Low Energy Wednesday – Supreme Orzo with Mushrooms

August 4, 2011

This week seems to have been a long one, and quite draining. So my energy for cooking was already pretty low by last night. But I had some assorted Hazel Dell mushrooms I needed to use while they were still in their prime, and some Pappardelle’s Supreme Orzo that seemed like it might work quite well with them. I seem to get to the Farmers’ Market too late to procure cinnamon cap mushrooms most weeks (they go fast), but I saw a few in a box when I got there this past week, so I asked about them. Although they didn’t have enough for a full bag, the guy was happy to make up a mixed bag with shiitake and oyster as well – awesome!

I love Pappardelle’s orzo – it expands when it cooks, so you end up feeling like you’re eating a lot more pasta than the 2 oz I typically use for our servings. The Supreme Orzo has a variety of fire-roasted red pepper, porcini mushroom, and saffron orzos (I looked it up, it’s plural, plus it sounds cool). I decided to use just a few left over green onions and some garlic in addition to the mushrooms. I simply sautéed the vegetables, put them in a pot with the orzo, a bit of broth, and some water, and let it cook for a while (I did stir it several times, so it didn’t stick on the bottom).

I also had some yellow and green string beans that I used for a side. Both my husband and I have a fondness for string beans from childhood. (Of course in childhood, at least for me, they were the source of the dreaded ‘bean back’ that plagued my family whenever we went out to harvest a row of them. We had some pretty long rows of beans, and you had to do a bunch of hunching over to pick them. But nonetheless, I do love the string beans). We’ve always found that all you have to do to string beans is steam them, and then add a little salt (and a bit of butter if you like). Not much else is necessary. This is where our Pampered Chef microwave steamer comes in handy – I love it on work nights!

Orzo, mushrooms, garlic, green onions

Supreme Orzo with Mushrooms

serves 4

8 oz Pappardelle’s Supreme Orzo
3-4 cups of assorted mushrooms (I used oyster, cinnamon cap and shiitake)
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp avocado oil (or sunflower, corn, or grapeseed oil)
1/2 tsp salt
a few shakes of cayenne

Slice the mushrooms if they are larger – if you’re using small ones, you can leave them whole. Heat the avocado oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, cook the mushrooms just a few minutes, stopping before they become juicy. Remove them from the pan, and set them aside. Turn the heat down to medium, add the olive oil to the same skillet, and sauté the garlic for about a minute. Add the green onions and saute for 30-60 seconds more, and then set aside.

Put the orzo, broth, and water in a pot, and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, onions, salt, and cayenne. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and has absorbed the majority of the liquid. (I actually turned the burner up just a bit from the lowest setting, because it didn’t seem to be doing much simmering on low-low. I also didn’t do a good job of tracking the time, but it was about 25-30 minutes.) If the orzo has absorbed all the liquid, and doesn’t seem tender, add a couple tablespoons of water, stir it up and see if that’s enough. Add more water if necessary. Once the orzo is done, add the mushrooms and cook until heated through.

Supreme Orzo with Mushrooms

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