Sunday, September 23, 2007

back to the bird tongues .....

earlier on, i posted a recipe for rice & orzo, a no-fuss and easy side dish which can be used for chicken, fish or any vegetarian fare. this time, it's simply orzo all on its own, made into a simple pilaf with very few ingredients but still full of flavour.

not much more to say about it than that — it reheats well, too. if you like onions, you can sauté a little and add it, too. i like it just as is.

simple orzo pilaf

cooked in the same amount of time as rice, this is a nice change from the "same old, same old". the way it is cooked here results in bi-coloured orzo with a garlicky-peppery flavour. you can add a tablespoon of honey or soy sauce, or even both, after it's cooked to give it a different taste.

serves 4


1 c of orzo, divided (either 1/2 - 1/2 or 1/3 - 2/3)
2 tbsp oil (reg or olive)
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
2 c water or stock
1 tbsp (parve) stock powder or bouillon cube crumbled
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp black pepper

to add at the end of cooking:

chopped parsley, if wanted
1 tbsp honey AND/OR,
1 tbsp dark soy sauce


important note before starting: keep your eye on the dish near the end of the cooking time as it likes to stick to the bottom of the pan, especially if you're using a non stick. use only very low heat to cook the orzo over the 17 minute cooking time and keep it well-covered.

divide the orzo and prepare the garlic by either mincing it or cutting into slivers (depending on how much garlic flavour you like). the reason for dividing it is to give the orzo its two colours. you can colour it a bit with 1/3 of a cup or using a 1/2 cup.

in a non stick pan (this is preferable as the orzo likes to stick even at low heat), heat the oil over medium low heat and sauté it for only a minute or two. it musn't burn or go brown.

add 1/2 cup of the orzo and let it cook, stirring until it starts to get golden brown. meanwhile, have your water or stock ready along with the spices.

when browned, turn the heat to low. add the rest of the orzo and then add the water slowly. throw in spices and seasonings and stir. be careful as it will start to boil immediately.

once the mixture is boiling, cover the pan and cook it for about 17 minutes only.

check on it, and remove the lid. let it cook further if needed to evaporate any excess stock.

add the parsley, honey and soy sauce if using.



Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Yum - sounds much better (and cheaper) than those pilaf mixes... I always wondered how you got some of them to be toastier; that's a neat trick.

And how about some nice finely chopped mushrooms in there, too? Sautéed with the toasted orzi at the beginning, you think?

burekaboy — said...

hi emily - uggh, i never buy those things — i'm surprised the rice or pasta in them isn't artificial, too! as for the browner ones, yup, that's how it's done.

if you do add mushrooms, i'd add them after browning the orzi because they release liquid and would start to cook the pasta before it browned.

anyway, it's a good side dish :) cheap, too.

Sneekersmom said...

Hey there!
I have a question... Do you think I could you saute the 1/2 cup of orzo then transfer to a Rice Maker?

I have a bad reputation for cooking Rice in a pot...


burekaboy — said...

hi there sneekersmom - i don't see why not; it's almost the same thing as doing it stove top. i can't vouch 100% sure that it'll work only because i've never tried it that way.

if you do make it stove top, just follow the way i show here and remember to use minimum heat. also, using a non-stick type pot is best but if you don't have one it will still work fine.

hope that helps.