Monday, April 5, 2010

Peas & Ham With Creamy Orzo

 I love it when my April issue of  Cuisine at Home  arrives. I know that I only have six more weeks until April gets here and lighter cooking can begin. This little recipe, from Cuisine,  takes a scant 20 minutes to make but packs great flavor and taste. Even my grown son Will eats this, and he hates peas!

If you live in the south your fresh peas are already arriving. Here in Indiana mine are still trying to stick their heads out of the soil.  So gather your fresh peas (frozen for those of us up north) your leftover Easter ham and give this a try.

Peas & Ham With Creamy Orzo
1 cup dry orzo pasta
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup fresh peas
1 cup diced ham steak
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt and black pepper to taste.
Cook orzo according to package directions; drain and set aside
Saute onion in oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
Stir in wine, cream, broth, peas, and ham simmer over medium-low heat until peas are tender; 4-5 minutes. Stir in cooked orzo.
Off heat stir in egg yolk and Parmesan until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.

I made this with half-n-half instead of cream and was pleased with the results.

Off to the side of the magazine Cuisine offered 5 quick pea recipes:

  • Pea Soup: Simmer 2 cups peas in 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water for 5 minutes. Puree soup in a blender with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot or cold with whipped sour cream.
  • Pea Crostini: Smash cooked peas with some goat cheese and spread a generous amount on toasted rounds of French bread. Top crostini with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan.
  • Peas n' Rice: Stir cooked peas and chopped fresh mint into cooked basmati rice.
  • Peas n' Pasta: Stir cooked peas, arugula, and prosciutto into cooked pasta. Drizzle pasta with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Minted Peas: Blanch peas and serve with butter and minced mint leaves.
None of us has an excuse to throw out our peas!  Live is good-enjoy!

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