Big Daddy's     Cooking with Attitude

Thai Chile



Orzo Pilaf with Rosemary and Peas

Pilaf generally refers to a dish made with rice, but the term refers as much to a method of cooking as much as it does to ingredients.  It always involves sautéing the rice first, and sautéing the orzo makes this dish an inspiration and a welcome change from routine side dishes.  Adapted from a recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine.  Serves 3-4 as a side dish.

3 strips   bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
½ cup   onion, chopped fine
½ teaspoon   salt
2 cloves   garlic minced or pressed
½ pound   orzo
½ cup   dry white wine
1½ cups   chicken broth
½ teaspoon   dried ground rosemary
1-10 oz package frozen peas, thawed
½ cup   grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch nutmeg
ground black pepper

Fry bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Add onion and salt to fat in skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add orzo and cook, stirring frequently with wooden or plastic spatula, until most of orzo is lightly browned and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.

Off heat, add wine, chicken broth, and rosemary. Return skillet to medium-high heat and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has been absorbed and orzo is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Add additional broth if necessary.

Stir in peas, Parmesan, nutmeg, pepper to taste, and bacon. Let stand off heat until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes; adjust seasonings, and serve.


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