Friday, December 9, 2011

Feeding Friendship: Orzo with Caramelized Fall Vegetables & Ginger

This round of Feeding Friendship features the sweet potato!

I can't tell a lie, Feeding Friendship Followers. I did not enjoy this dish. It just felt like a random collection of flavors that didn't "mesh." I considered doing another sweet potato dish, but it just didn't happen. You may be able to save this recipe by tweaking it a bit. Perhaps leaving out the ginger? Anyway, let's just get it over with shall we?

I used this recipe.

1/2 pound orzo pasta
Grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil 
1 large sweet potato (about 3/4 pound), peeled and diced into 1/4" cubes
2 medium onions (about 1 pound), finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-inch piece fresh ginger — peeled and grated, about 1 tablespoon 
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps diced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 big leaves chard or kale, stalks removed and leaves finely chopped — about 2 cups
Freshly ground black pepper 

1) Cook the orzo according to the package directions until it is al dente. Drain and coat with oil.
2) Heat a dutch oven on high heat and add 1 Tbsp of oil (don't use olive oil due to a high smoke point).
3) When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato cubes in one layer. Brown for about 4 min an then turn.

4) Turn the heat to medium and push the sweet potatoes to one side of the dutch oven. Add the onions and sprinkle with salt.
5) When the onions beging to brown, add the garlic and ginger and mix in with the onion. Push all of these to the side of the pan with the sweet potatoes where they will continue to caramelize.
6) Add the mushrooms. Cook for ~4 min and then stir them. Cook for ~4 more minutes.

7) Whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour this into the pan with the vegetables and mix everything together, scraping the bottom as you go. Cook all the elements together for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Then turn the heat up to high, as high as it will go.
8) Add the cooked orzo one cup at a time, stirring and scraping as you go. Once it's all in, let it cook for about 5 more min to brown the orzo.
9) Add chopped greens and cook for 1 more minute or until greens are wilted.
10) Add salt and pepper to taste.

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