24 July 2011

Recipes From Exile -- Beefy Orzo

So, here's another one. A good, super simple, bachelor kitchen-tested recipe from my time in exile . . . this one, titled Beefy Orzo, is a revision of a Spinach and Mushroom Orzo side we had at a Macaroni Grill many years ago. It's changed in the repetition I'm sure, and probably has little or no resemblance to that original version we created long ago from taste memory alone. Even so, it's become pretty popular with the Texas Kruegers especially Shari. Which is the very reason that particular Spinach and Mushroom Orzo is now called "Mama's Orzo" around our house.

But I digress.

So, there I am bored and hungry on a chilly winter evening in my Squatter's Paradise. "Mama" is far away but her favorite orzo . . . well that might just be the perfect comfort food. The addition of well seasoned ground beef makes it a complete meal . . . in fact, I might just start calling it "Pape's Orzo" from now on.

Give it a try sometime if you want. Comment with reviews, suggestions and any of your own personal taste tweaks.

Presenting . . .
Beefy Orzo

Most of the ingredients should be in a mid-to-well stocked bachelor's kitchen (see the entry titled "Recipes Form Exile", April 2011). Except for maybe the Orzo, which is a nice compact, rice-shaped pasta that keeps practically forever . . . so why not have some on hand?

1 Lb. Ground Beef
1/2 Onion - Diced

1 Small Can of Sliced Mushroom Pieces & Stems
1/2 Package of Frozen Cut Leaf Spinach

1/2C Uncooked Orzo

2Tbls Beef Base or 2 Cubes
1Tbls Garlic Powder
1Tsp Red Pepper Flake
1Tbls Salt (coarse, of course)
1Tsp Black Pepper
1Tbls Worcestershire Sauce

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Microwave frozen spinach according to package directions.
Saute ground beef with onions, salt & pepper until browned, drain excess fat.
Add mushrooms and (drained) spinach and simmer, covered.

Fill a small sauce pan 1/2 way with water, then stir in beef base, Worcestershire, salt, red pepper flake, garlic powder and pepper.

Bring to a boil.

Add orzo, reduce heat and cook pasta to taste, 8-9 minutes.

Drain orzo, reserving the liquid.

Add orzo to the beef mixture, raise the heat to medium-high and add reserved orzo water a little at a time until the sauce is desired juicyness and thickness.

Top with a few shakes of grated Parmesan cheese.


I hope you like it. If you don't, you probably did it wrong . . .

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