June 26, 2014 – Baked Orzo with Shrimp, Tomato Sauce, and Feta

Tonight we made the Baked Orzo with Shrimp, Tomato Sauce, and Feta that we originally were going to have on the 25th. Tony describes making the dish:

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Since we’re halving the recipe, there was very little prep for this dish, so I was finished very quickly, in about 10 or 15 minutes. I was done so quickly, in fact, that I was able to start this post while waiting for Kim to get home from work. All I had to do was chop the onion, mince the garlic, crumble the feta, and slice the olives and I was basically done. (I don’t really count opening the can of crushed tomatoes, which I didn’t have to do anyway because we had some in the freezer left over from another dish, and unwrapping the shrimp as prep.) There’s a little measuring that needs to be done, but I did all that while the dish was cooking.

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We followed the recipe pretty exactly, as this was our first time making it. The only intentional change we made was to use extra-large, not large, shrimp. The larger shrimp didn’t take much longer to cook and I don’t think they changed the flavor or texture of the dish. This was what the shrimp looked like when they were done (the photo is a little blurry because of the steam coming out of the pot):

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Once the orzo was done, I drained it, returned it to the pot, and then added the shrimp and tomato mixture. The final step was almost like making lasagna, except instead of alternating layers of pasta, sauce, and cheese, I alternated layers of shrimp and orzo with layers of feta. The only unintentional change I made was to sprinkle the olives on top before the dish went into the oven, because I forgot to stir them in right after I added the shrimp to the pot.

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We have another baked orzo and shrimp recipe (two actually) that we like to make and while this one was good, it wasn’t as good as either of those other two, one of which uses lots of dill and the other of which uses fennel. We ended up sprinkling some dill on this dish after we plated it, because it needed a little more flavor and a little more color. We decided we would make the dill version of this recipe next time, but would try adding the Kalamata olives, just to see what happens!

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