As featured in the Foodbuzz Top 9 (May 8th, 2012)
Meeting her for the first time through a screen allowed me a glimpse of cold Cairo on a winter morning. Having had to suffer through many a female more concerned with proving through her dress sense that she had what it required to pull off her job, Heba caught me off-guard. A connection was formed at once.
Bundled up on her bed in a robe and glasses, she greeted me as an old friend as I was quickly taken through the history of The Daily News Egypt. She was interviewing me because she was always on the look out for new talent. She was interviewing me because she thought I deserve some recognition. I did not see myself as talent; just effort and a little luck.
Today, I have been the weekly food columnist for a year and a good quarter. The Daily News Egypt interview about my blog resulted in an opportunity to write regularly, to sharpen my skills, and most rewarding of all, to find sisterhood in a passerby.
Heba, I cannot express my appreciation enough - for the days you pushed me to get out of my funk and fly, for the days you embraced my weaknesses and often, sadness. Thank you for being my editor, my keeper, my friend.
1/2 cup of orzo
1.5 cups of chicken stock
1.5 cups of water
150 grams of grilled chicken, shredded
1 large red bell pepper, diced (I used 1 small red & 1 small yellow)
7 large kalamata olives, seeded and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 big handful of chives, snipped
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon of whole grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the water and chicken stock to a boil. Add the orzo to the pot and stir for a moment to ensure that it doesn't stick to the bottom. Cook uncovered until the orzo is al dente. While the pasta is cooking, combine the chicken, bell peppers and olives in a large bowl. Mix half of the chives into the salad. When the orzo is ready, strain and toss through the other ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, mustard, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper to make a light dressing and pour over the orzo salad mixing gently as you go along to ensure it coats the salad ingredients. Garnish with the second half of snipped chives and serve chilled.