Mexican food and orzo are not two words that usually go together. After this experiment of mine, I'm wondering why not.
I had decided to make tostadas for dinner, and I was going to make homemade Spanish rice to go with them. Once I had all my ingredients assembled and measured out, I grabbed my bag o' rice. Much to my dismay, there was maybe a half cup of rice in the bag. I hoofed it out to my stockpile, only to find that the varieties of rice I had on hand were Thai sticky rice, brown rice, and boil-in-a-bag rice. Nothing acceptable for Spanish rice (well, the brown would have worked but the hubby would have stayed far away). As I stared at my pantry, dumbfounded, I saw a bag of orzo out of the corner of my eye. Out of other options, I thought "Why the hell not?".
When I pulled the lid of the pan, after simmering the orzo for 25 minutes, I felt some self-doubt. It looked way different than rice. However, it ended up being love at first taste. Usually my food surprises don't turn out this delicious! I love, love, love the texture of the orzo. It's got a lovely chew to it. My hubby, who's not a huge Spanish rice fan, loved the orzo too.
This experiment was a beneficial reminder of why I need to think outside the box more. Trying new things is a good thing.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup orzo, uncooked
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 2/3 cups chicken broth
3 tbsp cilantro, minced
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add orzo to the pan. Saute until the orzo is toasted.
2. Add garlic, salt, and cumin to the pan. Saute 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant.
3. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover orzo, and simmer 20-25 minutes (orzo should be tender and all liquid should have been absorbed).
4. Remove pan from heat. Stir in cilantro, and serve immediately.
*Recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes*