade, salt, and pepper. Once the orzo is done, mound it on a plate, spoon the tomatoes around it, then garnish with more basil and crumbled gorgonzola.

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I love cooking with orzo. One of my favorite recipes calls for sauteeing shrimp in olive oil with garlic. To that, I add some pesto and heat through. Sometimes I will add some spinach and let it wilt before tossing the mixture with the cooked orzo. To finish, I add in crumbled feta cheese. Super fast and delicious!

I also like to use orzo for quick pasta salads. I was on a zucchini and yellow squash kick earlier this summer, so I would saute the chopped squash and mix it with cooked orzo. Then I would add chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and some crumbled cheese (feta, goat cheese or sometimes cubed fresh mozzarella). To finish I would toss the mixture with a homemade vinaigrette (usually just red wine vinegar and olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper).

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Mario Batali’s Pumpkin Orzo--great side dish

1/2 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded and peeled

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey (I use 1 tablespoon; 2 seemed a bit sweet)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 cup orzo

1 cup chicken stock (may take more to get the texture you want)

1. Cut the pumpkin or squash into 3 or 4 evenly sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the olive oil, and wrap in foil. Roast in the 375°F (190°C) oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place the cooked squash in the bowl of a food processor. Add the honey, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper and pulse to form a relatively smooth purée. Set aside.

2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Set up an ice bath nearby. Cook the orzo in the boiling water for 3 minutes, to blanch but not cook through. Drain the orzo and plunge it into the ice bath. Once cooled, drain it and lay it out on a baking sheet to dry.

3. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a 12-inch sauté pan. Add the orzo and squash purée and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the chicken stock is fully absorbed by the orzo. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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I really enjoyed the results of a recipe I found in a "Food and Wine Magazine" cookbook. What you do is lightly toast the orzo as you might rice for risotto in olive oil with some finely chopped onion and minced garlic, then add some chicken stock (I threw in a little of the white wine I was drinking since...that's how I'd do the first pass for risotto anyway even if the recipe didn't say to :) ) then simmer until the stock is absorbed.
This has become my standard starch lately using whole wheat orzo. Adds a great nutty taste that seems very fall to me even if it isn't cool enough to eat fall foods here.
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This has become my standard starch lately using whole wheat orzo. Adds a great nutty taste that seems very fall to me even if it isn't cool enough to eat fall foods here.
I like whole wheat orzo too. What kind are you using? I've been using the RiceSelect kind in a plastic jar because that's the only whole wheat orzo I've seen. I tend to like their products, but I'll try something else for comparison if I can find it.

I like Rachael Ray's recipe for Primavera Orzo. I posted a link to it here somewhere. I also like to use orzo to make a faux risotto. It works pretty well.

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I like whole wheat orzo too. What kind are you using? I've been using the RiceSelect kind in a plastic jar because that's the only whole wheat orzo I've seen. I tend to like their products, but I'll try something else for comparison if I can find it.
That is the same kind they sell here. I had to check a few stores before I found it.
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I made a recipe similar to this one, where the orzo, tomato mixture was layered with shrimp and feta in a baking dish. It was pretty good, but baking it seemed to dry it out a little. And the feta I used didn't really melt - it was a drier, more crumbly feta. It reminded me of the shrimp saganaki at Zaytinya, though not as good.

I'd use the same ingredients but maybe mix the orzo, tomato, feta, etc, in a pot, plate it, then spoon some shrimp sauteed in garlic over it.

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Where did you find the RiceSelect whole wheat orzo? I have only found it online.
It was probably at the Old Town Whole Foods, but I haven't bought any recently, so I don't know if that's correct and, if it's correct, if they still carry it.
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Hubby loves, (as in eats a whole pan), orzo risotto. Made exactly the way you would make any other risotto, but is much more forgiving. To a half pound of orzo I use a quart of chicken stock. The stock can be added in two additions, and I add it right from the pantry..no preheating necessary. Comes our creamy and soft. I usually serve it as a side to Chicken Picatta...lots of similar flavors: wine, lemon, garlic. Okay, now I'm hungry!

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I just made an orzo dish last night... slightly modified from one I stumbled across on Cooks Illustrated. I pan-fried chopped up bacon, removed the bacon from the pan, browned the orzo in some of the left over bacon fat until slightly brown (healthy, I know, lol), added in some chopped onions and garlic, then gradaully added in chicken broth until the orzo was cooked. Near the end I tossed in some frozen peas, added the cooked bacon back in and a bit of mascarpone for creaminess, topped with parm and fresh basil and voila.

I made enough to use as a main course, but this could very easily play side dish to something else.

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We're addicted to orzo. Here are a couple of easy favorites:

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Toss cooked and cooled orzo (I like to cook in chicken broth, too) with:

> black olive tapenade

> grilled and diced zucchini, yellow squash, Asian eggplant, red bell peppers

> halved cherry tomatoes

> finely chopped tarragon (or just flat-leaf parsley)

> lemon juice and zest

> salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

> extra verigin olive oil, as needed

Lemony Orzo with Peas

Toss hot, cooked orzo (again, cooked in chicken broth) with:

> baby peas, thawed

> lemon zest and juice

> freshly grated Parmeggiano Regiano

> butter or extra virgin olive oil, depending on preference

> touch of heavy cream (optional)

> salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Or just order takeout from the Greek Deli on 19th Street -- Kosta's hot orzo is the best.

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I had half a package of Orzo left over after preparing this meal a few posts up, so I tried my own variation of a risotto dish I had at Il Pizzicho a few weeks back. It was basically the orzo recipe from before, but near the end of the orzo cooking, I added in diced up fresh figs (I used black mission figs from wholefoods) and pineapple sage, then garnished with additional fig slices at plating. It turned out to be a slightly sweet and savory dish that was quite tasty (of course, it wasn't quite the same as the risotto from Il Pizzicho but I never would have thought of it without the restaurant inspiration.)

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