Friday, July 30, 2010

Keni's Caramelized Onion And Asparagus Orzotto

 Trust me when I say that this is probably the best thing I've made all year. Yes, even better than the shrimp packets. Keni from grouprecipes and I have been swapping dishes and I made this tonight. I won't lie, Tammy is a picky eater and I was worried she wouldn't eat it. She's never had orzo before and wouldn't believe me that it's like if pasta and rice had a love child and God came down, bopped it on the head and went, "go forth now, my child, and be fucking delicious."

Pay no attention to the date, it's wrong. Yeah, so orzo is really yummy but expensive as hell. I paid $10 for this container. This recipe is for a sort of risotto but without all the babysitting that risotto demands. It creates a rich, creamy sauce that's going to blow your mind. The following is Keni's recipe exactly how it appears on her page. I'll go into how I bastardized it later. Because... we all know I can never leave well enough alone. =)

1lb orzo
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 stick butter
1 medium onion, diced
1lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/2-3/4 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 lemon (for it's zest)
sea or kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


Prepare orzo per box directions, but using chicken stock for 2 cups of the water
In large skillet (I use cast iron, of course ;), saute asparagus and onions in butter.
Cook until asparagus is al dente and onion begins to caramelize.
Add salt and pepper and cream, and continue to simmer to thicken
When orzo is done, drain, but reserve the liquid.
Add orzo and 3/4-1 cup of the pasta liquid to veggies and cream.
Add lemon zest and Parmesan cheese, stir, and heat through.

My version was a bit different, as you can see from the top picture. I left the asparagus whole because I really like chewing on it. I have no idea why, I just do. Not only that, but I like to chop off the very tips that are white, chalky and tough, then peel the ends so that they cook as even and tender as the tips in the same amount of time. It takes a little longer to prepare but it's more than worth it. As always, I eyed everything. I'm not sure if I used the right amount of anything, and I even got some of it wrong on purpose. I'm not huge into grated parmesan, so I put only a teeny little bit into the sauce and some on top of Tammy's plate because she likes it. I not only added the lemon zest, but squeezed a bunch of the juice into it as well. The dish was actually better for it. In fact, I added more juice onto mine at the table. ^ _ ^

Oh, and I don't have any cast iron pots. Not sure if this makes a difference in taste or not.

The verdict was that Tammy gave this dish a 5 out of 5. She liked it so much, she went back for seconds. She would've had thirds, but she's lactose intolerant and this does contain heavy cream. Besides, she had a bunch of really awesome chicken breast nuggets coated with panko bread crumbs to go with it. I'll probably include that recipe later on.

In the meantime, you should seriously try this recipe. It's a great way to start out if you're intimidated by risotto, and it really does taste fantastic. So go forth, my children, and make something fucking delicious!!! lol

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