Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tex-Mex Orzo

Who doesn't love a side dish of flavorful Southwestern infused spices with black beans, corn, jalapenos, onions and orzo? Orzo, you ask? Well, I didn't have any rice but had an abundance of orzo (rice shaped pasta) and decided it would do the trick. This is quick and a perfect side with anything you're serving. And the good news? After you've put together your spice mix and chop your onions, this dish comes together in less than 20 minutes. Tempting? Let's give this recipe some star treatment.

Tex-Mex Orzo
Inspired by a very bare pantry

You won't use all this, but you certainly can for a bit more punch

1 tsp ground chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 T unsalted butter
1 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 can reduced sodium (15 oz) black beans rinsed and drained
1 can diced green chilis (4 oz)
1 cup uncooked orzo
1-3/4 cups water (you can use chicken broth)
1 cup frozen corn defrosted
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 T Franks hot sauce

Let's cook! Mix together the spices.

On stovetop, in medium size sauce pan on low heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Now add the chopped onions and a teaspoon of spice mix and sweat for 4 to 5 minutes. I cover my pot and make sure the onions don't brown.

Looking and smelling goods far. Now add the orzo and another teaspoon of spice mix and toast the orzo for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the beans, chilis, and water. And one more teaspoon of spice mix and stir to incorporate.

Increase heat until water begins to simmer. Stir in another teaspoon of salt, lower heat, cover and gently simmer for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, your orzo is almost done. Add in the corn and stir. Now turn off the heat, cover with a paper towel, then your pot lid, and let sit for about 5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

Uncover and add in your hot sauce and stir. Tex-Mex Orzo is ready.

For the spice lovers in your group, serve some extra hot sauce on the side. It will be much appreciated. And by the way, this is not too spicy to serve the kids. It packs a little bite at the back of your mouth, but it's a very pleasant bite. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to re-mix this recipe to your liking. Add some tomatoes, red peppers, and even some healthy spinach. Oh, and don't forget to top with some cheese. I'm looking forward to a stocked pantry by the weekend when we might even have a weather forecast without snow or sleet!

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