Shrimp Orzo

Shrimp Orzo

I have recently discovered orzo.

I’m currently doing an externship at a catering/personal chef company for culinary school. Every day for lunch we take turns cooking “family meal” for all of the staff. This is how I became acquainted with orzo.

I spied a bag of it on one of the shelves and decided to experiment for family meal.

It’s unclear how this little gem has eluded me all this time, but fact is, it has. If you’re not familiar with orzo—it’s a grain that looks a lot like rice. I’ve never really been a rice enthusiast, which is probably why I’ve missed the boat on orzo up until now.

Well breaking news people: although it may look identical to rice, it’s actually pasta!

No wonder why I love it!

I usually shy away from carbs or try to find healthier alternatives, but, well… Sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge on the things that taste so darn good.

Finally realizing orzo’s potential, I instantly knew I needed to create a recipe including it!

Yields: ~4 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo

1 tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic

4 shitake mushrooms, quartered

1 cup broccolini, cut into 1 inch pieces

10 shrimp

1 cup canned peas (3/4 pureed, ¼ whole)

2 tbsp lemon juice

10 grape tomatoes, halved

½ cup parmesan, reserve 2 tbsp for garnish

salt and pepper to taste

1.    Bring a pot of water to boil.

2.    Heat olive oil and garlic over medium heat.

3.    Add mushrooms and broccolini to garlic and cook ~ 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

4.    Add 2 tbsp water and shrimp to pan and cover. Cook shrimp ~2-3 minutes, or until pink.

5.    Add orzo to boiling water and cook ~ 6 minutes (just prior to it being done).

6.    Reserve ¼ cup of whole peas. Puree the remainder with an immersion blender or food processor.

7.    Add lemon juice, broccolini, shitakes, whole peas, pea puree, cooked orzo, tomatoes, and all but 2 tbsp parmesan to the shrimp.

8.    Cook another 1-2 minutes over low/medium heat, or until cheese is melted.

9.    Sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

The Cook’s 2 Cents: 

·     You can use fresh, frozen, or canned peas for this recipe. If using frozen or fresh, you’ll need to cook the peas, prior to pureeing them.

·      I used an immersion blender to puree the peas because it fit right into the can! No need to dirty an additional dish. Just be sure to reserve a bit of the liquid to aid in the process.

·     The orzo is going to finish cooking at the end with the vegetables and parmesan. So only boil until the pasta is “al dente” (it still has a bit of a bite to it). The package directions usually say to boil X 8 minutes. Getting it to al dente takes about 6.

Nutrition Facts: 

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup

Servings Per Recipe: 3

Calories: 333               Fat: 10g           Sodium: 600mg          Carbs: 37g       Fiber: 7g          Sugars: 11g     Protein: 24g

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