Saturday, August 8, 2009

Orzo and Meat is what's for Dinner

If there is one kind of pasta in this world that I love, that is for sure ORZO.
For some reason, the grocery store where we buy our food supplies usually did not carry orzo.
So I sort of gave up on it and I was extremely happy when one day, recently, I found it on the shelf.

Bought it and brought it home and kept it outside, to look at it and imagine what I could cook with it.
While imagining what to pair it with, I remembered I wanted to make some pesto, but didn't get to it - so I thought orzo with pesto over some type of meat would be perfect.
Now when you need to cook 2 different types of meat at the same time you need to get inventive.
So I made 2 cute boats from aluminum foil to nest the pork in one and the salmon in the other.

Jeff says that inventions are born not from necessity, but from laziness, and that necessity is a distant cousin.
He may be right, but really in my case it wasn't laziness. LOL
Oh, and please run to the store for some fresh basil leaves or for a basil plant, like I got from Walmart.

Let's get to cooking !

Meat of any kind (I used a salmon fillet for me and pork tenderloin for my husband)

For the Pesto:
pine nuts, about 1/2 cup (or any other kind of nuts you have on hand)
basil, about 1 cup if you have that much, if not, just use what you have
salt and pepper
1 TBSP oil
2 cloves of garlic

For the Pasta:
If you want to use orzo like me, use 1/4 cup of uncooked orzo per person
tomato sauce, homemade if possible

For the salad:
1 medium tomato per person, cut into small pieces, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper

First make the aluminum boats if you decide to use different kinds of meat and set aside in a pan that can go in the oven, like a pie pan.
Measure all the ingredients and put them close so you can have them on hand.
Bring water with a bit of salt to a boil, dump the pasta and boil it for 9 minutes, drain and keep in a bowl with a lid or a plate on top so it does not dry.
Heat a skillet, spray it with cooking spray, place the salmon in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side on medium heat, repeating the seasoning on the other side as well.
Now do the same with the pork.
When done cooking the meat, put it in the aluminum boats that you prepared earlier and turn on the oven broiler on the low setting.
Using a food processor or a food chopper, mix all the pesto ingredients and spoon it all over the meat.
Boil the meat for approx. 5 minutes, watching it so the pesto does not burn.
Chop the tomato, put it in a small bowl and add the oil, salt and pepper to it.
In a skillet or saucepan put the orzo and 1/2 cup homemade tomato sauce and heat up for approx 2 to 3 minutes.
Plate nicely and indulge.
Do not boil the pasta for longer because it will be too soft and it will turn mushy.

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