Friday, April 16, 2010
The weather has been so nice this past week, with highs in the 80's but then today it turned really brisk, rainy and even a few spits of that white snowy stuff mixed in, so it’s really cold and stormy here today, limiting my time in the gardens. But hey, that's New England weather for you.
The first thing I did when I got home was turn on the heat.. I just couldn’t warm up. Whenever it's cold outside, I want comfort food. So I made lemoncello and basil chicken breasts for dinner and decided to serve it with orzo, mushrooms, eggplant and fresh asparagus. This was a simple yet comforting side dish, and I even had a little left over for lunch tomorrow. The mushrooms, shallots and eggplant gave it a wonderful flavor and texture to the orzo while the pepper added just enough heat.. It was a nice dinner and just perfect for a cold and stormy day like this one.
Orzo with Mushroom, Eggplant & Asparagus
2 TBLS olive oil
3 shallots, minced
7-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 clove of garlic, minced
5 spears asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
½ cup crushed roma tomatoes
¼ tsp hot pepper flakes *opt
1 ½ cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ tsp thyme
1/2 cup of orzo
Peel the eggplant and cube for a total of about 2 cups. Heat olive oil, adding shallots, mushrooms and garlic. Cook until garlic is just beginning to brown. Add the eggplant, asparagus and a generous grinding of pepper. Stir well and add crushed tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes more. Add the orzo and chicken stock. Cover and simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes and it’s ready. Enjoy!