Really, stupidly, good orzo – redux

This will be breakfast tomorrow. I don’t have much experience with orzo, but this seemed pretty easy and thankfully for me, idiot proof. The biggest point is to be patient. That I can do, especially since I was trying something new. Well not really new to me to eat, just the first time I made it – more to come on that shortly, but butter was involved.

The fact that Gruyere is involved in this recipe made it a no brainier for me since I’ve had a nice bit of it in the fridge that I’d been wanting to do something with … besides just eat it. I still have nice big piece left so expect some kind of cheesy something. Maybe some kind of crackers. Gruyere has a similar dryness (not in a bad way) that cheddar does, but also has an amazing nuttiness as well. Oh, and this is the good stuff, the real stuff, imported from Switzerland. Yep – I’m thinking some kind of crackers.  Sounds like a plan.

D&D_0309My thanks to the cutting edge of ordinary for sharing. Great name by the way. Maybe there is some truth in that name for all of us.

I made a half recipe and here are the proportions and method.

Everyday Orzo
2 Tbs butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
8 ozs orzo
1/3 cup Gruyere, grated (no substitution per the original)

Melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat, add onion and sauté until translucent. Don’t let it brown. Add garlic and sauté for a minute more. In a glass measuring cup, heat the chicken stock to boiling in the microwave.

Add orzo to onion mixture and stir to coat with butter. Add in hot chicken stock, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 25 minutes without lifting the lid – this is serious – do not uncover. While waiting patiently, grate Gruyere. After time, check orzo and make sure liquid is absorbed. Add cheese and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper. Lemon zest just makes it, but lemon juice also does the job.

This is a creamy lovely thing. Sigh. And amazingly great for breakfast. It’s just a thing for me. I think next time some lemon will be involved.  Indeed.

This was first published on 6 August 2015.

08 May 2017

2015 Butter Usage (by month – October)

D&D_IMG_0825-Edit

Lemon Lemon Lemon Loaf

So this is pretty much the beginning of fall baking season, and while it is not cool here yet, I guess just the change in the timing (it’s getting dark earlier and earlier) makes me want to bake (and cook) more. So I’m thinking my October numbers are really going to be pretty good. I’m also planning lots more for November since I don’t have to travel for work or any other reason, which is a blessing in itself.  So … here are the October butter numbers.*

2 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Butter Pecan Cookies
2 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Lime Meltaways
5 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Sausage Cheese Biscuits
7 October 2015 – 8 Tbs – Banana Nut Bread
9 October 2015 – 7 Tbs – Apple Pie “Tatin”
16 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Cake
17 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Orzo
21 October 2015 – 12 Tbs – Pinwheel Cookies
23 October 2015 – 10.6 Tbs – Pound Cake Cookies
31 October 2015 – 4 Tbs – Cheddar Parmesan Crackers
31 October 2015 – 16 Tbs – Thin Oatmeal Pecan/Walnut Cookies

121.6 Tbs = 15.2 sticks = 3.8 pounds

I think next year, I will keep track of eggs too. Geez, the price for them is amazing and not in a good way. I do understand why, but ouch.

2015 Butter Usage (by Month – August)

1 August 2015 – 3 Tbs – Peanut Butter Fudge
1 August 2015 – 8 Tbs – Peanut Butter Cookies

6 August 2015 – 2 Tbs – Everyday Orzo
6 August 2015 – 2 Tbs – Rutabega

7 August 2015 – 16 Tbs – Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie

D&D_0408

Peanut Butter Fudge – AB

14 August 2015 – 8 Tbs – Peach Cobbler

15 August 2015 – 16 Tbs – Blueberry Cookies

19 August 2015 – 2 Tbs – Peach Clafoutis

20 August 2015 – 2 Tbs – Gruyere Orzo (again)

22 August 2015 – 3 Tbs – Rice Krispy Treats
22 August 2015 – 8 Tbs – Gruyere Crackers
22 August 2015 – 16 Tbs – Lemon Sour Cream Cookies

28 August 2015 – 16 Tbs – Peanut Butter Fudge  – AB

Total 102 Tbs = 12.75 sticks = 3.1875 pounds

Finally, a respectable number. Damn Skippy!!

Gruyere Walnut Crackers

D&D_0392

Gruyere Walnut Crackers

I think I may be the only person that makes their own crackers. I’ve been doing this for years and have learned so much from the process. This recipe – if you can call it that – is based on my favorite cheddar cracker recipe and on the cheese cracker challenge of 2012, which was, I have to say, epic.   Again, excellent use of commas. Can not help my self.

So here we go …

6 ozs all-purpose flour – yes, weigh it.
3 ozs Gruyere, grated – do I need to say it again?
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 ozs unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbs water
2 ozs walnuts, finely chopped

In the bowl of the food processor, chop the walnuts. Remove them and add the flour, Gruyere, salt, and cayenne. Pulse to incorporate. Add butter and pulse until dough is pea sized pieces. Add nuts and pulse until the dough comes together.
Pile crumbs on an unfloured surface and knead a few times to pull the dough together. Roll the dough into two logs about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to three days.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment. Slice the logs into about 1/4 inch slices. The most important thing is the slices are similar in size. Space the about an inch apart. Bake 12 – 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet half way through. Place on a rack to cool, and the store in an airtight chamber.

I’ve modified one of my favorite cheddar cracker recipe to use a very nice piece of Gruyere I had. I’ve made some modifications to the methodology and to some of the flavorings.

Cheddar Versions:

13 December 2008

1 July 2012

28 December 2013

1 November 2014

Gruyere Version:

24 August 2015

Bacon Cheese Chive Muffins

You know when you see a picture of something that looks good and then read the recipe and go, well, crap. I had not really D&D_0380thought about making something like this until I received an email from all recipes.com that had, what I would consider was a bit of inspiration.
I had all the major parts of the recipe at home and for once, wasn’t totally freaked out by a “cream of – insert crap word here” soup. I just didn’t use it. Ugh, so gross. Sorry. I have seen some recipes on pinterest that do the “no creamed soup” recipes, and I applaud them. Quite vigorously. It just seems wrong to add something so processed to something that you are, pretty much, making from scratch. Especially when you really do not have to do it. I used sour cream as a substitute, and it worked really well. So I started thinking of things that made some sense and I hit on this. Makes 12 muffins.

So here is what I came up with a nod to the original.*

8 slices of thick cut bacon

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp table salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (Thank you Penzys!)

4 tsp fresh chives, snipped with kitchen shears

1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated

1/2 cup Gruyere, grated

1/2 cup sharp Cheddar, grated

1 egg, slightly beaten

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup canola oil

Place bacon in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Easiest way. Start with a cold pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom. This keeps the spattering down. By the time the water is gone, the bacon has rendered. {Remember to save those bacon drippings} Drain on paper towels on a plate, and crumble, and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line muffin pan with liners and spray with non-stick spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, chives, Parmesan cheese, and, Cheddar cheese 

In a large measuring cup, combine egg, milk, sour cream. and vegetable oil. Stir this mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Add the bacon. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pans.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

D&D_0405

22 August 2015

Bacon Cheddar Chive Muffins.

These were really great. I liked them spilt and toasted for breakfast with some salted butter on them. I mean, bacon, cheese, and, um whatever else. I am ever grateful to my friends at the office for trying them and for, what I hope, are real opinions.
Would like to try again, with some variations. Sausage, I think will be involved. And cheddar.

Way easy simple and delicious … orzo and Gruyere

D&D_0309

Orzo with Gruyere

This will be breakfast tomorrow. I don’t have much experience with orzo, but this seemed pretty easy and thankfully for me, idiot proof. The biggest point is to be patient. That I can do, especially since I was trying something new. Well not really new to me to eat, just the first time I made it – more to come on that shortly, but butter was involved.

The fact that Gruyere is involved in this recipe made it a no brainier for me since I’ve had a nice bit of it in the fridge that I’d been wanting to do something with … besides just eat it. I still have nice big piece left so expect some kind of cheesy something. Maybe some kind of crackers. Gruyere has a similar dryness (not in a bad way) that cheddar does, but also has an amazing nuttiness as well. Oh, and this is the good stuff, the real stuff, imported from Switzerland. yep – I’m thinking some kind of crackers.  Sounds like a plan.

My thanks to the cutting edge of ordinary for sharing. Great name by the way. Maybe there is some truth in that name for all of us.

I made a half recipe and here are the proportions and method.

Everyday Orzo
2 Tbs butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
8 ozs orzo
1/3 cup Gruyere, grated (no substitution per the original)

Melt butter in a sauce pan on medium heat, add onion and sauté until translucent. Don’t let it brown. Add garlic and sauté for a minute more. In a glass measuring cup, heat the chicken stock to boiling in the microwave.

Add orzo to onion mixture and stir to coat with butter. Add in hot chicken stock, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 25 minutes without lifting the lid – this is serious – do not uncover. While waiting patiently, grate Gruyere. After time, check orzo and make sure liquid is absorbed. Add cheese and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper.

This is a creamy lovely thing. Sigh. And amazingly great for breakfast. It’s just a thing for me. I think next time some lemon will be involved.  Indeed.

6 August 2015