Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Recipe: Accidentally Thai Orzo salad.

I made this up off the top of my head the other day, and it ended up being DELICIOUS!

Put a large pot of water on to boil

In a skillet, heat some garlic and minced shallots in olive oil.

Seed, slice into tiny bits, and add to pan 3-4 of the hot red peppers that the guy who works on you car gave you. Add those to the skillet. Cook until garlic is golden and shallots are soft.

Shred some napa cabbage, and throw it into the skillet – as much as will fit. Add a splash of the hot water from the pasta pan. Cover and cook until it wilts.

Once the cabbage has shrunk down enough so that the pan’s contents are almost stir-able, uncover and let the water boil off, stirring occasionally.

About this time, the water should be boiling in the pasta pan. Add some orzo (I used about 1/3 of the small box, so a couple of ounces) and cook uncovered until done (about 9 minutes.)

Turning your attention back to the skillet - Once the water from the skillet has boiled off, throw in a decent glug of seasoned rice vinegar, and let that cook until the super-acidic smell has dissipated. (You're reducing it, but it’s hard to know when it’s reduced, because the cabbage is throwing off a little water. You have to do it by smell.)

When that seems done, take it off the heat. Transfer to a storage or serving dish, to cool.

When the orzo is done, drain it (REALLY WELL – shake the colander) and add it to the dish. Toss to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning. I went a little astray at this point - Perhaps I got a pepper seed on my tongue, because when I tasted it at this stage, I had the impression that this dish was abusively spicy - like it might be entirely too hot to eat. This did not turn out to be true.

Chop one cucumber and half a red bell pepper, and drain them on a paper towel. You might even squeeze them a little. I was really worried about the dish turning out watery, so I tried to squish every drop out of the orzo and the fresh vegetables. As it turns out, It wasn't watery in the least. Was that because I was extra-vigilant? Or was it a dumb thing to be worried about? Who knows? Anyway, add the chopped vegs to the salad and toss to combine.

Refrigerate. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice.

1 comment:

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