May 10, 2007

Saffron Orzo with Shrimp

6 cups broth
1 1/2 lbs shrimp, shelled
1 lb orzo
2 cups of broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
6 dried mushrooms (we used shiitake)
1/2 lbs sliced fresh mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine
1 teaspoon saffron
4 cloves garlic, minced
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper

Pour the wine and shrimp in a bowl and refrigerate. In a large pot, heat the broth. Then remove from heat and soak the dried mushrooms in the broth for 30 minutes. Strain out the mushrooms and reserve the broth. Squeeze out mushrooms and slice thinly, removing stems. Put broth back on medium heat and add the saffron. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the saffron blooms (colors the water an orangish yellow). Add the orzo and the broccoli and bring to a boil. Cook on low for 8-9 minutes or until the orzo is tender. When the orzo/broccoli mixture is done, strain it and set aside. Saute garlic and dried mushrooms in the olive oil in a large saute pan for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and saute until they are soft, 5-10 minutes. Then add the shrimp to the pan and saute until they have turned pink, an additional 5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pot and cook for 2 minutes to ensure that the shrimp is fully cooked, and then mix with the orzo. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

My thoughts:
Top reasons why you should make this tonight for dinner: it uses the often over looked pasta orzo, it gives you an excuse to sing Donovan songs, it has vegetables and mushrooms in it, so you don't need a side dish and it is really easy.