Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Shrimp with Orzo, Asparagus and Feta

We’ve been on a roll of dinners that are…fine. Just *yawn* fine. We make them. We eat them. Everything is copasetic. So this dish was a slap in the face, wake up call for our tastebuds. It was so good, you guys. SO good. Tons of flavor. Super easy to make. And it felt very fresh and spring-appropriate with the lemons and green veggies. The Hubs insisted that it be added to the “rotation” and I obliged. In fact, I’m making it for dinner again tonight. It’s on the Serious Eats blog and the only thing I changed was to use regular orzo instead of whole wheat (we really aren’t whole wheat pasta people.) It took about15 minutes from prep to plate and I seriously suggest you try it as soon as you possibly can.

1 cup (about 5 ounces) orzo
1 1/2 Tbsps vegetable or canola oil, plus more for the pasta
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp red chili flakes
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 Tbsps fresh juice from 2 lemons
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Start by making the orzo according to the instructions on the box, in a small saucepan. Let that cook while you multitask, then drain it and set it aside. Use a skillet over medium heat to heat up your vegetable oil until shimmering. Put in the garlic and red chili flakes and cook about 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant and golden (don’t burn it!). Add in the asparagus next and season with salt and pepper. You don’t need to cook it for too long, just enough so that it’s tender but still crisp: about 3-4 minutes. Push the asparagus to the side and add in your shrimp. Sprinkle them lightly with oregano and cook on both sides until they are pink, about 4 minutes total. Now add in the orzo, basil, lemon juice, olive oil and feta and stir in, letting it all warm back up for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then serve! I promise it will be much more than just “fine.”

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