Monday, March 29, 2010

Pork and Lemon Orzotto and Caesar Salad Dressing

I've been slightly obsessed with orzo lately, and also wanting to try some risotto recipes, so this recipe jumped out at me. While we were in Springfield, we stopped at a Salvation Army and I grabbed Giada's "Everyday Pasta" cookbook for a measly three dollars! I was not disappointed at all. Very tasty little dish, but something tells me that mushrooms would make a nice addition to the little party that is Pork and Lemon Orzotto.

Pork and Lemon Orzotto

from Every Day Pasta by Giada De Larentiis

3 1/2 cups reduced- sodium chicken broth
3 T unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 lb. orzo pasta
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Herb Vinaigrette
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper

Pork chops
3 Tbs olive oil
4 boneless pork loin chops, about 2 inches thick (although my pork chops were barely 1 inch thick)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

For the orzotto, in a medium saucepan, bring the 3 1/2 cups of broth to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the broth and keep hot over low heat.

Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add the orzo and stir to coat with the butter. Add the wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the pasta, adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a small jar or tight-sealing plastic container. Shake well and set aside.

For the pork, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, carefully place the pork chops in the skillet. Remove the pork from the pan and cover loosely with foil to rest. Pour off the excess oil from the pan and return it to medium heat. Pour the 1/2 cup of chicken broth into the skillet and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat.

To finish the orzotto, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the broth from the pork skillet, the Parmesan cheese, the remaining tablespoon of butter, and the salt and pepper.

Spoon the orzotto onto a serving platter (or onto individual plates). Slice each chop into 1/2 inch thick strips and arrange the meat on top of the orzotto. Drizzle with the herb vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Caesar Salad Dressing
adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Parties!

I love this salad dressing so much. It's become a bit of a problem. I don't have any in the house right now and just preparing this blog post and thinking about it is literally causing my mouth to fill with saliva. I just might go make some when I'm finished here. It is that good.
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good mild olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
For the dressing, place the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until smooth. With the food processor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube (as though you were making mayonnaise), until thick. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and pulse 3 times.

For dessert on this particular night, I thought the kids might enjoy ice cream sundaes. They did, and so did I unfortunately. For three days, it was all I could think about. Uh-oh, is it just me or does an ice cream sundae sound amazing right now? Everything we used was store-bought except for this delicious hot fudge sauce.


Shana said...

You make the prettiest rolls I have ever seen.

mary jane said...

that caesar salad looks crazy delicious! I have several times lately come to see what you are cooking on your blog, for inspiration, and i am never disappointed. you are really good at making more than one dish per meal, i need to be more like you. when is your baby coming? i can't wait to see her!

Anonymous said...


Raquel said...

I am putting that little orzo on my to make list for next week.

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