Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

The other day I had 4 first graders in my car.  They started talking about their favorite songs which led into “what curse words I know.”  (If you have listened to will.i.am or most other pop songs or watched Phineas and Ferb or know the student-version of the UT fight song, this knowledge should not be surprising).  “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” was my response.  “I am sure you all know bad words but we don’t need to say them here and now.” 

These 4 are all younger siblings.  When Travis was this age, I disliked the classmates with older siblings.  They were going to teach my precious, little, innocent, darling baby things that I was not ready for him to know.  Now I have 2 kids who are the "younger siblings".  To those parents who have a first born who interact with them, I want to go ahead and apologize for anything that my kids accidentally teach yours before you are ready.

This story has nothing to do with this Barefoot Contessa recipe except that both are recent.  Well goodness, maybe they do have something in common.

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo
1.      Kosher salt
2.      Good olive oil
3.      3/4 pound orzo pasta
4.      1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
5.      Freshly ground black pepper
6.      2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
7.      1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
8.      1 cup chopped fresh dill
9.      1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
10.  1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and medium-diced
11.  1/2 cup small-diced red onion
12.  3/4 pound good feta cheese, diced

Preheat the oven to 400.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well. 

Meanwhile, place the shrimp in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to combine, and then spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!
Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Toss well.  Add the feta and stir carefully.  Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight.  If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving. 

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