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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spanish Shrimp with Sunset Orzo

Shrimp is showing up more and more in our weekly menu plan.  I've talked about my new-ness to seafood before, but shrimp has broken through and made themselves a staple in our house.  There's always a bag in the freezer and since they are quick to defrost, they make for great weeknight meals.  I will eat them, but I'm not comfortable enough with them yet to peel and devein them.  I don't like seeing their legs, that still makes me feel weird, so I leave that up to Zach.  ;-)

This meal was a great weeknight meal -- fast and flavorful.  It also made good leftovers for lunches the next day.  I left out the peas since I don't like them, but I did double up on the red pepper, using one large one instead of a small.  I think it would be great with some frozen diced carrots thrown in in place of the peas as well, or frozen corn too.  Both would work well with the 'color scheme' of the dish too, matching the 'sunset' theme.  I loved the use of chorizo in the dish, it gave a nice warm and spicy flavor to each bite.  

I made a few other changes as well, either with the aim of cutting fat/calories or in simplifying the steps/decreasing the dishes needed.  I love Rachael Ray's recipes but man does she use a lot of pots, pans and dishes!  I guess it's because she doesn't have to wash them up herself, and although neither do I (Zach is the main dishwasher in our house), I still cut out steps when I can.  I decreased the chorizo from 1/3 pound to 1/4 pound and also cut out the oil altogether.  I didn't find that that a fatty sausage like chorizo needs oil to brown, as soon as it gets warmed up and cooking it starts rendering fat into the pan, so why start with oil if you don't need to?  I also changed the steeping method for the saffron and chicken broth (why get another pot dirty when the microwave works just as well) and the cooking method for the shrimp (again, why get out another skillet, just throw them in with the veggies!).  I have a feeling this meal will be one more reason for shrimp to keep popping up on our weekly menus!

Spanish Shrimp with Spanish Orzo
serves 4
adapted from EveryDay with Rachael Ray, April 2009

8 ounces orzo pasta
2 pinches saffron threads
1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound Spanish chorizo, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the orzo and cook until just al dente. Drain and cover.
  • While the water comes to a boil, steep the saffron in the chicken broth.  Pour the chicken broth into a glass measuring up and add the saffron.  Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and let steep until needed.  
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and turmeric and cook for 5 minutes. 
  • Add the shrimp to the vegetable/chorizo mixture and cook until pink and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. 
  • Pour the saffron broth over the shrimp, chorizo and vegetables. Add the paprika and cooked orzo and toss for 2 minutes. 
  • Serve in bowls, topping with the parsley and lemon juice. 

1 comment:

Nicole, RD said...

Wow! This looks and sounds fantastic! So many bold, wonderful flavors in there!