Sunday, 20 February 2011

Today's Sunday Brunch Dish: White Wine Bacon Orzo with Green Beans and Mushrooms

Of the many things that signify breakfast, if not at the very least brunch, bacon is perhaps the most recognisable. And cognisant of the leftovers still in my fridge from Wednesday's six course extravaganza, I needed to make something that combined these together. With the help of some white wine and a handful of orzo, I came up with a great brunch dish for two (or one... if you're either really hungry or think it's as good as I think it is).

Oh, and I had thought I was being very original with this particular dish, but it turns out I'm not the only one who thinks bacon and pasta go well together. :)

After crisping four strips of bacon on medium heat in a sauté pan (you should be allowing these to cool on a layer of paper towel), bring the heat down to lo-med and add 1/2 diced and roughly chopped onion to the bacon grease, making sure to coat the onion pieces evenly. Allow this all to cook together; after about 3-5min, the smell of the onion should be overtaking the smell of the bacon grease. The overall liquid content should also be slightly reduced.

To the onions, add 1/4 c white wine, 1/2 c water, and 1/2 c orzo, stirring these all together. Leaving the heat at lo-med, cover the orzo and let it all cook, stirring the ingredients every 5 min. After 10 min (i.e., halfway through), add another 1/4 c water and continue to cook for an additional 10 min, stirring halfway again. As the latter cooking time proceeds, chop up any leftover vegetables (in my case, sherry mushrooms and green beans) into slightly less than bite-size pieces. With the orzo fully cooked and al dente, add in the chopped veg; add some ground black pepper to taste. Crumble in the bacon (the bacon will crumble nicely if crisped and cooled) and serve the pasta warm with some grated parmesan. Note you only need to "pepper to taste," as there's plenty of salt from the bacon and parmesan.

If you want to be "fancy," pack some orzo into a ramekin and with the aid of the serving plate, flip the ramekin over to reveal a beautiful mini-tower of texture and flavour that is white wine bacon orzo with green beans and mushrooms. You could also use a round cookie cutter to help achieve this effect. For a few more photos, click here.

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