So, orzo pasta is typically used in Cypriot cooking to make a dish called “kritharaki” — in Greek I think it is called “yuvetsi”. I love this dish, but I think more than that is the fact that I love how easy it is to make rich and hearty stews using orzo. It reminds me a lot of risotto. Which is why I thought, why not recreate the flavours of mushroom risotto with the ease of making orzo. So I did. Easy to make, feeds a crowd. The real treat and flavour punch in this recipe comes with the last few ingredients: lemon zest, butter, chopped parsley and parmesan cheese. They elevate the dish. Make it creamy like a risotto, but the lemon zest and juice keeps it fresh and light in taste. Definitely, a dish I will be making again. …
Life wise, everything is OK my end. I haven’t had much time to write a proper personal blog post for awhile. 2016 has been off to such a crazy start, which is very welcome given how awful 2015 ended. Anyhow, those who follow along on Facebook and Instagram will know that I am to start a column in Taste Magazine in Cyprus next March, so I am pretty excited about that. A Chilean cooking magazine is also doing a tiny feature on some of my food photographs, and there might be an interview with a Swiss magazine coming up too. I also hope I can share some other news with you soon, but I am still in limbo at the moment, so it’s going to have to wait, something I realize I don’t enjoy doing! For now, I am enjoying being in one place, watching the cherry blossoms bloom and the world around me turn to spring (my favourite season) … before I set off on more adventures … Happy March friends.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people
1 & 1/4 cups Mitsides Orzo
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbs salted butter
1/2 cup finely diced shallot
1 finely diced garlic
15 g dried wild mushrooms (I used mixed)
1/4 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth (including leftover water used to re-hydrate mushrooms)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbs lemon juice
chopped parsley for garnish
1. Pour enough boiling water to cover the dried mushrooms so they re-hydrate. Once re-hydrated, remove mushrooms from water and dice.
2. Add enough chicken stock to the leftover mushroom water to make 3 to 4 cups.
3. Add 1/2 tbs butter and 1/2 tsp olive oil to a pan on high heat. Fry the onion and garlic. Once softened, add the chopped mushrooms. Fry for about 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir until the wine evaporates.
4. Add the Mitsides orzo into the pan, ensuring that the orzo is coated by the ingredients. Add the chicken broth to cover the orzo. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the orzo is al dente – you may need to add more chicken broth.
5. Once the orzo is al dente, switch off the heat and stir in remaining butter, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice.
6. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped fresh parsley and parmesan cheese.