Others Eating in NOLA
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
10:00 AM | Posted by Kerry Mitchell | Edit Post
This Monday night, the New Orleans Saints crushed the New England Patriots in a game that put us one step closer to a black and gold Superbowl. The next day, the Patriots exacted revenge by sending their crappy Boston weather down here, in the form of freezing temperatures and all-day rain. Ugh.
On days like that, the only thing I want to eat is comfort food. To me, comfort is served best in a bowl of steaming hot pasta, so that's what I made. I should mention that I left town for five days for Thanksgiving, and the weather was absolutely not encouraging me to make the trek to Rouses. I got to work with what I had around the kitchen: orzo (small, rice-like pasta), a few vegetables, staples like chicken broth/garlic/seasoning, and -- always -- bacon.
Sounded like the makings of a carbonara to me. I didn't have eggs, but you could certainly try the recipe below with egg mixed in to create more of a true carbonara. The result I got was filling, hot and delicious, and managed to be exactly what I wanted on a freezing day. It was also pretty simple.
What I used: half an onion; 1.5 tsp pre-chopped garlic (or 1-2 cloves); 2 tbs olive oil; 3 cups chicken broth; 1 cup orzo (uncooked); 4-5 slices bacon; half a cup of Romano cheese (Parmesan would be excellent as well); 1 cup broccoli florets (steamed); salt and pepper.
What I did:
- Heat olive oil in a pan (one that will eventually need to fit 3 cups of liquid and 1 cup of pasta).
- Chop up the onion and garlic (unless you've discovered the miracle of pre-chopped garlic) and throw into pan w/ hot olive oil.
- Sauté until onion is soft, three to five minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, covered.
- Once the broth is boiling, add the orzo. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until pasta is al dente.
- While orzo is cooking, steam or boil your broccoli. I only had frozen broccoli on hand, but it worked well. Drain and set aside.
- Also take a minute to cook your bacon in a skillet, or microwave it. This was lunch, not a fancy dinner, so I didn't feel terribly guilty about microwaving mine. Peter & Rene would likely kill me for this.
- When the pasta is done, drain off any excess liquid (if necessary). Return to original pot; stir in Romano or Parmesan cheese. It should get nice and gooey. Then add broccoli and bacon and stir well.
- Serve it up and top with salt and pepper to taste. Crushed red pepper would also be a tasty addition.
Bon Appetit! Let's hope this awful weather goes right back where it came from, stat.