I know I normally do recipe posts on Monday. And, well…the truth of the matter is, Monday rolled around and I totally forgot. Please don’t misunderstand…you all are important to me and I love sharing my food adventures with you all, but the fact of the matter is, these past few weeks have been insane. Work has been at an all time stress level of DEFCON 1 (please feel free to Wikipedia what DEFCON 1 is…that’s basically my life at the moment), my volunteering and social activities are ramping up, and the bathroom is still down to the studs. On top of it all, spring is on its way and all I want to do is be outside! I love spring (spring and fall are my two favorite seasons, by far), and this winter has been absolutely brutal, so any time the weather is above freeze point, it feels like a heat wave and I want to go outside and sun myself like a lizard on a rock.
That said…if there is one thing that I love to do, even amidst all the hustle and bustle that is life, it’s cooking. And, with cooking, comes sharing recipes and stories from my kitchen. I love it! I grew up with the adage that flowers and food fix everything. Doesn’t matter the occasion: birth (food and flowers), weddings/engagements (food and flowers), deaths (food and flowers). All major life events can be celebrated and/or mourned with food and flowers. The flowers help soothe your mind and the food helps soothe your soul. So, when it comes to life and the world around me, I cook. It’s just…well…it’s what I do.
Which brings me to the point of today’s post! My weekly recipe post. We’ve been continually getting our green bean delivery on Tuesdays, so I’ve been doing my best to cook more seasonally (and locally), so we’ve had lots of fresh fruit and veg. And I love it, truly. But sometimes…sometimes, you just want starch. And cheese. CHEESY STARCH!! This was me on Monday. All I wanted to enter my stomach was delicious carbs. My “go-to” meal for cheesy starch is usually macaroni and cheese, but alas, I was out of macaroni (TRAVESTY)!! BUT! The gods were smiling upon me, because I had beaucoup de orzo from my favorite orzo salad I make all the time. And guess what, folks…orzo = pasta. WE WERE IN BUSINESS!
And such, cheesy orzo was born. I don’t have a link because I didn’t use a recipe. PSHT…who needs a recipe when all you want is cheesy starch! And here’s how I did it:
You need two ingredients; orzo and cheese. Ok, you also need water (or you can use chicken/vegetable stock) to cook your orzo in it…so I guess that’s three ingredients, but who’s counting. Boil your orzo. I’m not going to tell you how much, because I have no idea how much orzo you can eat. Make enough for you…or your significant other/roommate/friend/stranger down the street. Basically, make enough to get full and move on. Boil, boil, boil…I usually cook my orzo for about 8 minutes, or until I can chew it without breaking a molar…up to you. After you boil it to your desired “doneness,” drain it. You might want to reserve some of the cooking liquid (maybe 1/4 cup total), but I actually just didn’t let my orzo get super dry from draining it, and tossed it back into the pot. I’m lazy, folks, we’ve already established this long ago.
Meanwhile, if you were smart, while you were boiling the crap out of the orzo, you were shredding cheese. Or maybe, you were even smarter than that and had shredded cheese already on hand, in a bag. I did not. Nor was I smart. So…at this point, I frantically started grating cheese. Normally, I like a nice, sharp cheddar. But…the cheddar wasn’t opened yet, and my Monterey Jack cheese was half used, so I said “to hell with it” and grated that instead. Guess what…it was still cheese, and I still added it to starch, so it was still amaze-balls.
At this point, the orzo is cooked, and the cheese is grated. Here’s the hard part. Put the grated cheese in the pot with the orzo. Seriously. Stir. Keep stirring until it’s melted (it should take all of about 4.8 seconds). And…that’s it! If it seems dry, add some milk, or butter, or leftover cooking water…up to you. Mine wasn’t dry…it was deliciously creamy and cheesy and amazing. I scooped it up into a bowl and FEASTED! And, my tummy was happy.
Because I was so enamored with my cheesy orzo, I didn’t bother taking photos. Sorry about that. But it really was awesome, I promise! You all should try it…and feel free to mix it up! I think next time I’m going to add peas. There’s something about macaroni and cheese (or orzo and cheese) with crunchy peas that is so filling. Plus, those hints of green in the dish allow me to lie to myself that the meal is actually well-rounded and healthy. And really, isn’t self-delusion worth it every now and again?
Give it a try, let me know what you thought of it! Hope you enjoy it even half as much as I did!