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Dec 3, 2013 02:02 PM WV Food

The WV Living staff shares their favorite foods and restaurants.

‘Tis the Season

Dec 3, 2013 - 02:02 PM
‘Tis the Season

Photographed by Elizabeth Roth

’Tis the season—for gratitude and gifts, family and feasts, liveliness and leftovers.

Yes, leftovers. I live for leftovers. Even for someone who enjoys cooking, the prospect of standing over the stove to prepare three meals a day is a little unsettling. Who has that much spare time?

That’s why this time of year is one of my favorites. Two big dinners in two months means spending extra time with family, which is great, but then you come home with big Tupperware containers full of leftovers.

All of it is delicious heaped onto a plate and warmed up, of course, but my wheels immediately turn in a different direction. I’m dreaming up things like turkey shepherd’s pie, sweet potato bread pudding . . . and ham and sundried tomato orzo.

The ham and sundried tomatoes are both rich and savory, with a hint of sweetness, which pairs nicely with the mellow, nutty flavor of Parmesan cheese. Lemon juice and parsley lighten things up a little while tying it all together. The beans add a kick of fiber because, let’s face it, we all need some of that after a meal of meat, white bread, and soft, overcooked vegetables.

Ham and Sundried Tomato Orzo

¾ cup orzo
1 tablespoon butter
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
¼ cup onion, in slices
1 tablespoon flour
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cream (milk will work if you don’t have cream)
3–4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup ham, roughly chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes, diced
½ cup white beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons freshly parsley, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Cook orzo and set aside.

Add butter and olive oil to a medium pot over medium low heat. Add garlic cloves and onion, sautéing for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove garlic and onion with a slotted spoon.

Add flour, whisking constantly. The mixture should be thick and golden. Add broth a little at a time, continuing to whisk. Add cream and combine before adding cheese. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated, then add lemon juice. The sauce should be light and creamy.

Add ham, sundried tomatoes, and white beans to sauce and cover, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until all ingredients are warmed through. Add chopped parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Add orzo to pot and stir to combine, heating all ingredients for an additional minute before serving.

 

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