Walnuts, goat cheese and mushrooms, oh my!

August 10, 2007 · 0 comments

in goat cheese,pasta,pork

I cannot express how excited I am to be cooking again. Not only because I miss being in the kitchen, but because I am sick of the gut hanging over my pants that has gotten bigger over the past month, thanks to all the junk I have been eating out.

Unfortunately we won’t be grocery shopping until tomorrow so it’s slim pickins around here as far as food goes. I decided to try out one of the varieties of orzo I got when we were in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I used the supreme orzo, which is flavored with porcini mushroom, roasted red pepper, and saffron. The orzo tasted great and the flavors were subtle, but definitely there. You know when you buy spinach pasta and 99% of the time it tastes like regular ol’ pasta? Well, this didn’t :)

I debated for a while whether to even use a sauce on the orzo, but I settled on yes so that I could spoon the sauce over some roasted pork tenderloin. I seasoned the tenderloin simply with salt and pepper since I planned on adding sauce to it, seared it to brown on all sides and then finished it off in the oven. I made the sauce in the same skillet I seared the pork, but you don’t have to do that if you want to make the sauce on its own. I did it to give it a little more flavor from the browned bits.

I considered making my goat cheese-sundried tomato sauce, but since we have practically no groceries, we had no sundried tomatoes. So, I went with the same idea of that sauce and added walnuts and mushrooms but omitted the tomatoes. This sauce would be more creamy and luxurious with some cream, of course, but I am trying to be a little less of a fatty so I didn’t use that. However, pureeing the mixture in a food processor makes it really creamy.

I admit the food processing did not produce a sauce that LOOKED very good. But I promise that is TASTED good. :) In retrospect I should I have tossed the orzo with the sauce instead of spooning it on top because it kind of resembled sausage gravy :P

Goat cheese-mushroom-walnut sauce
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1/3 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
2 oz creamy goat cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat skillet over low-medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Cook mushrooms in skillet with a pinch of salt until they have released their moisture. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

Stir in chicken broth and wine. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Off the heat, stir in walnuts and goat cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

If you want this chunky, it’s ready to serve. If you want it a little smoother or creamier, pulse the mixture in a food processor a few times. Reheat in the skillet if necessary.

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