Creamy Orzo

This recipe makes a ton of food but the leftovers are fantastic!

Creamy Orzo

1 pound Orzo
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 (14.5-ounce) can Diced Tomatoes
1 1/4 cups Whipping Cream
1 Head of Broccoli
 2 cups of Chicken, cooked and pulled
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan
Garlic Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Cook orzo according to the package until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add a turn of oil to a heavy large frying pan and warm over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are tender, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the broccoli and cut it into florets. Place florets into a bowl with 1/2 inch of water and cover with plastic wrap leaving one corner slightly open to vent. Microwave for 90 seconds. Add cream, broccoli  and orzo to the tomatoes and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Sprinkle liberally with Parmesan and stir. Season the orzo with garlic salt and pepper, and serve.

Notes/Substitutions:  It may look like there is a lot of liquid left in the bottom of the pan initially, but al dente pasta will absorb most of it. Any remaining liquid helps keep leftovers moist during reheating (you can also drizzle a little whipping cream over cold leftovers before microwaving). Good substitutions for this dish include peas for broccoli, and turkey or shrimp for chicken!

Summer Soft Rolls

Jordan and I love Vietnamese food, and these summer soft rolls are a simple, delicious staple at our house.

Summer Soft Rolls

4 (8 inch) Square Rice Paper Sheets
4 Boston Bibb Lettuce Leaves
2oz Rice Vermicelli, cooked and cooled
1/2 of an English Cucumber, seeded and julienned
Cilantro or Thai Basil
Cooked Meat or Tofu (optional)

Soften the rice paper sheets until pliable - one at a time. I fill a large skillet with cool water and submerge them until they are soft. Lay the sheet out on a damp plate or cutting board (so that it won't stick). Take one leaf of bibb lettuce - vein removed) on top of the rice sheet, and top with vermicelli, cucumber, meat or tofu and herbs. Arrange toppings in the middle of the rice papers sheet in a diagonal line from one corner to the other, leaving about 2" of space at the ends. Pull these corners in on top of the fillings (think like a burrito). Fold one of the remaining open sides the same way and then roll the package over the last open side to seal.

Serve with Nuoc Cham (recipe below), or Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe to come). I like to bring them to work for lunch -- just pack them in wax paper and keep them cool!

Nuoc Cham

1 Clove of Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4c Hot Water
3 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp Rice Vinegar

Notes/Substitutions: I like to make these with fresh cooked shrimp, simple pulled chicken or even leftover bulgogi for extra flavor and substance, but tofu makes a nice vegetarian option. You can also substitute chiffonade-cut romaine lettuce for bibb.

Welcome to Tasty Nugs!

I love food. It is one of my great life passions - cooking, eating, sharing and learning. I recently realized that I spend a lot of time talking about the tasty things I encounter and create, so I decided that I would start a blog so I can share my finds, recipes, trials (and errors!). So welcome, and enjoy!