A few years ago I was in love with Schwan’s food delivery service. They used to have a side dish of orzo with apples and pecans that you just tossed in the skillet and warmed up. It was great as a snack, a meal or as a side dish to pork or chicken. Then one day like so many things we love, like Pepsi Clear, it went away. I had a moment of sadness until I realized I could recreate this dish on my own. Convenience meals are great for the family on the go; however, they can dull your skills. When I got over being sad about the discontinued dish, I decided to put what I felt were the ingredients in the dish and make it myself.
This is one of those dishes that just works. Orzo pasta with nuts and apples? I know it’s a strange combination but it works anyway. I got in the kitchen and started playing around with what I knew to be the ingredients and came up with my own version of this dish.
I grew up in my Great-Great Aunt Ann’s kitchen. She was a trained pastry chef who served up quite a few meals in her day. One nugget of advice she gave me as a child that I’ve never forgotten was this: If you know of things that go together try them in different ways. You’ll never be hungry nor will you be bored. I think of that often when I’m staring into my fridge trying to come up with dinner. It also rang true when I started playing around with this recipe.
Orzo with apples and pecans pairs well with roasted pork loin, or grilled chicken. I also eat the leftovers as a snack or as a meal of its own.
- 2 Cups of cooked orzo pasta
- 1 Large apple diced -Figi, Gala, Pink, any sweet apple
- ½ cup toasted pecans
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 Stick of butter
- ½ tsp crushed thyme
- ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper - optional
- In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat
- Stir in brown sugar, apples, thyme, and cayenne pepper
- Stirring frequently cook until apples are tender and starting to caramelize
- Stir in orzo and toasted pecans
- Heat through and serve