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Friday, July 9, 2010

Pot Luck Friday

I'm going to a ladies only potluck dinner tonight, so I had to get the culinary juices flowing.  I normally tend towards desserts for these sort of things, but the hostess said "no desserts", so out of my comfort zone I went.

I figured this was a great chance to try out a recipe as well as go with a standby to play it safe.

Of course I made the spinach balls (here's the recipe).  For such a simple recipe, it's amazing that they're such a crowd pleaser.  I know of at least four people who now make them as their go to for entertaining.

So for my other recipe, I decided to make Beet Orzo with Goat Cheese.  I gave this recipe to my parents several years ago.  My father likes beets, my mother does not.  I had heard that this recipe was a great way to "sneak" beets in to food.  They made it, but since my dad doesn't really like cheese, they omitted the goat cheese.  That said, I'd been wanting to try it with the cheese for sometime.  So today was the day.

First of all, the beets make it gorgeous.  I took a few pictures, but they don't really do it justice.

The top picture is as I was adding the goat cheese.  The bottom picture is once everything is mixed together.  I of course tasted it and was very happy with the outcome.  The recipe calls for it to be served hot, but I may serve it warm/cool.

If you're interested in giving it a try, here's the recipe.

Beet Orzo with Goat Cheese
1 large or 2 medium beets, peeled and trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons red wine or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 oz goat cheese

Grate beets on the large holes of a box grater.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat.  Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes.  Add the orzo and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown.
Add the broth, beets, two generous pinches of salt and a few grounds of pepper to the pan.  Stir and bring the broth to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed at the beets and orzo are cooked, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar and butter.  Spoon in to serving bowls and crumble a little goat cheese over each portion.

Jessica's modifications...
Oops, made a few mistakes when making the recipe, but since it came out OK I'm going to say it was for the best.
I used one whole medium onion (instead of 1/2 small).
I also used 2 tablespoons of vinegar (instead of teaspoons).
I also chose to mix the goat cheese in to the entire mixture (instead of crumbling it over individual servings).  I tasted it with and without and thought with was better.
As I mentioned, I may serve it warm or cool, since it's for a pot luck and I'm not sure how easy it will be to reheat it.


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