Herbed Orzo, Risotto Style; and Very Bad, Lazy Wine!

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Bad, bad wine!Shovelinggrapes_2

Very bad wine!

I have lazy, bad wine. 

We did our part. 

We trimmed in March, just like we were supposed to.

We sprayed Bouille Bordelaise every 2 weeks, just like we were supposed to.

We trimmed, tended, tidied and tied. 

We picked carefully on a warm sunny afternoon.

We crushed carefully using an ancient crusher that has seen many a bushel of grapes.  It knows it's job.

We pressed carefully using an ancient pressoir that has pressed many a litre of juice.  It knows it's job.

We killed the bad yeast and fed the good yeast.

We did everything that everybody told us to do.  It always worked in the past but this year it won't!

The wine, I mean….it won't WORK!  Ferment!  Bubble and hiss!  Convert plain, old, ordinary grape juice into the nectar of the gods!

We have lazy, bad wine.  It just sits there, doing nothing.

Thinking that maybe I had killed the yeast (although it did 'proof' fine) I went to the farm store and bought more yeast.  I proofed it more carefully, fed it more carefully, dumped it into the must more carefully and stirred it more carefully.  I even gave it a pep talk!  Nothing.

Fine!  I sent mon mari down to rack it today….  That ought to teach it a lesson!  Now if it will only get to WORK!

Someone who's been working very hard recently, with moving house and holiday feasts, is Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, founder and host of Presto Pasta Nights.

I think I am finally done making pasta salads for the season.  I'm starting to seriously think about fall and winter cooking.  We eat very seasonally, as, I think do most people in Europe, or at least those that don't live in large cities.  One of my favorite autumnal meals is Veal Saltimbocca alla Romana alla Katie, primarily because it uses fresh sage, which I love and it's at it's peak right now. 

What has this to do with pasta, you ask?  What else would you serve with it?  Orzo!

The first time I had orzo was in a Greek restaurant.  The flavor was lovely but the dish was dry with a texture like wallpaper paste.  There had to be a better way.  And there are -  lots!  It has since landed high on my list of favorite pasta shapes.  It works well in soups, gooey baked dishes, and on it's own.  Plus it's easy to  eat…. 

It looks like rice so….why not do it 'risotto' style:

Herbed Orzo 

1 tbs butter
1/2 cup orzo
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbs snipped fresh parsley
1 tbs snipped fresh chives

Melt butter over medium-high heat in small saucepan. Add orzo and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine, stirr and cook for a minute or so. Add stock and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Turn heat to low and simmer until done, stirring occasionally. All stock will be absorbed. Stir in cheese and herbs. Remove from heat and serve. This should be creamy but a bit stiffer than my normal risotto.  The orzo doesn't release the starch so the grains stay separate.

Be sure to stop by Once Upon A Feast on Friday for the round-up of all of the wonderful pasta dishes.

Now I'm off to have a heart to heart chat with the wine-to-be…. It had better get to work!

14 thoughts on “Herbed Orzo, Risotto Style; and Very Bad, Lazy Wine!”

  1. that’s why when I recieve someone’s home-made goodie, I’d hug it as a box of treasure; just so much sweat and effort behind it.
    This pasta dish is really very “risotto”, love it!

  2. K – have you tried warming the barrels or whatever you have the wine in? Seriously, lay warm (or electric) blankets over the barrels if you can. I understand these trials and tribulations from years of working at wineries. Sometimes some batches just take longer to start fermentation. Also, for fun, next year, try a batch with your own native yeast to see if it works and/or tastes better.
    The food – oh yes, the food – at least that looks like it came out perfectly yummy.
    Bonne chance!

  3. Tigerfish, It’s meant to be rose…., Orzo is a fun little pasta
    Gattina, it’s even a bit quicker than ‘real’ risotto! Homemade goodies deserve lots of appreciation…they’re getting more and more rate!
    Thanks, Kevin!
    Shayne, I hope it gets to work, too! Try orze this way, it’s easy peasy.
    Jeni, in the past, we haven’t killed the natural yeast, just added more if needed. But our wines have had a ‘yeasty’ after taste so we were convinced, by he who shall remain nameless, to try it do it this way this year….never again. Unfortunately we have no way of warming the barrels. We’re going to rack it into a bigger barrel tomorrow and see what happens… Thanks for the advice! We can use it as we are cluleless!~

  4. What a sad story – about the wine that is! The risotto sounds lovely and so does the veal! Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  5. If it makes you feel any better, I ran into a frazzled winemaker friend at the local coffeehouse this morning and she was bemoaning the EXACT same issue with her wines. Maybe it’s just a lazy year? 😉

  6. swirlingnotions, It does make me feel better…that, and the fact that, after spending time being racked by mon mari it has released a few bubbles – hope springs eternal!
    Christine, It is great! And easy! We have hope!

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