Tuesday, August 9, 2011

BBQ Blitz

We had some of our good friends over to dinner a little while back. Generally, when we have company for dinner, we try to pull together a number of dishes around a theme, rather than just feature one or two dishes at random--which is the usual tactic when feeding only ourselves. At first, we struggled on deciding a theme for the dinner. However, after a great deal of--unnecessary--consideration, we realized that: a) their dog's name is "Brisket", and b) they served BBQ at their wedding. Thus, the perfect theme occurred to us: BBQ! The boy handled the meat (which, unfortunately, I have no pictures of), and I took care of two side dishes.

First, I have an overwhelming love for orzo. Consequently, one side dish was orzo as I had never imagined it before. You get the best flavor from orzo dishes by first browning the uncooked orzo in a little butter prior to adding any liquid. For this recipe, I put 1 tbsp of butter in a medium-sized pot, and put the stove on medium heat. I browned about 1 cup of orzo in the butter, then added about 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of chicken broth. Then, bring to a boil at high heat, lower the heat, and let it simmer for a good 20-30 minutes (or more!) until the liquid is almost completely gone. At this point, I added about 1/4 cup or so of goat cheese, about 1/8 cup of Parmesan, about 1-2 tsp of garlic powder, and 2-3 tbsp of barbecue sauce. The result is a gooey, yummy, amazing pasta dish.

BBQ Orzo
Ease of prep: 9
Deliciousness: 8.5
Comfort: 9.5

Second, I made individual corn custards with potato chips crumbled on top. These clock in at about 158 calories a piece. Honestly, I was less impressed with these. They were okay, but a little bland, and had a very smooshy texture. Their only saving grace was the potato chips on top, whose crunchiness greatly enhanced the overall flavor and texture of the dish. Honestly, I would probably not even bother making these again.

Corn custards with potato chips

Ease of prep: 7
Deliciousness: 6
Comfort: 7

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