Recipes from Raine’s Roost: Shrimp and Orzo

rediscover1.17a - Derek- Big

This post first appeared on USA Today Happy Ever After Blog on June 9th. Click here to see the original post.

Raine: Hey, what’s up? Welcome back. This month Raine’s Roost is coming to you from my alternate perch at the Jersey Shore, Jillian’s house in Spring Lake. This is where we’ll be for the summer, so expect a lot of seafood and farmer’s market dishes. As always, thanks for all your support. If you’ve missed any of my prior monthly posts, you can cruise through them all here.

To get into the groove, I picked one of Jillian’s favorites. One, because the shrimp looked good at the seafood market, and two, I was dying to try my new lemon squeezer (at left). I know. I’m a total geek when it comes to kitchen utensils. There’s actually a third reason, too — you get to drink the leftover white wine. So buy a good one.

Raine's lemon squeezer.

Anyway, a good friend of Jillian’s made this recipe for her years ago. On one of the rare occasions Jillian attempted to cook — trust me, a less than good idea — she picked this one. It’s one of the times I was head’s down with school and work, and a step away from losing my shi—mind. PBJs were pretty popular that week. She tried to surprise me, which I thoroughly appreciated.Thoroughly. Appreciated. No questions, but you know what I’m talking about.

That said, it’s not really her fault that my lips pulled into a wicked pucker the one time she made it. The recipe, as she wrote it down, didn’t include some of the measurements — like how much lemon juice to use — so I’ve had to adapt it by taste, intuition and common sense.

One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it’s simple and elegant — good enough for company. Plus, it makes a decent leftover. The flavors meld after a few hours and are just as good the second day. I tend to rely on the grill in summer, but the weather has been a mix of warm during the day and chilly at night here since Memorial Day, so making something warm and eating it cold for lunch the next day is all good in my book. Then there’s the wine. I didn’t drink wine much until I met Jillian. She’s made me a convert.

So, you ready? Then buckle up …

Shrimp and orzo, prepared for you by Raine.

Shrimp and orzo, prepared for you by Raine.

Shrimp & Orzo (serves 4)

8 ounces Orzo pasta (looks kind of like rice)

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

20 large shrimp, uncooked, deveined and unfrozen

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ cup parsley (Cook 2 Tablespoons with shrimp then save the rest for the end.)

1 cup dry white wine (I picked up a 2015 Fog Mountain Sauvignon Blanc — good enough so we could finish it with dinner.)

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed

Lemon zest

Bring 4-5 quarts of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt.

Boil orzo pasta until al dente — follow instructions on the box, about nine minutes.

Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Heat remaining oil (1 Tablespoon) in a large skillet.

Add garlic and cook over heat for one minute.

Add unfrozen shrimp, sprinkle salt, pepper and 2 Tablespoons of parsley over the shrimp, and cook for three to four minutes or until the shrimp is opaque.

When the shrimp are done, remove from pan and keep them warm in another bowl. Don’t get rid of the contents in the pan.

Add lemon juice and wine to the pan. Turn up heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, and reduce the contents by about half (this takes about two to four minutes).

Remove from heat after reduced. Add remaining parsley. Stir in butter, lemon zest and washed capers.

Adjust seasonings, and then pour over shrimp and serve on a bed of orzo.

Caught up in Raine by L.G. O'Connor NEWIt’s warm enough tonight to take a walk on the beach after dinner. I highly recommend it. Oh, and grab that bottle of Fog Mountain and a blanket on the way out. Add stars, night sky and imagination …

What’s your favorite summer recipe? Drop me a line @Raine’s_Roost if you want to share … maybe I’ll give it go for one of my upcoming posts.

Thanks for hanging out. Take care until next month.

Raine

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