Monday, April 28, 2014

Baked Shrimp and Orzo with Feta (or Goat) Cheese

How I wish I could eat pasta every day.  And add shrimp and cheese to it, and,'s hard to stop me!

A few tips (at least for myself) on this one.  Use full-fat cheese in this recipe.  You need the cheese to melt and the reduced-fat version just didn't do the job.  Also, I would add more, putting some in the mixture itself and the rest on the top as the recipe calls for.  Also, I think goat cheese would be a really good substitute for this.

The recipe below is half of the original recipe and it make a good 4-6 servings, so unless you're feeding a big crowd (and using a 9x13 dish), I would stick with the amount below.

BAKED SHRIMP and ORZO with FETA (or GOAT) CHEESE (4-6 servings)

3/4 pound large shrimp (31/40), peeled and deveined
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp minced garlic
1/2 pound orzo pasta
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5) oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
2-4 oz feta or goat cheese, crumbled
lemon wedges for serving/garnish

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Pat the shrimp dry with a few paper towels and lightly season with S&P.  Set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients.  Lightly grease an 8x8" baing dish with cooking spray and also set aside.

In a 3- or 4-quart pot,combine the onion, oil, oregano, and 1/4 tsp salt over medium-low heat.  Coverthe pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have started to turn translucent, 6-7 minutes.  Check often so the mixture doesn't burn.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Stir in the orzo, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until the orzo is coated with the mixture and is lightly browned, 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the broth and water and cook, stirring every once in a while, until the orzo is slightly tender but still has some firmness (it will continue to cook in the oven), about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes, peas, shrimp, and half of the cheese (if using the larger amount).

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the (remaining) cheese evenly over the top.  Bake the casserole until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese is lighly browned, 18-20 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

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