RSS

Tag Archives: Recipe

Chicken A La King Risotto


(serves 6)
On a whim I decided to combine two of my favourite Chicken and Rice recipes, Chicken and Porcini Risotto and Chicken A La King. It turned out to be yet another match made in culinary heaven. The rich nutty flavour of porcini goes very well with the special brand of sweetness that comes with capsicum. The recipe also uses brined chicken breast to keep the chicken extra tender and separate from the rice.

Ingredients

  1. Dried Porcini Mushrooms (30g)
  2. Arborio Rice (1.25 cups)
  3. Brown Mushrooms (150g)
  4. Chicken Wings (4)
  5. Chicken Breasts (2 halves)
  6. Capsicum a.k.a. Bell Pepper (2)
  7. Onion (1)
  8. Garlic (1T minced)
  9. Butter (50g)
  10. Grated Parmigianino-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
  11. Cream Cheese
  12. Rosemary

Early Preparation

  1. Brine and poach chicken breasts as per the procedure given in this post. You can do this ahead of time and then warm up the chicken breasts in the hot stock before slicing them.
  2. Simmer 4 chicken wings in 4 cups of water with half an onion and 1t salt. Continue simmering until the meat is practically falling off the bone, adding water is necessary. You can also use 8 mid joints. Start making the stock at the same time you begin the brining.
  3. You also need to soak your porcini in 2 cups of water. Use cold water, as hot water will give the porcini a slight rubbery texture after it rehydrates. Keep in the fridge.

Preparation

  1. Bring your chicken stock to a slow simmer. Add the juices from the poached chicken breast and the porcini water (but not the porcini itself) to the stock pot.
  2. Cut the capsicums in half and remove the stem, core and seeds. Cut the tops and bottoms off and add them into the stock. Cut the sides into 1/4 inch squares and set them aside.
  3. Cut the brown mushroom into thick slices.
  4. Mince the garlic and julienne the remaining half of the onion into1/8 inch pieces. In a large pan, fry the onion bits on low heat in 2T of oil until they become yellow and limp. Add the garlic and continue pan frying for a minute.
  5. Turn up the heat on the pan and add the rice into the pan, stirring well.
  6. After another minute, add a ladle of stock (liquid only) to the pan and reduce the heat to produce a low simmer. Add the capsicum pieces to the pan at this stage.
  7. Stir until the risotto begins to dry, then add another ladle of the hot chicken stock. Stir frequently to prevent sticking. The stock pot must be kept simmering to avoid shocking the rice. Continue doing this for about 20 minutes.
  8. In the meanwhile grate the Parmigianino finely. Cut ¼ of a block of butter into 1 cm cubes and mix it with the grated cheese. Allow the butter to soften out in the open. This forms the mantecatura.
  9. Dissolve 1T of cream cheese in the last ladle of hot stock before adding it to the pan. Add both the brown mushrooms and the porcini at this stage.
  10. When your risotto is al dente you can let it almost dry up, after which you turn off the heat. Total simmering time varies a bit with the type of grain you are using, so rely on taste and appearance to decide if the risotto is done and not a timer.
  11. Stir in the mantecatura and let the risotto rest with the cover on for five minutes. Slice the Chicken breasts.
  12. After tasting, you may add a bit of salt or more grated cheese to the risotto as a final adjustment if you deem necessary. Arrange the sliced chicken over your plated risotto. Garnish with black pepper.

NotesDried Porcini

  • My first risotto recipe contains many of the finer points on making risotto, which I have opted not to repeat here. You should refer to that post if you don’ make risotto often.  
  • Capsicums comes in 4 different colours which have different tastes. Red is sweet and easiest on the taste buds, Green is an acquired taste as it is less ripe and bitter. Orange and yellow capsicums are in between the two. I would recommend you use red and orange for this dish.
  • For reference these are my Chicken A La King and Porcini and Chicken Risotto recipes.
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Chawanmushi – Japanese Steamed Egg


(serves 5)
Chawanmushi is a steamed egg custard commonly served in Japanese Cuisine. Unlike its Western counterparts, it is a savoury custard. A variety of bite sized food items are burried within the custard, given it a subtle meaty flavour that lingers in the mouth. Chawanmushi contains no milk or cream, giving it a light and delicate texture that is as smooth as tofu. It can be served as an appetizer in any meal, formal or casual, making it a very versatile dish.
 
Main Ingredients ChawanMushi
  1. Eggs (3)
  2. Mirin
  3. Sake
  4. Hon Dashi
  5. Soya Sauce

Other (Optional) Ingredients

  1. Chicken
  2. Shrimp
  3. Kamaboko (fish cake)
  4. Shiitake (mushroom)
  5. Carrot
  6. Ginko Nuts

Preparation DobinmushiCM Ingredients

  1. First we start by making the dobin mushi, which is a stock with bits of meat and vegetables in it. You can basically use any kind of ingredients but I’ll assume you are using the ingredients listed in the photo.
  2. Marinate 5 finger tip sized pieces of chicken and 5 small shrimp in 2T mirin and 1t soya sauce.
  3. Slice a large fresh (i.e. not dried) shiitake mushroom into 5 segments. Cut 5 thin slices of carrot and 5 slices of fish cake.
  4. Bring to a strong boil 1.75 cups of water with 1 heaped T of hon dashi pellets.
  5. Add all the cut and marinated ingredients into the pot, including the marinade. Give it a quick stir and immediately turn off the fire. Leave covered for five minutes.

You may do everything in part I ahead of time

Preparation Chawanmushi

  1. Beat 3 eggs in a pitcher with 2T sake.
  2. When the dashi stock has cooled, fish out all the boiled ingredients and distribute them equally into the tea cups.
  3. Pour the dashi into the pitcher, mixing it well with the egg.
  4. From the pitcher, pour the custard mixture through a strainer into the cups. Don’t fill the cups beyond 85% of their capacity.
  5. Add a cup of water into a large pot with a steaming rack. In any case, ensure that the water does not reach up the rack.
  6. Arrange the cups onto the rack with their covers on. Bring the water to a boil with the (pot) cover off. This serves to warm up the custard a bit.
  7. When the water is boiling, cover the pot and leave on a low simmer for 10 minutes. Leave the pot covered with heat off for a further 5 minutes for custard to firm up.
  8. Serve hot in the original cups, covers still on and with a tea spoon. It is normal for a small amount of dashi(soup) to remain after the chawanmushi is cooked.

Notes

  • ‘Chawan’ means tea cup while ‘Mushi’ means steamed, so chawanmushi translates as ‘steamed cup (of egg)’. Similarly, ‘Dobin’ means teapot and dobinmushi transalates as ‘steamed teapot (of soup)’. It is not an intermediate ingredient but a distinct soup in itself; note the version here is not the way to make a proper dobinmushi. 
  • If you don’t have tea cups with covers, you can just use a double sheet of foil which you crumple snugly over the top of each cup seperately. The cups should however be the oriental type made of thick porcelain. 
  • Do not leave the cups uncovered; condensate will mar the custard surface while the chawanmushi will get cooked unevenly.
  • It is very important to strain the custard mixture. Do not skip this step or there will be bubbles in the chawanmushi. There will also be sediment from the stock and also bits of egg white which do not steam well.
  • If you like, you can put various decorative or fragrant items on the chawanmushi surface immediately after it is steamed, like a perilla leaf or a slice of kamaboko. 
  • If you can’t get some of the other ingredients listed at the beginning that’s ok; you can substitute anything you like as long as you follow these guidelines:
    • it is small (like a ginko nut) 
    • it doesn’t bleed colour (portobello for example stains the custard)
    • it doesn’t have too strong a taste (fisk ok, lamb not so much)
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Appetizers, Japanese, Poultry, Recipe, Seafood

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Crab and Cheese Faux Soufflé


(serves 6)
This is not a real soufflé as it uses what I call the french toast method, but it is permissible for a savoury dish and it certainly tastes as good as any traditional soufflé made from beaten egg-white. Within each ramekin, there’ll be that heavenly combination of crab meat and 3 different cheeses, melded into a fluffy body of bread and egg; sort of like crab gratin meets bread and butter pudding, only lighter.    

IngredientsCrab and Cheese Soufflé

  1. Cooked Crab Meat (300g)
  2. Capsicum (1)
  3. Onion (1/2)
  4. Diced Bread (4 cups)
  5. Cream (1 cup)
  6. Milk (1 cup)
  7. Eggs (3)
  8. Parmigiano Reggiano (40g)
  9. Cheddar (80g)
  10. Brie (120g)
  11. DIllweed 
  12. Cognac

Preparation

  1. Drain the crab meat and then soak it in a mixture of 1 part brandy to 4 parts water. This will freshen up your crab meat. Make sure you loosen the packed meat so the brandy can permeate faster.
  2. In the meanwhile, julienne half an onion and one capsicum (without the seeds). Dice slices of soft crustless bread until you end up with four cups of loosely packed cubes of bread.
  3. Grate the parmigiano and cheddar. You can mix them together. Dice the Brie but keep it in the fridge to maintain its hardness.
  4. Using a large pan, stir-fry the onion pieces on low heat with a knob of butter till they get limp. Turn up the heat, add a second knob of butter together with the capsicum bits. Stir-fry for one minute.
  5. Drain the crab meat (the second time) and add this to the pan. Continue stir-frying and when the water from the crab has boiled off, add 1/3 cup milk and 1T brandy. Cook for a further minute, then turn off the heat.
  6. Add the diced bread to the frying pan (no heat) and mix until they absorb all the liquid. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, 1T of dillweed and 1t of pepper.
  7. Distribute half the pan’s contents evenly into 6 ramekins. There is no need to brush the inside of the ramekins with butter, this soufflé does not stick. Add the brie piece by piece to ensure even distrubution; they have a tendency to clump together. Top up with the remaining contents of the pan.
  8. Mix half a cup of cream, 0.5t of sugar and three eggs in a large bowl.
  9. In a pot, heat to almost boiling another half cup of the cream and 2/3 cups of milk. Slowly pour this hot half&half into the bowl with the eggs, stirring all the time to make sure the egg doesn’t get cooked. Pour the hot egg mixture into the ramekins and leave to settle for at least half an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180oC (350oF) and bake your soufflés for about 20 minutes. You can see them rise, so its not too dificult to know when they are done.

NotesFive in the Oven

  • I assumed you are using canned crab meat, its the most convenient. If you happen to be are using freshly boiled crab, you can skip the soaking step.
  • I would use either red or orange capsicum (bell pepper). The yellow and green ones do goas well with the soufflé visually. 
  • If this recipe turned out nicely for you, you may want to check out this similar dish, my earlier liver pate souffle recipe.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 9, 2013 in A Kobi Original, Appetizers, French, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Claypot Chicken Rice – Rice Cooker version


(serves 3)
Claypot Chicken Rice is Cantonese comfort food classic where rice is flavoured with sausage and sweet soya sauce. Traditionally, Claypot Chicken Rice is cooked in a claypot as the name implies but in modern times it is very often cooked in a rice cooker at home so it is done perfectly every time. The recipe is somewhat special in that the rice and chicken are cooked separately, and then again together. Additional items used to flavour the rice are fragrant Chinese sausages and Shiitake mushrooms. The chicken is tenderized with bicarbonate of soda, making it super tender and juicy. 
 
Ingredients Claypot-style Chicken Rice
  1. Chicken Thigh & Leg (1)
  2. Red Chinese Sausage (2)
  3. Brown Chinese Sausage (2)
  4. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (4)
  5. Raw Jasmine Rice (1.5 cups)
  6. Minced Ginger (2t)
  7. Dark Soya Sauce
  8. Chinese Wine
  9. Vinegar
  10. Sesame Oil
  11. Golden Syrup
  12. Coriander Seed Powder
  13. Corn Starch
  14. Bicarbonate of Soda

Preparation

  1. Soak 4 dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 cup of cold water plus 1T soya sauce and 1t sugar for 2 hours. After the first hour snip off the stems and discard them, then cut each mushroom in half and continue soaking. Soaking overnight is the best.
  2. Debone the chicken leg and cut it into bite sized chunks, trim off all the loose skin and fat. Mix 2T soya sauce with 1t golden syrup and 1T each of sesame oil and Chinese wine in a big bowl and marinate the chicken with this. Separately mix 1t corn starch and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate with 1/3 cup of cold water and add this to the marinating chicken.
  3. Cut off the tip of the sausages with the string attached and slice them into 1/3 inch pieces.
  4. Rinse the raw rice a few times in the detachable rice cooker pot. Use Jasmine Rice or any other type of long grained rice. Mix the sausage pieces into the rice evenly and pour in the mushroom water (but not the mushrooms). Top up with water until the water level is half a finger over the rice (i.e. less than the amount of water you would normally use) and set the rice cooker to ‘cook’. As soon as the rice cooker has gone to ‘keep warm’ mode open the lid to let the rice dry out a bit.
  5. After an hour or more has passed since step 2 add 1T of vinegar to the marinating chicken to neutralize the bicarbonate and mix well. Wait 10 minutes and then strain the marinade into a separate container.
  6. Coarsely mince 2t of ginger. Fry the ginger in 3T of vegetable oil in a pan on high heat. When the ginger begins to brown and the oil is really hot, add the chicken. Stir fry the chicken until no visible part of the meat is raw.
  7. Next, add the marinade and mushrooms to the pan. Bring to a simmer briefly and sprinkle in 1t white pepper and 1t coriander seed powder.
  8. Arrange the contents of the pan on top of the (now cooked) rice inside the rice cooker (see picture below). Sprinkle all the left over liquid from the pan over the chicken in the rice cooker evenly.
  9. Set the rice cooker to cook a second time. When it returns to ‘keep warm’ mode again, your chicken rice will be done.

Notes CP Chicken Cook

  • Chinese sausages should be easy to find in any Chinatown. If you really hate liver, use 4 red sausages instead. If you can’t find any Chinese sausages, use braunschweiger (i.e. liverwurst) instead. They will be different in size to the Chinese sausages, so adjust the quantity accordingly. For reference, a Chinese sausage is 6 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter.
  • If you have one of those rice cookers with fuzzy logic and all kinds of settings, just use the simplest one- usually labelled as ‘quick cook’ or something similar.
  • You can make your claypot chicken rice well ahead of time and reheat with the ‘keep warm’ function of your rice cooker.
  • If you want to skip the bicarbonate for a natural chicken texture, remember to skip the vinegar as well.
  • If you don’t have a rice cooker, you will need a clay pot. It will be very difficult to cook this in a metal pot so I suggest you don’t try. The rice gets burnt very easily.
  • If you like this recipe, have a look at my Oyakodon recipe, which is the Japanese version of chicken rice. 
 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Main Courses, Oriental, Poultry, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Japanese Chashu Pork


Chashu is the sliced pork served with Japanese Ramen noodles nine times out of ten. When properly done, Chashu is tender, succulent, infused with taste, the opposite of everything you’d normally expect of pork. The secret is in the recipe of course, and this is where you’ll learn to do it easily, and perfectly. The use of Chashu is not restricted to Ramen. You can also serve it as a main course of stewed pork belly by carving it into blocks or you can do Chashu sandwiches. A useful by-product of cooking Chashu is the stewing sauce, which can be used in a number of different ways.

IngredientsChashu on Ramen

  1. Laminated Pork Belly (400-600g)
  2. Shallots (6)
  3. Garlic (6 cloves)
  4. Ginger (1 slice)
  5. Soya Sauce
  6. Mirin
  7. Sake
  8. Sugar
  9. Butter
  10. Five Spice Powder

Preparation

  1. The first thing to do is to choose the right sized bakeware for your pork. For 400g of pork belly, its best to use bread loaf shaped bakeware that is just slightly bigger than your meat. This way the pork will not be exposed while it is stewing.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200oC (390oF).
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of Mirin, 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/2 cup of water into your baking container. Add 1T of Soya sauce for a light Chashu and 3T of Soya Sauce for the dark tasty variety. Stir in 1T sugar and 1t five spice powder. Place the pork belly into the stewing liquid.Raw Chashu
  4. Peel 6 cloves of garlic and 6 shallots. Also peel a thick slice of ginger about 2 inches long. Fit them into whatever space that is left (see picture). Top off a knob of butter.
  5. Cover the baking container snugly with aluminium foil and place it in the oven. Total baking time is 2 hours.
  6. When the aroma of the stewing pork is noticeable, this means it is boiling, reduce the oven temperature to 150oC (300oF).
  7. After the 2 hours are up, turn the oven off. You may remove your Chashu from the oven immediately or leave it in the oven (the preferred option) to cool for several hours. Seperate the meat from the liquid when they are at room temperature and place them both in the fridge.
  8. When the meat is chilled, cut it into slices. Place the Chashu on the cutting board with the skin facing up and slice from top to bottom, this solves the problem of the skin being of a different consistency from the meat. You can make the slices larger by slicing diagonally.
  9. When the soaking liquid is cold, a layer of lard will form on its surface, you should spoon it out, to discard or perhaps add to your Ramen soup. Put the stewing sauce through a strainer and keep it in the fridge for later use; it should keep for quite a while.
  10. To reheat, simply drench the Chashu slices repeatedly with the boiling soup from your Ramen. If you wish to go the extra mile, glaze individual slices with a bit of the stewing sauce in the oven/toaster oven or with a kitchen torch.

Notes

  • It is essential that you let the Chashu get thoroughly chilled before cutting or slicing it. It is really tender and will fall apart otherwise.
  • The stewing sauce will congeal into a jelly in the fridge, so thats why it needs to be seperated from the meat before going into the fridge.
  • The restaurant Chashu you normally see is round. This is achieved by rolling up your pork belly, skin facing out, with butcher’s twine before stewing it. You’ll need a slab of pork belly that is about 1.5 kg and a oval Dutch oven to do this. It is not practical to do this at home unless you happen to be inviting 10 people over for Ramen. If you really want to do this, here are some pictures to help you.
  • If you feel very strongly that pork belly has too much fat, the alternative cut to try would be pork shoulder.
  • The colour of your Chashu will depend on the amount of soya sauce used and also the age of your mirin. If you want light coloured Chashu, use a fresh bottle of mirin.
  • If you are serving your Chashu western style, i.e. in blocks, you can use the braising sauce to cook additional vegetables like brussel sprouts or turnip. The braising sauce is also ideal for making  Ajitama, a seasoned semi boiled egg that normally comes with Ramen and for marinating chicken for BBQ.
  • If you are interested in Ramen, you can refer to this post.
 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 28, 2013 in Appetizers, Japanese, Oriental, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Oyakodon – Japanese Chicken and Egg Rice


(serves 3)
Oyakodon a.k.a. Oyako Donburi a.ka.a Oyako Rice Bowl is a scrumptious mixture of tender simmered chicken pieces with scrambled eggs served on piping hot rice. The chicken is marinated in a semi-sweet sauce which when combined with the flavour from shiitake mushrooms and dashi broth results in the perfect sauce to go with rice. It’s no wonder Oyakodon is one of the most popular rice dishes in Japan. As it is an all-in-one complete meal, Oyakodon is quite a convenient dish to serve, it can be made in under an hour.  
 
Ingredients Oyakodon
  1. Chicken Thigh & Leg (2, boneless)
  2. Onion (1)
  3. Eggs (4)
  4. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (4)
  5. Cooked Japanese White Rice (3 bowls)
  6. Scallion (3 shoots)
  7. Ginger (1t)
  8. Dark Soya Sauce
  9. Mirin
  10. Hon Dashi
  11. Sesame Oil
  12. Dried Seaweed (optional)

Preparation Part I

  1. Julienne the scallion into small 1/8 inch slices, keeping the white bits seperate from the green bits.
  2. If you didn’t buy your chicken legs deboned, you’ll need to debone them yourself. Seperate the skin from the meat as well. Trim off any large bits of fat from the meat and then cut the meat into bite sized chunks.
  3. In a bowl mix 4T soya sauce, 2T mirin, 1T sesame oil, 1t sugar, 1t pureed ginger and the white part of the scallion. Marinate the chicken pieces in this.
  4. Fry the skin in 1T of vegetable oil in a pan on low heat until the skin gets crispy. There is no need to move the skin save to flip it once.
  5. In the meanwhile dissolve 1t hon dashi pellets and 1t sugar into 1 cup of room temperature water. Soak your shiitake mushrooms in this.
  6. Peel and slice the onion into half rings.
  7. Rinse your rice and set it to cook in a rice cooker.
  8. At this stage the mushrooms would have softened a bit. Snip the stems and discard them. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch strips and continue to soak them in the same liquid.
  9. Remove the skin from the pan, leaving the oil in the pan.
  10. Let the chicken marinate while the rice gets cooked, for about thirty minutes.

You may do everything in part I ahead of time

Preparation Part II

  1. Beat 4 eggs in a bowl with 1T mirin. Leave them in the open to warm up.
  2. Pan fry the onion pieces in the pan with the chicken oil until they begin to soften.
  3. Turn up the heat. When the pan is hot, drain any remaining chicken marinade into the bowl with the mushroom.
  4. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir fry the chicken, ensuring all surfaces are browned. Turn the heat down when the meat begins to shrink. Next, add the mushroom slices, including all the liquid. Sprinkle liberally with pepper and continue cooking until the liquid has been reduced by half in volume.
  5. Push the chicken pieces to the side of the pan and pour the egg mix into the middle (which will still contain sauce). Turn off the heat after 30 seconds or until just half of the egg mixture begins to solidify. Mix everything in the pan one last time without smashing up the soft egg too much.
  6. Scoop your cooked rice straight from the rice cooker into 3 large bowls, filling them 3/4 of the way up. Top off each bowl with the contents of the pan, including all the sauce. The egg should continue to cook til it is slightly runny.
  7. Sprinkle on the green bits of the scallion immediately while everything is still steaming hot. You may also add some thin strips of dried seaweed (Nori) if you like.

Notes

  • Oyako means Parent and Child, a reference to main ingredients being Chicken and Egg .  
  • If you are going out to buy mirin for the first time, check out my What is Mirin? page first. If you really cannot get your hands on some mirin, you can also find out how to make a substitute there.
  • What if I can’t find any shiitake mushrooms? The flavour from the shiitake (She-tar-kay) mushrooms is important too. If you really need to, try substituting with dried Porcini or Morel. Don’t use fresh mushrooms as they will impart an unwanted bitter gamey taste.
  • What if I don’t know how to cook rice? Refer to my White Rice Page. It goes without sayinh, it’s best to use Japanese rice for this dish.
  • If you like, you can cut the chicken skin that has been fried crispy into little pieces and sprinkle it on with the scallion at the end. You should not however leave the skin on the chicken. Together, there is no way to cook the skin properly and yet leave the chicken meat tender. 
  • Please note – the egg in the photo is a bit over cooked, it should be a bit runnier. My bad. If you want your egg to have a nicer colour and texture, use 4 yolks with 3 egg whites instead.
 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Japanese, Main Courses, Poultry, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Orzo in Blue Cheese and Pesto Sauce


(serves 4 full portions)
Orzo (a.k.a. Risoni a.k.a. Puntalette) is a great pasta variety I recently discovered. It looks like risotto and you cook it like a risotto, but the bouncy texture of these rice shaped pasta pieces is a nice change. Like in risotto, you have to use strong flavours to compliment orzo and in this recipe I have chosen a blue cheese and pesto as the main flavours. The dish is finally topped off with pine nuts and poppy seeds, a perfect balance of taste and texture.  
 

Ingredients Orzo in Blue Cheese Pesto Sauce

  1. Gorgonzola (140g)
  2. Gouda (50g)
  3. Grana Padano (30g)
  4. Orzo (250g)
  5. Cream (1/4 cup)
  6. Chardonnay (1/2 cup)
  7. Chicken meat (350g)
  8. Pine Nuts (1/2 cup)
  9. Pesto
  10. Poppy Seeds
  11. Basil
  12. Cognac

Preparation 

  1. You cannot use stock cubes for this recipe as the stock needs to be unsalted. Make some chicken stock ahead of time. Simply boil one chicken leg with thigh, or an equivalent amount of other cuts or bones in 3 cups of water for a while and leave to cool covered.
  2. Boil some water in a non-stick frying pan and turn the fire off. Stir 250g of Orzo in the pan for 15 seconds and then drain the water. This will get rid of some of the loose flour it is coated in.
  3. Portion out the cheese next. I’ve picked the 3Gs for this recipe; The easiest way to get the right weight of each type of cheese is to look at the total weight of each package and cut out the appropriate portion by volume. There’s no need to actually weigh the cheese. Remove the wax rind of the Gouda and then cut it into 1cm cubes. Grate the Grana Padano coarsely.The Gorgonzola will fall apart easily, so there is no need to do anything to it.
  4. Pour 2 cups of hot chicken stock into the pan with the Orzo and bring to a simmer. Add 1/2 cup white wine and 3 heaping t of pesto. Keep on a low simmer, stirring once in a while.
  5. When half of the liquid has been absorbed/evapourated, add 1/4 cup of cream. Melt the  the Gorgonzola in the cream first, and when that has melted the grated Grana Padano. Finally the Gouda, stirring to prevent clumping.
  6. Continue to simmer the mixture, testing the softness of the orzo frequently by trying a grain. I usually don’t have to, but add a bit of water if the pan gets too dry. When the orzo is just tender to the bite, turn off the fire and mix in the pine nuts and 2t of chopped basil.
  7. Finally, the seasoning; add 1 flat t of sugar, a generous sprinkle of black pepper and 1T cognac. Stir, taste and add salt incrementally. The inherent saltiness will depend on your cheese so add a little at a time till the flavour is just right. You may not need to add any at all.
  8. Plate the pasta. Sprinkle on 2T of poppy seeds and a bit more chopped basil as garnishing.

NotesPackage of Orzo

  • You can swap in other cheeses but you have to replace each cheese with one of the same type. Its always 140g blue cheese, 50g of melting and 30g of grating cheese. You can check out what the alternatives are in my Cheese Page.
  • The package I bought labled orzo as Puntalette. Maybe its because orzo is Italian for barley and not rice. A third name for orzo is Risoni and this mean rice in Italian. Regardless, you can use all three types for this recipe.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Italian, Main Courses, Pasta, Recipe

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: