Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cooking fast....

I originally planned on having Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts for lunch with a Creamy Parmesan Orzo. Dinner was originally Grilled Salmon with a Parsley-Parmesan Pesto. Primping took longer than anticipated this morning so I made quick adjustments.

I switched dinner and lunch because salmon cooks faster. I had both chicken breasts and salmon fillets defrosted in the fridge.

Today's speedy lunch menu
Grilled Salmon with Parsley Parmesan Pesto
Creamy Parmesan Orzo

Grilled Salmon with Parsley Parmesan Pesto
3 (4 oz) salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Pesto Ingredients
1/4 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup of pre-grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/8 cup of fresh basil leaves
1 glove of garlic (or adjust if you dont like garlic)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp pine nuts

(1) In a food processor, process til smooth all the ingredients under "pesto ingredients." Scrape the sides of the food processor (be careful of the blade).
(2) Heat a grill to medium high heat
(3) Using a brush, brush olive oil along the sides of the salmon fillets. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side
(4) Grill the salmon fillets 3-4 minutes on each side (or until desired 'doneness')
(5) Serve with a side of the pesto
3 Servings

Creamy Parmesan Orzo
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Orzo
1 1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup grated parmigiana-reggiano

1/4 cup of pre-grated carrots
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp pine nuts
1 tablespoon dried basil flakes

(1) Heat a medium sauce pan at medium high heat. Melt the butter.
(2) Brown the orzo in the butter for 2-3 minutes stirring with a spatula
(3) Pour in chicken stock and water. Mix evenly with spatula. Add salt and pepper into cooking liquid so spices are dispersed evenly.
(4) Heat until boil then turn down the heat
(5) Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes (or until most of the liquid is absorbed). Stir every few minutes to make sure orzo cooks evenly
(6) Turn off heat. Fold in cheese, basil, carrots and pine nuts to orzo with spatula
(7) YOU ARE DONE! <3>

Tips: Orzo looks like a rice but it's actually a type of pasta. It cooks very fast and what's nice about it (as opposed to pasta) is that it's a one-pot dish. You can season the pot you cooked the orzo in a variety of ways.

I'm saving the left over orzo to accompany my herb crusted chicken tonight! I'll update later on how dinner goes. Have a great day everyone!

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