Friday, July 31, 2009

*pick your poison.

You know, I'm a fan of an addiction. I think there's something to be said for singular focus to the point of madness. It indicates passion, and provides fodder for excellently maudlin television programming.

I have many addictions: '90s sitcoms, sartorial stretchiness, cleanliness avoidance, binder clips, Pandora radio, That Damn Dog, and making a long story much, much longer.

But lately I've developed a heroin-level hankering for orzo. (Witness here, here, and here.) Frankly, there's a lot of pasta in this here vegetarian diet, and it turns out that if you cook a late-night batch of orzo and dump cheddar cheese into it, you have a feel-good snack that should probably shame anyone who's staring down the barrel at her 30th year.

Not that I know anyone fitting that description.

I had planned to make something else entirely for dinner, but I started scratching and twitching when I arrived at the greengrocer and U-turned to Ina's Roasted Shrimp and Orzo.

I halved the recipe, which meant I only needed 1 pound of fresh shrimp.


Or in the case of the Publix, 1 pound of previously frozen shrimp. The liquid from these is a canine aphrodisiac. Should you at any point need that information. Once the tails are removed, the shrimp get a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and are shoved into a 400-degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, a big pot is bubbling on the stove, cooking up the beloved pasta. I mean really, what is better than this?

or zo.

All the ecstatic high from cooking meth, without the danger of melting your face off! (Note: This does not apply to me. The incidence of flesh-burning in my case is equal for orzo and amphetamines.)

While the pasta cooked, I made the vinaigrette—olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper—

simply dressed.

then poured it over the still-warm pasta.

pour, favor.

I think I might need a moment.

The shrimp come out of the oven, in typical Ina Garten fashion, perfectly cooked.


After that, it's mixmaster time. Big bowl, pasta, shrimp, green onions,

green delicious.



red onion,






and feta. OK, no, that's not feta. It's ricotta salata. Feta has always baffled me, because I think it's the black sheep of the cheese family. I just find it almost prohibitively salty. The ricotta option isn't much better, but it's great for leftovers because it doesn't break down the way feta does.

lotta ricotta.

Then the whole mix has to sit for an hour for the flavors to come together.

shrimp mix.

At which point a person can do the dishes, or take the dog for a walk, or finish a couple of loads of laundry, or train her cockeyed stare at something brain-damaging on the CW.

shrimp salata.

Make this. Now. No, seriously, right this second. Don't make me ask you twice. I know I had this for lunch, but I NEED MORE. Just a bite, I swear.

I'll quit tomorrow.

Rock the weekend, ladies and gents!


What's Next? says:
at: 4:36 PM said...

Yes please

at: 4:42 PM said...

You don't like feta? I KNEW you wouldn't like my corn salad. Or something less self-involved. Like, for instance, that looks delicious!

kate says:
at: 4:49 PM said...

I want the cheese . . . and a glass of vino.

Happy Weekend!!!



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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.