Saturday, November 29, 2008

Orzo with Roasted Eggplant

This is our thanksgiving dinner.  There's only 6 of us, so we didn't get turkey.
1 Large Eggplant (or two medium eggplant)
1 lb Orzo (rice shaped pasta)
2 boxes of Chicken Broth
1/2 lb Cremini mushrooms (or whatever mushroom you have)
1 large onion
1 head garlic
3/4 cup olive oil (I know it's a lot, but you need it)

Prep Work:

  1. Remove the skin of the eggplant, and slice into quarter inch pieces
  2. Cover  both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Grill both sides (there will be a lot of smoke because the eggplant gives up the oil it absorbs once it's cooked, so make sure you prepare for that if you're grilling inside the house)
  4. Chop the onions and garlic to a fine dice
  5. Cut the mushroom in the middle then slice thinly, if you like it chunky, quarter the mushrooms

Heat up the olive oil, and saut√© the onion.  Add salt and pepper to flavor the onion.
Add the garlic, and cook until the onion is transparent and has a little caramel color.
Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms browns and wilts.  Add a little S&P (salt and pepper) after the mushroom cooks.
Add the Orzo, and stir well with onions, garlic and mushrooms. 
Add a cup of chicken broth and stir well to avoid sticking.   Once the broth looks absorbed, add another cup of broth, and continue adding broth until you've finished both boxes.  The end result will have about an inch of broth on top of the cooked orzo, but once you stir, it should look all incorporated with the orzo.  Don't cheat and dump the entire box of broth at one time, you won't get the correct consistency for the orzo, and you'll be eating soup.
Do a final taste and adjust flavor with S&P.

Transfer the cooked orzo onto a baking pan.

Arrange the eggplant on top of it, and then put mozzarella on top.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until mozzarella melts and starts to bubble.  Add chopped parsley for garnish.

Simple, but good :-) 

If you want to, you can add fried chicken on top of the orzo as part of the meal:

6 boneless chicken thighs
1 cup flour

Pound chicken to 1/2 inch thickness, S&P both sides and then add into flour.  Fry over low heat. (Make sure to remove excess flour from the chicken by lightly shaking it, leaving a thin coat only.  The excess flour will only cause your frying oil to brown earlier)

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