This weekend, we were in the middle of the first real snowstorm in Chicago’s 2014-2015 winter season! So far, we have received about 19″ of snow. Yesterday and again this morning, my husband and I went outside to finish shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. The snow is the heavy, “packing” kind, perfect for kids wanting to make snowmen and forts, but really irritating for adults trying to clear footpaths! Stella was jumping around like a kangaroo in the snow! This was before it got too deep for her. After a few more hours, we ended up clearing a path in the backyard so she could walk without having the snow reach up past her fluffy tail!
When we got inside from shoveling, I wanted something quick, simple and a lot like buttered noodles. I made this ridiculously simple dish that does not even need a recipe once you make it a few times. I put 1/2 a box of orzo in a pot of salted, boiling water. I drained the orzo and made my butter-olive oil blend fancy by flavoring it with lemon peel and sliced garlic cloves. Then, I stirred in some lemon juice, Romano cheese and parsley to finish the dish. Easy!
Orzo with Lemon Garlic Butter
1 c. orzo
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 2″ lemon peel
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/4 c. parsley, minced
1/3 c. Romano cheese + extra for serving
sea salt & pepper to taste
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add Orzo. Cook according to package directions until ‘al dente.’ You are better off undercooking the orzo at this point. Drain into a colander and transfer to a medium glass or heat-safe bowl*. Return pot to medium heat. Melt butter in pan and add olive oil. Gently place the sliced garlic and lemon peel in the butter/oil and stir a little bit. BE CAREFUL! Let bubble until garlic just barely starts to turn golden, ~30-60 seconds. (It will go from golden to burned quickly) Remove garlic and lemon peel from pan with slotted spoon. Let cool on a plate before discarding.
Pour flavored butter/olive oil over the orzo. Stir in lemon juice, parsley and Romano cheese. Season to taste with sea and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
*Note: You can keep the cooked orzo in the colander and just stir it into the saucepan once the butter/oil has been flavored and the garlic/lemon peel is removed. I do this to minimize dirty dishes. The problem is the orzo can stick to the hot sides of the pan if you do not stir vigorously and immediately. The choice is yours.