Grilled Skirt Steak and Orzo with the Works


By Shannon O'Donnell

Rachael Ray's creations always look so, well, "deee-LISH" when they are highlighted on the Food Network.  And they have a way of airing her shows right when everyone’s hungry...her '30 Minute Meals’ episodes are always strategically placed in the dinner hour slot.

My family knows I'm a fan of hers, so they've given me some of her cookbooks as gifts over the years.  But I barely ever crack them open.  Why?  Because there are so few PICTURES!  When I thumb through the text-only pages, I have trouble getting excited about them, and I move on to other recipes.

However, I know they are probably good, because they DO look wonderful when she prepares them on television every night at 5:30.  So I'm going to force myself to give some more of her dishes a 'go', and I'll take my own pictures of the results instead.  Good thing, because this particular dish was just as RR promised:  "Yummo!"



* 1 ½ to 2 pounds skirt steak
* 3 T balsamic vinegar
* 2 T EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), plus more for drizzling
* Coarse black pepper
* Coarse salt
* ½ pound orzo
* 1 large red onion, chopped
* 4 garlic bulbs, chopped (as usually, I used ready-chopped garlic in the jar…I’m all about the speed factor these days…!)
* 1 fennel bulb, quartered,  cored and thinly sliced
* ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
* 1 cup chicken broth or stock (I use Better Than Bouillon for great flavor)
* 1 pint grape tomatoes
* 10-12 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
* ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves (a couple of generous handfuls), chopped
* ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a couple of overflowing handfuls)
1)       Coast the skirt steak in balsamic, a good drizzle of EVOO, and lots of freshly ground black pepper.  Let marinate 5 to 15 minutes.
2)       Preheat an outdoor grill or ridged grill pan to high, or fire up the broiler in your oven (that’s what I did—works fine!)
3)      Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water and add the orzo.  Cook until al dente, about 12 minutes.
4)      While the water is coming to a boil, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 T of the EVOO.  Add the onions, garlic, fennel, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, about 4 or 5 minutes or until the veggies are slightly tender.
5)      Season the steak with salt and grill (or broil) 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
6)      Meantime, add the chicken stock and grape tomatoes, bring to a bubble, and cook for about 2 minutes (or until the grape tomatoes begin to burst).   Add the cooked orzo, basil, parsley and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.  Stir to combine.
7)      Slice the meet very thin on a sharp angle.  Serve alongside the orzo with the works.

Shannon O'Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe


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About Shannon


When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.

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