Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lemon Orzo Pilaf

Developed August, 2017 in response to a dreadful recipe in a local supermarket ad. Although orzo masquerades as a grain, it is a small rice-shaped form of pasta that is often cooked much like rice.
1/4 c shallots, finely chopped
3 T olive oil, divided
8 oz orzo
1-3/4 c hot stock (chicken, seafood, or vegetable)
1 t salt
1 t sumac (optional)
1 t minced garlic
1 t dry tarragon
1 T (or 2) lemon juice (use 2 T, if sumac is not used)
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, salt lightly, and cook until lightly browned. Add the orzo and another tablespoon of oil and cook until the orzo is opaque and lightly colored. Stir in the garlic, salt, sumac, and the stock. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Fluff, stir in the lemon juice, the cheese, the remaining oil, and the tarragon. Serves four.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Steel Cut Oats with Roasted Walnuts and Golden Raisins

Steel cut oats have a firmer texture and require longer cooking than rolled oats. This recipe is modified from an Alton Brown recipe on Food Network, broadcast in 2008.
1 T butter
1 c steel cut oats
3 c boiling water
1/2 c milk
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 t salt
2 T brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 c ground roasted walnuts
1/4 c golden raisins
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and when sizzling stops, add the oats. Stir for a few minutes to toast. Stir in the boiling water, salt, milk, and half the buttermilk. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes, without stirring. Stir in the raisins, nuts, the reserved buttermilk and let stand covered for 10 minutes off heat. Garnish each serving with a few chopped nuts or a pinch of cinnamon. Serves 4 generously.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Arroz con Pollo

Most cuisines have a fondness for their version of chicken and rice, and all are delicious. This approach to the Mexican classic is modifed from Cooks Country TV recipe. Developed September, 2017.
1 c fresh cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
1 c onion, chopped, divided
1 Cubanelle or Anaheim pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped (3/4 cup)
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 t ground cumin
2 T lemon juice
salt and pepper
3 lbs (about 6 to 8) chicken thighs, trimmed
1 T vegetable oil
1 lb (2 c) medium-grain rice, rinsed
1/2 T ground coriander
1/2 T ground achiote (annatto)
3 c chicken stock
1/4 c pimento-stuffed green olives, halved
2 T capers, rinsed
2  bay leaves
½ c frozen peas, thawed in cold water, drained
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process cilantro, 1/2 cup onion, Cubanelle, garlic, and cumin in food processor until finely chopped, about 20 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken to pot skin side down and cook without moving it until skin is crispy and golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Flip chicken and continue to cook until golden on second side, 7 to 9 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from pot and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add remaining 1/2 cup onion and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice, coriander, and achiote powder and cook until edges of rice turn translucent. Stir in broth, olives, capers, bay leaves, chopped aromatics, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken into pot along with any accumulated juices and bring to vigorous simmer. Cover, transfer to oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer pot to wire rack and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves, fluff rice with fork and stir in peas. Serves 4 to 6.