Thursday, April 15, 2010

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms, Asparagus, & Red Pepper

So if you follow "My Kitchen Cafe", you know that Melanie just posted this recipe on Monday. But if you don't, I am happy to introduce this delicious dish to you. So, as luck would have it, I was planning our meals for the week on Monday before I went to the grocery store and saw this and really wanted to try it. I made it that very day and it was delicious! Red peppers were super expensive so I only put one in instead of two (I splurged buying the one) and I also added asparagus because it's delicious, it's in season, and it was super cheap; but other than that I followed the recipe and it was sooo good. (Oh and in my haste I accidentally bought Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, but it tasted great and was 1/3 the fat, so that turned out to be a good thing).

I will definitely be making this again. Soon. It was easy and came together in 30 minutes. Perfect. I hope you enjoy it!

Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms, Asparagus, & Red Pepper
1 lb. orzo pasta
1 cup reserved pasta water
1 T. olive oil
2 medium chicken breasts (1-1.5 lbs.), cut into chunks
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese or Neufchatel)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
juice of 1 lemon (don't skip this! soo good)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain the orzo and set aside.
While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not quite all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms, asparagus and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (I didn't soften; no big deal) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

It will be very creamy, so I found it best to serve this in bowls. Serves 4-6 (depending on what else you are serving and how hungry you are). :)

Source: My Kitchen Cafe


Angie said...

I just made this for lunch and OH MY GOODNESS yum!! It was delicious. And so easy! I will definitely make this again. Hope you don't mind I posted it on my blog.

Abbie said...

I am so making this one! Looks delicious!