Saturday evening was my bestie Nancy’s 26th birthday party. We celebrated the fact the she is old, but not as old as me. I have 1 1/2 months on her. This was cool in high school, but now, not so much.
As part of her birthday present, I gave her pretzel m&ms. I think she was pretty happy about that.
Approximately six hours later I was up for some more birthday fun with my favorite Italian stallions. Santo & Frankie had a birthday brunch at Crave Kitchen & Cocktails. Crave’s brunch menu offers 10 different entrees that all include corn bread muffins, fresh fruit, and your choice of juice, coffee, tea, or soda for $11. I chose the Create Your Own Omelet option with shrimp, spinach, and mozzarella. It came with fruit and a side of hand-cut home fries.
The omelet was enormous! They must have used 10 eggs. Here’s a picture of the inside, nice and stuffed!
And here’s a picture of me stuffed between the two birthday boys. Kindly ignore the fact that I am a midget.
That evening, I decided to try a new recipe. I have to admit that I have 46 starred recipes in my Google reader. (God bless that thing.) It was time to knock down the number to 45 and make something that I apparently thought sounded tasty on November 16th, 2009.
This was the Serious Eats recipe for Baked Shrimp and Feta Pasta. I made a few changes that I thought my taste buds would find more appealing and renamed it Christina Orzo Shrimp & Feta Bake. Haha, is that legal? Can I name a recipe after myself? Maybe I need to be arrested, because I just did. Technically I’m not naming it after myself because my last name is actually Orso. In Italian, Orso = bear and Orzo = barley. Moving on.
Christina Orzo Shrimp & Feta Bake
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 3-4 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
- 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled
- 4 oz feta, crumbled
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the orzo according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
- Pour in wine, tomato, and oregano. Stir and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large baking dish, combine the cooked orzo, sauce, shrimp, and chives. Sprinkle on the crumbled feta cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the shrimp have cooked. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Makes 4 servings.
The onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes:
Wine, tomatoes, oregano:
All mixed up in the baking dish:
Crumbled feta on top:
All done! Doesn’t this remind you of the lasagna pic? And yes, my makeup had worn off. Yikes.
A bowl of delicious Orzo:
It’s a shame that I waited 9 months to make this recipe, because it was so good. I was really happy with the results. There was so much flavor from the heirloom tomatoes, fresh herbs, feta, and lemon juice. I definitely recommend using fresh herbs whenever possible. It makes your dish full of flavor and color. If I make this again, I’ll add spinach. Now I’m left with a bunch of oregano and chives. Any recipes you’d like to share?