Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Whip It Up - Week 1

Went through my disorganized recipe clippings today and separated them into drinks, desserts, and the rest. Step 1 in getting them organized in a way that allows them to be useful. Found a recipe from, I think, either a Family Circle or Woman's Day circa who knows. But then I got flummoxed by ingredients and seasonality, so didn't quite make the recipe. I can't quite decide how to do this - I semi-followed a recipe, but not really at all. So do I post the recipe? Post my modified recipe? Post both? Hmm. Let me know what you think of this treatment.

Not really-Creamy Orzo with Asparagus and Prosciutto

Serves 4; Prep 10 minutes; Cook time 18 minutes

3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (or, 3 cubes vegetable bouillon with 3 cups water)
1 1/3 cups (about 8 oz) orzo
1 Tablespoon olive oil (or, cooking spray)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups (about 3/4 pound) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (or, same amount green beans in favor of seasonal ingredients)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or, none at all if it turns out your container of sour cream is growing a field of mold - ew!)
1/2 cup (1 oz) julienned proscuitto (or, bacon if you're broke and you've got bacon in the fridge)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (or, whatever kind of parsley is growing in garden - why does flat-leaf matter?)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium covered saucepan, bring broth and 1 cup water (4 cups water, 3 bouillon cubes) to a boil. Add orzo, then return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered until al dente (~11 minutes). Drain pasta and set aside the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking (oh for goodness sake, spray pan with Pam). Saute onion for about 1 minute or until it just begins to soften. Toss in asparagus (green beans) and saute for 2-3 more minutes (or 5, get impatient and turn heat up high and scorch onion and green beans). Remove from heat.

Add in orzo, 1 cup of reserved cooking liquid, sour cream (oops), prosciutto (nope), pepper and parsley, and stir until well combined. Divide among 4 bowls, top with Parmesan (and bacon!) and serve.

Nutrition (1 cup): 369 calories, 12 g fat (4 saturated), 49 g carbs, 16 g protein, 4 g fiber, 129 g calcium, 3 mg iron, 593 mg sodium.

Here's the green beans, onions, and broth simmering (trying to cook beans a tad bit more). Bacon cooking in other skillet.

And here's my plate with one slice bacon. I don't think I've ever said I used to be a vegetarian - since 1999. Though I went through my daughter's entire pregnancy and nursing without any meat, this spring I started adding bits and tastes and small amounts back into my diet. But very little. But bacon is good.

Was the recipe easy to follow?
Yes, and modify.

Did it taste good?
Well, the sour cream mold experience threw a definite wrench in the works. Thankfully, it was perfectly fine without the sour cream, though I bet that would make it richer and smoother. Overall good. Actually I did not like it when I got tastes of parsley. Maybe non-Italian parsley makes a difference?

Kid friendly? (am adding question to official Whip It Up questions - see, cannot resist modifications)
Kid loves bacon, so ate her piece happily. Would not taste orzo until I said no popsicle til she had the one "no thank you" bite (eat one bite and if you don't like or want any more, you can say no thank you). After taste, I quote, "the rice has ..... something ....... spicy!" Note to those without a two year old - spicy is the kiss of death for a toddler. Not sure if she just happened to get a bit with one pepper flake in it? Who knows. I think under the right circumstances she'd eat it.

Would I make it again?
I think this makes it into regular rotation. Filling, tasty, cheap, relatively easy, and healthy. One downside - it used a bunch of pans, so a lot of cleanup (orzo pot, reserved liquid pot, bacon frying pan, skillet). We like easy all the way through.

So, whew, made it through week 1. Maybe my goal should be to have all my recipe clippings organized by week 8. Ha, hahaha.

What did you have for dinner tonight?

eta - so should have googled this recipe before posting to at least make an effort to find the source - Shape Magazine. Includes picture of how recipe should look. Also found another blogger who tried this and stayed truer to the recipe, though still modified. She liked it.

1 comment:

Tash said...

wow that sounds good. Too bad about the carbs, or I'd eat it tonight.

I had (get this!) calamari salad! Cooked calamari (which takes a minute. No really, 60 seconds.), tossed with a lemon vinegarette, olives, grape tomatoes, parsley, celery. It was awesome. Not remotely kid friendly -- Bella at the salad parts (tomato, olive, celery) and then had a taco. Heh.

I'm WAYYYYY behind in reading here (summer is kicking. my. ass.) but wanted to say yay on the other interview, and I really hope something turns up. You sound like someone's ideal candidate, and I really hope this is a case of one door closing and another opening.