Monday, September 29, 2014

Pan Seared Shrimp & Confetti Veggie Orzo

Pan Seared Shrimp & Confetti Veggie Orzo

Are you familiar with orzo?  Encase you’re not, it’s a small rice shaped pasta typically used in soups because it fits so nicely on a spoon.  Unfortunately this tiny pasta had been absent from my recipes for years since I wasn’t able to find a gluten free variety since beginning my g-free journey. 

Before that, for as long as I can remember orzo was an essential ingredient in my homemade chicken soup.  But what I really missed was using it as a substitute for Arborio rice in risotto-like dishes.  Like risotto it can be flavored in countless ways and serve as a first plate, main course, or side dish. 

When I discovered that Delallo had a gluten free orzo variety I was excited.  I picked up several bags and headed straight to the kitchen to whip up something delicious.  The end result is a quick pan seared shrimp with confetti veggie orzo.  It’s easy to make yet impressive enough to serve to company.

Pan Seared Shrimp & Confetti Veggie Orzo
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Servings: 4

Ingredients for the Orzo
  • 12 oz orzo ( I used dellalo)
  • 3 tbsp butter (divided 2tbsp & 1tbsp)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 ½  – 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream (optional)

Ingredients for the Shrimp
  • 1 lb shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2-3 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp sambal sauce
  • lemon wedges and parsley (for garnish)

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Stir together the shrimp, olive oil, and sambal sauce and set aside.
  2. For the orzo, be sure to have all the veggies prepped then drop the pasta into salted boiling water and stir periodically or it will all clump together.  The package says to cook it for 11 minutes but we will cook it for half that time then finish cooking it in broth with the veggies.
  3. In a wide skillet over a medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of butter then toss in all the veggies except for the peas and saute for about 4 or 5 minutes until the veggies just start to wilt and develop a bit of color. 
  4. Once the orzo has boiled for just over half the time of the package instructions, drain it and add it to the pan with the veggies.
  5. Immediately add 1 ½ cups of chicken broth (to start) and the white wine.
  6. Continue to simmer and stir for another 5 minutes or so to allowing the orzo to finish cooking in the broth.
  7. Add the peas 3 minutes prior to the orzo being done to keep them bright. 
  8. You may need to add up to another 1 ½ cups of broth if at any point the bottom of the pan starts to get dry before the orzo gets tender.  Make these additions in ½ cup increments.
  9. Once the orzo is fully cooked, turn off the heat, add another tablespoon of butter and the heavy cream then stir to combine, top with parsley and set aside. 
  10. For the shrimp, in a large skillet over a high heat, add a little oil to the pan then add the shrimp and sauté for a minute or two on the first side then flip and let them go for a minute on the second side.  Remove them from the pan so they don’t overcook.
  11. To plate the dish, spoon the orzo onto the plate, top with thespicy shrimp, garnish with parsley and a lemon wedge.       

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