Friday, September 26, 2008

Recycling Leftovers with a Little Help From My Friends (and an award to boot)

I'll start this post by thanking the hilarious and brilliant Sue of Food Network Musings for bestowing the Yummy Blog award upon me. I am touched and honored.

I would like to pass this one to other bloggers whose blogs are always giving me inspiration, filling me with admiration, and making my mouth water.

First is Nik Snacks. Nikki is such a talented and informative cook. A woman, with multiple cooking jobs (I don't know how she does it all), she provides a wealth of food knowledge, and some danged yummy recipes to boot.

The next award goes to Peef and Lo of Burp! This is a blog that will get picky eaters to eat their vegetables. This blog is all about creative use of local fresh ingredients - and I do mean creative.

Finally, I want to give the award to Darius of Everyday Cooking. This is a guy who puts a creative spin on lots of classics, and you just know he'd be a blast to hang out with (oh and and he even gave me a little bit of inspiration today, so read on and find out how).

Please come and get your reward.

So, let's talk about dinner last night.

I had a few leftovers in the kitchen from earlier in the week. I had cooked a huge head of cauliflower when I roasted it to go with the steak. I also had some extra tomoatoes left over from my BLT salad. I decided to make like Robin Miller and morph them into a new dish.

Darius of Everyday Cooking did a really good post about a summery orzo salad. I took a cue from him and decided to make an orzo dish of my own using the vegetables on hand.

No recipe needed here. I'll just wing it with photos.

Start by chopping up the cauliflower into little pieces.

Splash the tomatoes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they get a little burst and wrinkly.

Cook up a chicken breast and cut that into small strips.

Thinly slice an onion and slowly cook it over low heat until it's soft and golden.

Finally cook up two cups of orzo in a quart of chicken broth and let it all absorb like rice. Put it in a big bowl and add the chicken and veggies.

Now squeeze the juice of a lemon on it and stir in some chopped fresh parsley.

It's harder than one would expect artistically pose a lemon

Toss serve, and enjoy. A little grated parmesan on top will never hurt.

This dish is very versatile. You can use whatever vegetables you have lying around the house, or make it vegetarian. (Some cheese in place of chicken might be nice.) Don't think of this as a recipe. Think of it as a suggestion.


Nik Snacks said...

Yay! Thanks, Rachel! Aww you're so sweet to me :)

Oh, and I thought you said "I had a few hangovers in the kitchen." I cannot read to save my life. Nevertheless, everything looks good.

Lo said...

You are too sweet! Thanks so much.

I've got to be confessing... that's one mighty fine use of leftovers that I'm seeing in those pictures there. Awesome work!

I'm on my way over to check out those other blogs as well!

noble pig said...

How yummy, I love the idea of just throwing it all in!

Emiline said...

What's that little character I see? A peanut? A potato? I'm confused.

This looks delicious!

Adam said...

Great creativity with the leftovers. I even like your play by play pics, they pretty much speak for themselves :)

Oh, and I think that little dude is mushroom? Maybe?

Sue said...

Boy, you are speedy for passing out your awards. Great choices.

And what a yummy recipe you posted today.

CECIL said...

This is such great tips for blogging on this kind of meal!! Using photos instead of recipe..there were times when I silly typing up ingredients when the meal is simply thrown together. Love cauliflower, and with roasted tomatoes. Mmmh!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Congratulations on your award! Tasty orzo salad! Amazing what leftovers and imagination can do!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Nik and Lo - I love your blogs and you are most deserving.

Adam and Em - The little guy is indeed a mushroom. He has made brief appearances in some of my photos, but this is the first time I used a full-body shot of him. He is my kitchen mascot and he has another crazy story behind him. I think eventually I will make a post about his history. You will all have me committed when you do.

Thanks to everyone else for your compliments. I hope you all went home and did some fun things with your orzo and your leftovers!

Maria said...

Congrats on the award! I actually love leftovers, an easy lunch to take to work! Great post!

Darius T. Williams said...

I thought I commented - but I guess I didn't. I wanted to thank you for acknowledging me...I'm glad my little passion for food was able to be transferred!