A few years ago, the first thing that would come to mind when I read this would be, “What in the world is orzo?”. Thankfully, we were introduced to orzo by our friend Kelly when we were on the show, Shop Smart Save Money.
Orzo is just another type of pasta and is made from Durum wheat. The pieces are shaped like grains of rice. For this reason, some people use orzo in some traditional rice dishes like risotto.
Truthfully, we are not big pasta fans but we do like rice. And on our live cooking show this week (we have one every Wednesday night at 6 PM UK time) we decided to do a fusion dish. It was a fusion made up of Jamaican and Italian cuisine. You can check out the full cooking video if you’d rather do that than go through with reading how to make it. It was absolutely delicious and so easy to make too.
You can customise this dish to add the things that you like. We used a mix of vegetables like courgette (zucchini), bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and garlic. You could also use sweetcorn, mushrooms, spinach, and broccoli. To be honest, there’s hardly anything that can spoil it. What you really need is a variety of colours, flavours and textures to make your dish more interesting.
We also used some chicken breast pieces that were cut into cubes. It is cheaper to buy whole breast pieces and do the cutting up yourself, by the way. Have you checked recently for the price of chicken breast pieces that are cut up? Think about it, they have to pay workers to do that job, hence why it is more expensive.
Anyway, back to this lovely and refreshing dinner idea that is sure to please. You will need to marinate the chicken breast pieces in your favourite seasonings and add a teaspoon of jerk seasoning or marinade. Depending on how spicy you want it, you could add more or less of the jerk seasoning or marinade. Set it aside for a few minutes and go on to preparing your vegetables.
Chop the onion and garlic and then slice the tomatoes, peppers and courgette. Be sure not to make the courgette too thick or it will take longer to cook. While you prepare the vegetables, set a saucepan of water with a teaspoon of salt to cook the orzo. Once it starts to boil, set the timer for about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and set it aside. Reserve some of the water just in case you need it.
In a frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of oil and add the chicken breast pieces. Stir fry until the pieces are no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue to cook and soak up the flavours. Add the courgette and the peppers and continue to cook through. Add the drained pasta (orzo) and stir through.
This bit is optional but you could add some soy sauce, pepper, some of the water from the pasta or a bit of grated cheddar or parmesan.
Five reasons this orzo dish is frugal
1. You can add any vegetables you have on hand
2. Orzo is relatively cheap in the supermarket. The next time you go into the supermarket, just check the pasta aisle and you will see orzo among the lot.
3. The dish doesn’t take long to cook, so it cuts down on your use of fuel
4. This dinner can be made in bulk and some refrigerated or frozen. It keeps well and is easy to reheat in the microwave.
5. Fusion dishes are fun to create and you don’t have to buy all the specific ingredients for a particular cuisine