Wednesday, April 20, 2011

lent: week six + a recipe.


Here we are, folks. The end of the road.

Lent is coming to a close, and as I've mentioned before, I'm not entirely sure I've really grasped the true meaning of the season. It's hard without a community of faith supporting and guiding you through, reminding you of the significance behind the tradition of sacrifice. My hope is that each year, I will get better. I will mature. My faith will grow. My sacrifice will mean something.

Until then, I have learned this:

I am weak.

And He is strong.

Through these weeks of sacrifice, of life without sugar, I have been reminded that He did this too.

He walked this path. Lived this life. Gave of Himself for the sake of the Father.

My hope is that this season has trained me. That when Easter has come and gone, I will remember His generous spirit. That I will lean toward generosity myself. That sacrifice will flow easily out of me, and He will be praised.

--

{photo from The Food Network}

Now, my gift to you: a spring/summertime recipe that will knock your socks off and provide you with the perfect leftover lunches. Thank you, Ina. You are a genius.

A few things worth noting:

- This recipe is easy, but it takes much longer than 15 minutes. Maybe I'm just not a great kitchen multitasker, but all of the chopping involved took me quite a bit of time. Plus, if you don't read the entire recipe in advance (uh, guilty), you'll reach the bottom and discover the entire thing is supposed to either be refrigerated overnight, or needs to sit for an hour "marinating." Whoops.

- Orzo pasta is delicious.

- If you have leftover shrimp, you could prepare them as the recipe calls for: doused with olive oil and salt and pepper. Just roast in the oven for six to seven minutes, and you'd have half a meal, ready to go.

- Jordan said this was in his top five of things I have cooked. This deserves recognition, I think.

- I'm not sure how many this recipe is supposed to serve, but I went ahead and prepared it according to the directions, and I'm glad. It may be better leftover than it is the night of. My lunches have never tasted so good.

- This recipe calls for things like scallions, dill, cucumber, red onion, and feta cheese. I am a picky eater, but let me tell you: these flavors combine to make something magnificent. And I think it's official: I'm becoming a grown-up.

Here she is in all her glory. Enjoy!

--

Ingredients

* Kosher salt
* Good olive oil
* 3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
* 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
* 1 cup chopped fresh dill
* 1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
* 1/2 cup small-diced red onion
* 3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Full recipe and reviews found here.

2 comments:

Four Flights said...

Ya, anything with orzo is good in my book :) thanks for sharing

Marli and Memory said...

yay annie! you made it through lent! :)
how will you celebrate? or will you celebrate?? with cookies??? ;)
<3 MeMoRy