Friday, February 27, 2009

Wine Food Pairing - Orzo Who?


Wine food pairing does orzo .... who the heck is orzo? I had never cooked with this Italian "rice" before and really didn't know what a tasty pasta this was. Made of a hard semolina wheat, it is quite versatile.

I am always looking to broaden our eating experiences and decided to GOOGLE it up a bit and came up with a recipe that, I of course, tweaked a little to give it a Mexican flair to our wine and food!

I browned the pasta, uncooked, in EVOO and butter and then tossed in a handful of fresh garlic for extra flavor. The browning gives it a nice "nutty" flavor. Next I added a grated zucchini, yellow squash, sweet onion and carrot, letting them soften for a couple of minutes. To plump the orzo up I used a can of low sodium chicken broth and a can of diced tomato and green chile's ... the latter added a bit of heat to the dish. I cooked this for 10 minutes until the orzo was soft.

Now, I was hankering for a Mexican twist so I added fresh from the garden cilantro, lime zest ... be careful not to zest the pith ... and the juice of that same lime ... WOW ... just what the doctor ordered! I garnished this with a few "curls" of Parmesan cheese.

Totally YUMMO!

I paired this with a new wine that I found at the store ... a Carmenere from Frontera. Intense red in color with violet hues it looked delicious swirling in the wine glass. It had aromas of pepper, black plums, toast and vanilla and combined beautifully with our veggie orzo meal.

So now you know the answer to Orzo, who? Wine food pairing ... it is all about the food and wine. CHEERS!

4 comments:

Tangled Noodle said...

I love orzo but usually use it in soups or as a cold side dish. Your take sounds absolutely delicious - I particularly like the idea of browning or toasting it first, uncooked, for a nutty flavor. Thanks for the tip!

A World in a PAN said...

I love carmenere. This delightful grape had disappeared from Bordeaux, where it originated. Later it suffered some illenss and disappeared. Fortunately enough, it had been taken to Chile, where it adapted very well and in the 20 C it was re-imported in Europe - for all of us to enjoy.

Madam Tang said...

It looks good!

Soyun Park said...

Wow~ Looks totally YUMMY~ Thanks for sharing this. I will have to try it someday soon.