Monday, September 14, 2009

Roasted Shrimp & Couscous


Not everyone is into seafood, much less shrimp, but my husband is crazy about them. If I have shrimp on hand, he will steam and snack on them like potato chips.. which gets annoying if I planned on using them for a recipe. But I beat him to the punch today when I made this dish.

A few readers commented how much they like Ina Garten's Roasted Shrimp & Orzo recipe. I took a look at it and it's a pretty easy, straightforward orzo salad with a hint of Mediterranean flavors. With no orzo in the pantry, I substituted it with Israeli couscous. I actually prefer this type of couscous over the traditional one. Why? Israeli couscous has a much better, fail proof consistency in my opinion, since the traditional kind can get too mushy if you're not careful. To add a bit more color, I added chopped tomatoes as well. Be sure to allow the flavors to meld - I recommend preparing this salad a day in advance and serving it at room temperature, not chilled. Lastly, to avoid the shrimp from overcooking and getting rubbery, I reduced the roasting temperature to 350 degrees.


Roasted Shrimp & Orzo

recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Kosher salt
1 1/3 cup dried Israeli couscous + chicken broth for preparing
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/2 cup good olive oil
Salt & 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
1/2 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes
3/4 pound good feta cheese, crumbled


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare the Israeli couscous as directed, but substitute the water called for in the directions with chicken broth to add flavor. Once cooked, place in a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the couscous 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 couscous and add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, 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.