Wednesday, October 13, 2010

10th Anniversary Dinner

Originally I had the idea that we would go to New York and celebrate our tenth anniversary with a big dinner at Per Se, but then I calculated the cost of train fare, hotel, and dinner. Eek! Considering we had a great meal at Volt a few weeks ago, plus a 6-course meal at Bluegrass Tavern the night before, we decided that a somewhat fancier-than-usual home-cooked meal would be just the thing.

I fell in love with the smoked trout salad we had at Clementine a couple weeks ago, so I thought if we could find smoked trout at Neopol, I'd make a version to serve as an appetizer.

smoked trout salad and celeri remoulade on Atwater's ciabatta
While at Belvedere Market, we picked up a giant sirloin from Ceriello. They didn't have arborio rice but they did have orzo, so I my original idea of risotto became a wild mushroom orzotto.


I concocted a pan sauce with the steak's drippings, some red wine, leeks, mushrooms, and the soaking liquid from the orzotto's mushrooms and steamed some asparagus. While the steak and sauce were very good, the orzotto stole the show - it was very easy, very delicious, and much quicker to make than risotto.

Orzotto (adapted from Kelsey's Kitchen)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 shallots, minced
1 ½ cups orzo
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup hot water for about 1/2 hour
¼ cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

In large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and shallot and cook until fragrant and just starting to brown. Add the orzo and stir to coat each grain with the oil. Toast the orzo for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Drain mushrooms and add to pan along with the stock. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover the pan; simmer for about 8 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover the pan (the orzo will continue cooking in the residual heat and absorb the rest of the liquid). Remove from heat and stir in cream and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.