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.)