As I laid on the couch feeling like I was on the brink of death with a fever and a tweaked back, I turned on the television for some respite. Little did I know in addition to entertainment I would make new friends and be able to reconnect with old ones. Ina, Giada, Rachel, Bobby how I looked forward to seeing your faces as you happily sifted, measured, oh wait did not measure, chopped, diced and stirred the hours away. Ina why must you use an annoying electronic juicer, Rachel why must your music be so lame and Giada why must you seem so absolutely perfect. Since I did not feel well enough to eat I vicariously gorged myself on meals a plenty. The Food Network is like a drug and if you are not careful you can easily get addicted. I am the worst sick person, the most impatient, frustrated and hard to live with sick person. Being sick is a form of torture for me. I do not like to watch endless hours of television, I do not like to sit, heck I do not even like to be inside unless absolutely necessary.....especially if it is sunny outside. As my fever broke I was able to muster enough energy to make dinner. Something about not eating for 24 hours makes you feel a little interested in what your next meal will be. So this couch time, this sick time, this wasted time was not all for not because I came away with the most delicious recipe I have made in a long time. And here it is...... Ina thank you for making something in which I actually had the ingredients just lying around, well all but the dill, but as I learned from Bobby Flay cilantro is a suitable alternate to any herb.
Roasted Shrimp and Orzo by Ina Garten
- Kosher salt
- Good olive oil
- 3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
- 1/2 cup small-diced red onion
- 3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
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 on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out 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.