Thursday, September 2, 2010

Burger Bombed but the Orzo didn't!

As with all culinary attempts, some will turn out utterly delicious where you are licking your plate and begging for seconds and thirds...some will be mediocre to where you most likely won't fix it again but it really wasn't that bad...and some will be disastrous, horrible and fed to your garbage disposal.

I had the latter of the 3 last night with a Buffalo Chicken Burger. I really enjoy hot wings and read through a recipe several times really thinking it sounded promising. It wasn't. It was terrible. A mixture of ground chicken, panko crumbs, onion, celery, blue cheese and a few other ingredients - something happened and I, try as I might, couldn't choke it down no matter HOW much homemade bleu cheese dressing I added. It won't be repeated. Ever.

On the bright side, I did try a Roasted Shrimp and Orzo dish that made my feet do a little tap dance and literally had my family begging for seconds and thirds. I have several cookbooks from The Barefoot Contessa and I have to say, Ina Garten is one classy individual with impeccable taste. There is not one recipe of hers that is not delicious. She's figured it out...her recipes aren't overly complicated and the food is just stellar. Oh to be a guest at one of her parties! I admire how she cooks for all of her friends...all of the time. It's her way of saying Thank You.

It's my turn - thank you Ina for this marvelous Shrimp and Orzo dish - it's a keeper!


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.

So, I slightly modified and wanted to tell's ok if you don't have fresh dill and parsley - use the dried from your spice rack. Oh, and the red onion - I used a white one and diced it so fine, my non-onion eaters never knew it was there.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family did.

Have a delicious day!


  1. OK...CC, 1st off I pph (pink puffy heart) your blog b/c your writing is myyyyy kinda writing...very julia vs. juliaesque. :) you might be my soul sister. Second off, sorry I've been a lurker for so long and just now commenting (big no no in blogworld)! Third, the orzo looks like a party in your mouth and I've got a box in my pantry screaming my name to jump into this recipe. Thanks for the incentive. You keep up the good work, now, you hear?!?!!

  2. You made my day HPS! Thank you so much!! So glad to know I have a soul sister out there!