I really enjoy fusion and I love using Italian as the base. I find pasta really lends itself well to being influenced by other cultures foods. In this case, as many of you know, I enjoy adding a Mexican twist to things. I had the idea of making a purée for the fish I was preparing. The purée had the base of tomatillos and I added onions and poblanos. I decided to reserve 1/3 of the vegetable mixture for a side. If I say I have a style of cooking that would be too strong. But I try to infuse a concept through the components of my meal. In this case, I used the vegetable mixture to flavor the orzo. Guys, this was a really good idea and good recipe.
- 10 Tomatillos, quartered
- 3 Poblanos
- 2 Yellow Onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp each cumin, adobe seasoning, Hot Mexican chili powder and garlic powder
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup smoked mozzarella
Start by putting the poblanos on a baking tray and place in a 400 degree oven roasting for 10 – 12 minutes. You want the poblanos to blister. Remove from the oven and let them cool. When cool, peel off the skin and cut into 1″ pieces. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium high heat. Add the oil and the butter. Next, add the onions and begin to soften. After a few minutes, add in the tomatillos. After 6 – 8 more minutes, add in the poblanos to the tomatillos and onion mixture. The tomatillos will take a while to soften. You are essentially trying to caramelize the vegetables. Next, add in all the spices and mix well.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside (I used 1/3 of the vegetables). Add in the orzo directly into the skillet. Toast for about 1 minute.
Add in the water and stir often. (The methodology is very similar to risotto and the orzo will come out creamier than typical). Be sure to scrape the vegetable remnants on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the orzo is soft. All the water will probably not burn off. If so, pour into a strainer and then return the orzo back to the skillet. Add the vegetables back in to the orzo.
Finish by adding the cheese. Serve and enjoy!