We’ll be heading out of town this weekend. So I’m trying to use up all the food in the fridge and pantry. But, it’s summertime, so it’s got to be light, fresh, and require minimal time in front of the stove.
Orzo and Chicken Meatballs Recipe:
1. Boil it: Boil the orzo in water, just like any other pasta. I wasn’t going to rinse the orzo afterwards because I wanted the overall dish to be warm. So, I pulled it out of the water when it was a little underdone. That way, if there was any carryover cooking, it wouldn’t mush everything up.
I had half a packet of orzo in the pantry. I hate having half packets of pasta, just in general, and even when I’m not trying to clear out the pantry. In part, this is because our kitchen is tiny and we don’t actually have a “pantry.” But mostly, it’s because my food hoarding tendencies prefer whole units of food to partial ones. I wouldn’t mind storing 8 boxes of cereal if they weren’t open, even if it did create a storage nightmare. But whenever we have two open boxes of cereal, it drives me to eat cereal until at least one of the boxes is gone.
I finished several packages of things in the making of this dish, which pleases me.
2. Chop it: I originally wanted cherry tomatoes for this recipe. I had some cherry tomatoes over the weekend, and they were delicious. The problem is, I hate buying cherry tomatoes. They only come in containers that are twice as big as I ever want, which leaves me with half a package of tomatoes, which you know, bothers me. So, I bought two roma tomatoes. They wouldn’t be as sweet, but they would be completely used up in this recipe, and I wouldn’t have any left over while we were gone for the upcoming weekend.
3. Chop some more: I also diced about a quarter of a red onion. I would have put in more, but my wife doesn’t usually like raw onions, even if they are red.
4. Juice it: I juiced half of a lemon. I got to use my reamer, which is nice. But I was left with half a lemon. I may be pushing a lot of extra tea with lemon on my wife in the next few days.
Fry it: I went to the freezer and pulled out 8 frozen chicken meatballs that I had made a long, long time ago. I had never made that recipe before and I had no idea how the meatballs would fare after a deep freeze. But they turned out pretty good. I cooked them straight from frozen.
Cheese it: While the meatballs were cooking, I added the remaining half of a tub of feta cheese crumbles. Feta cheese and orzo are such a natural combination. I can’t imagine having orzo without it, which is weird, if you think about it – because combining feta with any other kind of pasta seems unusual.
Spice it: I added a ton of pepper, a little bit of garlic powder, and a dash of paprika – because it’s summertime, and I put paprika on everything in the summertime. Add about 3 big glugs of olive oil and give everything a big stir. It’s almost time to eat.
Eat it: once the meatballs were done, I put some of the orzo mix in a bowl and put the meatballs on top. This turned out to be a really summery dish that required minimal cooking time and effort. And from an eating perspective, it was light and left me feeling full but not too sleepy, which is all I ever really ask for out of a lunch.
I was worried that my wife might not like it, but she insisted that she did. She was even excited to learn that I had a ton left over, and she rarely enjoys leftovers. I may make her eat them with extra lemon.