Monday, April 12, 2010

Shrimp and Orzo Skillet

I have been looking at this recipe for the past six months it seems and finally got a chance to make it Friday night . . . at 10 pm . . . to be put immediately in the refrigerator so that it could be eaten for dinner this week. So I don't now how it tastes hot off the stove -- but reheated in the microwave it is delicious! It was super-easy to make and although there was an issue with splattering oil the second the shrimp hit the hot skillet, it was quickly controlled and the recipe progressed flawlessly.

I got this recipe from a Pampered Chef cookbook. Those folks know what they are doing! Beyond handy kitchen gadgets that make the home cook feel like they've grown a second set of arms to do difficult prep work like buttering corn and cutting an apple in different pieces while getting rid of the core (I should note that both of these tasks can be done simply with one of these . . . but I digress) . . . they also make great recipes.

The lemon flavor is more powerful than the mint and the only moderation I made upon reheating the dish was to add a little salt. But let's be honest, I add salt to almost anything. My grandmother always told me that "A Mullinax can have as much salt as he or she would like." Ironically, she was not born a Mullinax but I never questioned her logic -- Mimi knew best.

Shrimp and Orzo Skillet

8 oz. large uncooked shrimp (21-25 per pound)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
8 oz. orzo pasta
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup clam juice
1 lemon
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon butter

For shrimp, peel and devein shrimp. Add oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. As skillet heats, combine salt, black pepper and sugar; add shrimp and toss to coat.

Arrange shrimp in a single layer over bottom of skillet and cook about 1 minute or until one side is browned and edges are pink. Remove skillet from heat and turn shrimp over. Let stand an additional 30 seconds or until centers are opaque and shrimp is cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.

For orzo, in same skillet, combine orzo, pressed garlic, broth and clam juice. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10-12 minutes or until orzo is cooked through. As orzo cooks, zest lemon to measure 1 tablespoon zest; juice lemon to measure 1 tablespoon juice. Thinly slice mint.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in peas, butter and lemon juice. Arrange shrimp over orzo and cover. Let stand 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with lemon zest and mint before serving.

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