Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mac And Cheese - Giada's Way (Sort Of)...And, Oh Yeah, There's No Mac

I love all the wonderful people who watch the Food Network, and then RUN to their kitchens to try the recipes, AND post reviews of them as well!

These folks are so generous with their comments and often very helpful. For example, for Giada's Baked Orzo, Donna from Hillsborough, North Carolina says, Keep stirring the orzo so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Giada never mentioned that. Other reviewers added more stock, because their mixtures had nowhere near the amount of liquid that Giada's did.

I changed a few bits and pieces of the recipe and it came out great. One big difference was that I combined everything in the same sauté pan in and I baked it in that.

Also I added sour cream, instead of cream and 1/2 cup white wine instead of 1 cup of marsala and...Well, here's the recipe so you can see for yourself.

Giada's and My Baked Orzo (serves 6)

4 cups stock, vegetable is fine
1 lb. orzo
2 tbls. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
½ cup white wine
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup (4 oz.) fontina, grated
1 cup (4 oz.) mozzarella, grated
½ cup sour cream
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bring 4 cups of stock to the boil. Add 1 lb. of orzo, stirring well. Simmer gently for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan. Cook onions until completely softened. Add mushrooms, stir well and leave alone on medium to medium high heat for about 4 minutes. Stir again and leave for another 3 minutes. They should be nicely browned.

Add wine over high heat and stir to deglaze the pan for a minute. Turn off the heat. Stir the orzo into the pan. Stir in the frozen peas and then the fontina and the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in sour cream.

Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle over top. Bake for 25 minutes.

I also played around with Giada's Black Olive Vinaigrette . I LOVE the idea of adding olives to a vinaigrette to make it even more flavorful. It's great on salads, on top of grilled meat or chicken, on paninis, or even as a dollop on top of rice dishes.

Black Olive Vinaigrette
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbls. red wine vinegar
2 tsps. Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 tbl. fresh parsley
big pinch of Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup pitted black kalamata

Put all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Or you may puree everything but the olives. Add them and pulse on and off 5 or 6 times, until vinaigrette is slightly chunky. Pour into jar and keep in fridge, bringing to room temperature before using.


Emiline said...

Miam Miam!
Both things look delicious. I'll have to remember this.

Emiline said...

Happy Valentine's Day!
Hey, guess what? My mom just bought a strawberry cake mix! Remember?

Sue said...

Thanks Em,
When your mom was making the strawberry cake mix, did your dad rub up against her in the same Neely-type action, or is that too gross a concept to even consider?

Emiline said...

Ohhh, yeah. Too gross.

I stopped her from making it. She was going to bake it and put Cool Whip on it, but I told her that was gross. I think I hurt her feelings.
She was like, "FINE! I'm not making it. I'm going to go take a bath!"

Sue said...

Your mother should be thanking you.