Mushroom Orzo

Serves 5. Recipe is by Linda Roy.

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

½ onion, chopped

½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thinly and chopped into chunks

½ of 8-ounce package of medley of mushrooms, coarsely chopped (See note)

1 cup orzo

1 (14.5-ounce can) chicken broth

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Salt, to taste

Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, to taste

1. In skillet or sauté pan with a tight fitting lid, add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. When the butter is melted, sauté garlic, onion and bell pepper on medium-high heat until slightly tender. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté another 1 or 2 minutes or until mushrooms change color.

2. Add remaining tablespoon of butter to cooked vegetables and then the orzo. Stir and sauté on medium-high until slightly browned.

3. Add chicken broth, stir and let come to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK. The orzo is done when it’s swelled up and tender, but it still has a bit of a bounce to the teeth. There should be just a little bit of syrupy liquid on the bottom and the orzo mixture should be a bit wet. (If you cook it until the liquid is completely absorbed, you’ll have a sticky mess.)

4. Mix in Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Season to taste with salt and Tony Chachere’s.

5. Transfer to a shallow bowl and garnish with basil sprigs if desired.

Note: I used the entire 8-ounce package of mushrooms when I tested the recipe. I hadn’t read the recipe carefully, and the dish was fine.)