I was told by my grandfather to marry someone of my culture, “so you won’t fight during war or at the dinner table.” But do as others do and not as they say, and I am now marrying into a new culture, adding to my three. Amsterdam has over 189 nationalities in fewer than 1 million people, free to be who we are. The recipes for the Cooking Studio find me in the streets, and they build on my friends, travels, and imagination. They’ve been tested and trusted to create a variety of global recipes.
ORZO INVERNALE – WINTER ORZO
1 broccoli head, with stem peeled and cubed small, and florets cut small
4 button mushrooms, washed and sliced
4 Italian spiced sausages, skin peeled off*
2 cloves garlic
200 grams orzo
600g chicken broth, heated
100g Pecorino cheese
One medium chili sliced, salt, pepper, 1 tbsp cumin
Take a large and deep skillet and on medium fire, heat extra virgin olive oil. Add Italian sausage, and crumble with a wooden spoon and keep on heat for five minutes. Add broccoli florets and stem cubes and head until they turn bright green, about five minutes. Add mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper, add chili pepper if you like it a little hot.
Cook for another five minutes, then add the orzo and roast with the garlic. Add any spices you like – I sometimes add paprika or chipotle powder. Cumin kicks it up a notch. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then turn it the fire low and cook for 10 minutes (or whatever your orzo packet says). If you’re feeling risky, add half a teaspoon of anchovy paste as the broth starts to boil. Here’s your flavor intensity level shooting up. As the fire simmers the broth into a small reduction, keep stirring. It will start to thicken. In its last minute, add three tablespoons of Pecorino and let amalgamate. Let flavor for a few minutes as it cools – since it’s winter, you can bring it next to a cold window and let nature turn it down for you. Enjoy!
*Window taken at De Wijnwinkel/Renalda wine shop.