Multi-Dish Meals: Corn Orzo Salad

The luxury of unemployment is that I have plenty of time for meal planning. The downside is that funds for such meal planning are somewhat tight. However, I have found that thirty minutes spent planning the week’s meals, and a subsequent trip to the store to pick up everything necessary for the week, saves me time, money and the hassle of the eternal nagging question - what’s for dinner?

Coming to my rescue on a regular basis is the Martha Stewart publication Everyday Food. Often, I pull a whole week of meals (or even two weeks’ worth) out of one issue. The meals are reliable and cheap. Ingredients change with the seasons. There are plenty of meat dishes (perhaps a few too many, in my opinion), but there are meatless options and sides as well. Everyday Food saves my butt in the kitchen when the chore of dinner gets repetitively boring.

One such dish, taken from an old issue, is for Corn Orzo Salad. As seen above, the salad can then be used to create other meals, such as Corn Orzo Fritters. I love this idea of taking one dish, and creating a second completely different meal from it. Bonus: it’s delicious.

Corn Orzo Salad {Recipe adapted from Everyday Food 9/2011}

Serves 4

You will need:

12 oz (3/4 of a box) orzo
1 zucchini, diced
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
3 c. corn kernels
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced fine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 c. fresh basil leaves (or 1 tbsp + 1 tsp basil paste)
1 c. crumbled feta

Directions:

Cook orzo. Rinse in cold water, drain, and transfer to large bowl.

Meanwhile, toss zucchini with salt in a colander and let sit 20 minutes.

In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add corn and cook to tender, 4-5 minutes. Add to orzo. Mix in zucchini, 2 more tbsp oil, onion, pepper, and jalapeño. Add lemon juice, basil and feta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Corn Orzo Fritters {Recipe from Everyday Food 9/2011)

You will need:

Bacon fat [substitute vegetable oil if necessary]
4 c. corn orzo salad
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
2 tbsp honey
Sat and pepper

Directions:

Combine eggs, flour, and honey with corn orzo salad. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Add in bacon fat or oil.

Drop orzo mixture into pan, ~1/4 c. per fritter. Flatten each with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the sides, 2-3 minutes. Flip, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel-covered plate. Cook remaining fritters.

Serve with avocado slices, and a simple remoulade of mayonnaise and Chipotle Tabasco sauce.