Dave and I have been watching a lot of Restaurant Impossible lately. Robert Irvine is insane… but I think he’s the best! What I want to know is… with the amount of time he spends renovating these restaurants- how on earth does the man stay in such amazing shape?! He’s huge! After watching an episode one night, I was inspired to try one of his dishes on the Food Network website. His recipe for Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo won out, and this would be the first time I ever tried making orzo!
Blue Cheese is one of my favorites. Over the past 2 or 3 years, my dad has been addicted to blue cheese, Roquefort in particular. We always have a nice big hunk in the fridge, and it’s become a staple in my dinner salad. It just doesn’t taste right without it! With blue cheese on the mind, this recipe seemed perfect to try out. The recipe looked like it would make way too much so I made some modifications.
Blue Cheese & Spinach Orzo
1 ½ tablespoons Butter
1 ½ tablespoons Flour
½ cup Skim Milk
4 Servings Orzo (go by serving size on box), cooked
½ Cup Reduced Fat Gorgonzola
1 tablespoon Roquefort Cheese
1 bag Fresh Spinach
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
The funny thing is, I started prepping the ingredients for this dish before realizing I had to make a roux! This is another first for me in this recipe. I was nervous but I followed his instructions (as carefully as if he was standing over my shoulder in my own episode of Restaurant Impossible) and it turned out great.
Put the butter in a saucepan and heat on the stove (medium high). Once the butter melts, turn the temperature down and add the flour. Stir continuously to create the roux, which should be pale blonde in color. Once you reach that point, reduce the heat even more (low) and add the milk, stirring into the roux. Continue to stir until the roux has thickened.
Now, add your blue cheeses a little at a time, until it is well blended. Season with the salt & pepper as you desire (light on the salt, because blue cheese is salty!) and remove from the heat. Continue to stir.
Once the sauce is prepared, add your cooked orzo, your fresh spinach, and the chopped cherry tomatoes- I used orange grape tomatoes… they looked amazing in there! Incorporate all the ingredients into the sauce. Your orzo is now ready to serve! Good ol’ Robert Irvine says this recipe should have a shelf life of 5 days, so double it up and have leftovers!
This recipe was so simple, even though I had to make my first roux. I also loved the colors that the spinach and tomatoes added to the dish. I hope that I can find those orange grape tomatoes at the market again- they were so yummy (see I told you I love them now)!
Happy Friday, everyone!