Story last updated at 7/23/2014 - 4:22 pm
As noted in previous columns, I love lemons. I love the fresh, tangy flavor of lemon in my drinks - except iced tea. (That's just not tasty to me.)
I love lemon on fish or chicken, and it's especially good on vegetables. I am also learning that lemons have wonderful medicinal properties. I'm drinking lemon-infused water daily now. It tastes good and it's good for you. A win-win in my book.
Lemons brighten a recipe and create a lighter flavor to just about anything. I particularly like lemon on pasta. A squeeze of lemon juice on grilled shrimp with linguini takes the flavor to a whole new level.
It's amazing how something so simple can enhance a recipe so much.
This time of year, Grant works long hours. He's up and out of the house by 6:30 a.m. and doesn't call it a day until past midnight. It's the nature of running a charter company and I try to not get too grumpy when he won't turn the lights off.
Living in a boutique apartment can have a few downsides, like sounds and lights. I can fall asleep during a hurricane, but if the overhead light is on, I think I'm being interrogated by the FBI and that sooner or later I'll be asked where I was on the night of the 9th at 10 p.m.
I would reply that I'm probably trying to sleep but the stinking overhead light is keeping me awake! I purchased an eye mask, so we'll see how that goes.
During my awake hours - which thanks to Grant are more than I would hope - I tend to cook. Lately it's been Italian and pasta dishes and one of my favorites is risotto, which is creamy and rich. Searching through the cabinets, I discovered that I didn't have Arborio rice, the key ingredient for risotto, but I did have orzo, a small rice-like pasta - a perfect switch.
Using equal parts of butter and olive oil, I toasted the orzo in a medium skillet until it was turning golden brown, then add a little white wine, chicken (or vegetable broth), fresh parsley and lots of lemon zest and juice. Within 20 to 30 minutes I had a perfect side dish that paired wonderfully with the chicken bruschetta I made as the entrée.
This is by far one of my most favorite recipes. It's easy, delicious and fun to make. It is very versatile and can be served as a main course if one is so inclined.
This week I present a recipe that was created from the light, bright and delicious citrusy delicious lemon: Lemon Orzo. I encourage you to add a splash of lemon to your chicken, fish or pasta, it's a great addition to any meal.
Until next time...
Eat and enjoy,
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup white wine (not too sweet)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Zest and juice of one large lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt olive oil and butter together in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add orzo and cook until golden and toasted. Add garlic and mix well, cook additional minute or so. Deglaze pan with white wine. Let orzo cook until wine is well absorbed.
Reduce heat to medium and add 1 cup of broth. Stir well and cook until well absorbed. Continue with second cup of broth. Stir often to ensure pasta doesn't clump together. Taste for salt and pepper and add lemon zest. Continue cooking until pasta is cooked through, but not dry, add additional broth if you need to.
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Toss well and serve warm.
Note: If the pasta tastes a little too tangy from the lemon add a bit more broth to even out the flavor.