Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Orzo with Chickpeas and Goat Cheese

When it comes to pasta salad, I would rather pass. I love my pasta hot and drenched with sauce and fresh parmesan cheese. However, on these hot summer nights I think a nice big salad is the perfect meal (it also counteracts the extra big bowl of ice cream I eat every night topped with sprinkles). Back to the pasta salad... I think orzo is the only "pasta salad" I would really eat so when I came across this recipe below I decided to try it and add my own spin to it. It was satisfying and a great combination of flavors. I just got fresh oregano from the CSA I am a member of and I was excited to find a recipe to use it in!

1 1/2 cups orzo
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
15-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
1/2 head of lettuce
olive oil
extra lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Borsari seasoning (original)

Cook orzo in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain orzo.

Whisk olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic to blend in large serving bowl. Add drained garbanzo beans, cooked orzo, and chopped fresh oregano; toss salad to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in crumbled goat cheese. Serve orzo mixture at room temperature over a bed of lettuce (topped with extra drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle of Borsari seasoning).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marinated Chicken and Sauteed Swiss Chard

Summer is here and now I need to start planning ahead for dinner. We typically like to go to the pool in the afternoon but that means the minute we walk in the door at 5pm the kids are hungry and tired so dinner has to be ready or fixed up quick! This dinner worked out for this purpose and we were all fed and happy by 6pm last night! I marinated the chicken while the kids slept in the afternoon and when we got home from the pool I threw it in my skillet and while it cooked I chopped up the swiss chard and threw that in another skillet with some olive oil, and Borsari seasoning) to cook until it wilted down (only takes a couple of minutes).

Chicken Marinade:
4 whole chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
1 bunch spring onions (or scallions) chopped
2 tbsp honey
4 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh basil, torn into pieces

Put above ingredients in a glass bowl and let marinate at least 30 minutes.

To cook, I used my cast iron skillet (but any skillet will do).
Heat over high heat skillet, put in chicken and pour marinade in as well. Cook until browned on one side and then flip each piece of chicken and cook until cooked through. You can cover it so it cooks through quicker.

Serve with a side of sautéed swiss chard.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sausage, Greens & Orzo

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade
a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 bunch mustard greens, a couple of large handfuls, or about 1/2 pound
1 lb sausage, casing removed
1 cup whole wheat orzo
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Put 1/8 cup of olive oil into a large skillet over medium-low heat. When oil is warm, cook garlic just until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and red pepper flakes and cook until bread crumbs are golden. This will take about five minutes or so. Remove and set aside.
Cook mustard greens in boiling water until soft, about five minutes. Drain well.
Remove the casing from the sausage and place in saute pan over medium high heat. Break up sausage with wooden spoon and cook until browned and no longer pink. Set aside.
Boil the orzo in salted water in another pot.
Meanwhile, add the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mustard greens and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the garlic bread crumb mixture and sausage and mix well.
When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a little of the water. Toss pasta in the skillet with the mustard greens. If necessary, add a little of the pasta water. Adjust seasonings and serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.