Recipe of the Month

The cooks at our schools aren't the only members of the Opaa! family with culinary flair. In fact, each month we feature frequently requested, unique and tasty recipes submitted by fellow Opaa! employees. We hope you enjoy this month's selection:

Serves: 4 servings  Lemon Orzo with Parmesan and Peas Photo

Ingredients

  • 1½ Cups Dry Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3½ Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Lemon, zested
  • Juice of Half a lemon
  • 1½ Cups Peas
  • ⅓ Cup Grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally until toasted, about 30-60 seconds. Add garlic and stir it in followed by broth and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet with a lid and turn down to a simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta has absorbed the water and is tender.
  2. Remove the lid and add the lemon zest, juice, and peas and stir until the peas are bright and cooked. Add the cheese and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Yield: 12 deviled eggsSmoked Salmon Deviled Eggs Photo

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons mayo
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2oz smoked salmon*

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the eggs in a steamer and steam over boiling water for 15 minutes. Then submerge the steamed eggs in cold water until cooled. Peel the eggs carefully, cut in half and separate the egg yolks.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the egg yolks with a fork and stir in mayo, dried dill weed and black pepper. Transfer the filling into a piping bag, or a zip lock bag with one end cut, and pipe the filling into the egg whites. Top with small pieces of smoked salmon and serve immediately.

*For this recipe, choose cold-smoked salmon.

INGREDIENTS Irish Soda Bread Photo

4 cup Flour
4 tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup softened Butter
1/4 cup melted Butter
1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
1 Egg

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease a baking sheet.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup buttermilk and egg to dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Flour work surface.

Turn out dough and knead briefly.

Shape dough into a round shape and place on prepared sheet.

Whisk together 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk.

Brush loaf with buttermilk mixture.

Cut an X in the top of the loaf.

Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Brush with buttermilk mixture every 15 minutes or so while baking.

Serves 2   Lava Cake Photo

INGREDIENTS
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing custard cups
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the custard cups
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

PREPARATION
1. Preheat oven to 425°F, and grease two 6 to 8-ounce custard cups or ramekins generously with butter. Put a small spoonful of sugar in each cup, then turn the cup sideways and rotate it so that the sugar is coating the butter all around. Dump out any excess sugar. Place the greased cups on a baking sheet or oven safe dish.

2. Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it on high for 30 seconds, take it out and stir it, then microwave it for another 30 seconds and stir it again. It should be completely melted. If there are still chunks of unmelted chocolate, microwave for another 20 seconds and stir.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter and the sugar with an electric mixer or a rubber spatula. The mixture should be thoroughly combined, smooth, and paste-like, not lumpy.

4. Add the two eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, and beat it with the electric mixer or a whisk until everything is combined and the mixture is starting to foam, about a minute. Add the flour and salt, and again beat everything with the mixer until it’s thoroughly mixed.

5. Add about 1/3 of the melted chocolate to the mixture in the mixing bowl, then use a rubber spatula to gently fold it in. Add the rest of the chocolate mixture, and fold together until you have a uniform batter with no streaks.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the two greased custard cups, then bake the cakes in the preheated oven until the tops are just set but the cakes still jiggle slightly when you shake them, about 11 minutes.

7. Let the finished cakes sit in cups for five minutes when they’re finished baking. Then, flip each cup over on a dessert plate, and tap the bottoms of the cups so that the cakes fall out.

8. Serve immediately. If you want, you can garnish them with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and berries.

IngredientsTomato Basil Soup Photo

  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 3 large carrots, cut in half
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cups vegetables broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons basil pesto

Instructions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots on one large baking sheet. It's okay if some of the ingredients are overlapping. Drizzle the olive oil along with a big pinch of salt and pepper and give it a good toss. Place the baking tray in the oven and allow the ingredients to bake for 1 hour. Check on the ingredients every 30 minutes and give it a toss.
  2. Transfer the ingredients along with any juices from the baking tray to a blender and blend the veggies until they are completely smooth. If you've got a super powerful blender it will go in one batch and be super quick. If you've got a regular blender, you may need to add a little broth to help it along. For super smooth soup, run the puree through a strainer to get rid of any larger pieces.
  3. Transfer the puree into a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and allow the soup to heat all the way through, about 5-7 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes. Add two tablespoons of the pesto and give the soup a taste. If desired, add the third tablespoon. I used 3 in total because I love a little extra punch of basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cheese toasts.