Possibly it’s a symptom of getting learn too many Nineteenth-century British novels, however, to me, a steaming bowl of porridge, speckled with nuggets of melting butter and crunchy flakes of salt, is presumably essentially the most comforting meal I may curl up with on a blustery, grey night. It needs to be sustaining sufficient for any heroine earlier than she treads throughout the heath: thick and really savory, bearing little resemblance to something sugared, cinnamon-topped and breakfast-appropriate.
The one drawback with this imaginative and prescient is getting the opposite members of my family to partake. Dinner porridge isn’t for everybody.
Which is why I’m apt to disguise it.
As an alternative of salted oat porridge, I’ll supply risotto, polenta, congee or, as I’ve right here, a one-pot dish of orzo simmered with butternut squash.
When orzo is ready on this method, with simply sufficient broth to cook dinner it by means of with out making it soupy, it turns into porridgelike in the easiest way. It’s gentle and moundable, with a creamy texture that’s just a little like risotto. And on this vegetable-laden model, it’s studded with velvety butternut squash.
I used to make this recipe by roasting the squash individually, then folding the browned chunks into the orzo proper on the finish.
I’ve streamlined the method. Now, I cook dinner the squash in the identical pot because the orzo, giving the butternut cubes a head begin so every thing is completed on the identical time. The one draw back is dropping the caramelization that occurs within the oven’s excessive warmth. To compensate, I sauté the squash in brown butter so as to add that additional layer of nutty, caramelized goodness.
As for the seasonings (past the brown butter), they’re versatile. Simply select an allium (shallot, leek or onion); a powerful, hearty herb (sage, rosemary or marjoram); and a few sort of well-flavored vegetable broth (or rooster broth). I wish to additionally add some lemon zest and red-pepper flakes for brightness and warmth. Then, proper on the finish, just a few tablespoons of Parmesan give the correct quantity of umami richness.
In case you’re the sort of one that likes to drizzle cream over your oatmeal, you would possibly need to spoon just a few dollops of milky ricotta on high of this orzo. Both method, it will likely be a comfortable dish that’s an ideal accompaniment to that Gothic novel you simply can’t appear to place down.
Recipe: Brown-Butter Orzo With Butternut Squash
And to Drink …
Winter root greens, like butternut squash, usually have a sweetness that makes them a pure match with chardonnay. The brown butter, shallots and sage cement this wonderful amalgamation. I’m not ordinarily a fan of oaky chardonnays, however this dish will go nicely with them. Will probably be equally good with the extra balanced, well-integrated chardonnays I usually favor, whether or not from Burgundy, Australia or the West Coast of the USA, to quote three important chardonnay-producing areas. If chardonnay just isn’t for you, concern not. Search for a wealthy white wine, like a Loire chenin blanc, a Wachau smaragd riesling from Austria, an old-school white Rioja or perhaps a good white Rhône. In case you insist on a purple, attempt a fruity, low-tannin fashion, like a balanced grenache or zinfandel. ERIC ASIMOV