Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Greek Orzo & Grilled Shrimp Salad

This past weekend was a tough weekend for 'cooking for the week.' Saturday was really busy for SP and by the time he got home, he didn't want to do anything in the kitchen other than make a cup of tea (but he did help me bake cookies). Plus, Saturday is usually our 'date night.' Sadly, all the rain meant that for our 'date' we decided to stay home, order pizza, and lounge on the couch watching movies (47 Ronin and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). We also did 6 loads of laundry.

Sunday he transplanted all the herbs, veggies, and flowers, plus mowed and weeded, and then had barely enough time to shower and make it to the 4 pm Mother's Day dinner. This ridiculous 4 pm dinner time is really difficult for us, not just because our usual dinner time is 7~7:30 pm, but because it always seems to interfere with getting stuff done, especially when the dinner is on a Sunday. The only time we had to do 'cooking for the week' stuff was after we got home from dinner at 6 pm. So we had to think of quick and easy dinners since we didn't have time to braise or make a casserole or grill anything that took more than about half an hour - we didn't want to spend too much time cooking and cleaning up if we were starting at 6 pm.
Originally, I was thinking Shrimp Salad, but not one with a lot of mayo, and one with some exciting flavor. I figured I'd know it when I saw it as I browsed through recipes. I stumbled across this Greek Orzo & Grilled Shrimp Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette. It wasn't really what I was looking for, and I wasn't too sure about it because I know SP doesn't like to eat a lot of pasta, but I thought he might like this because of the grilled shrimp. He did.
He bought 17 jumbo shrimp at Costco, skewered them, brushed them with olive oil, seasoned them with salt & pepper, and grilled them. It doesn't take long to grill shrimp. He turned the grill on as soon as we pulled in the driveway and let it get super hot, then grilled the shrimp about 2-3 minutes per side.
Monday night while we ate dinner, we cooked the orzo and made the dressing. Tuesday morning I decided to go ahead and put it all together before our cleaning lady got to the kitchen since when I crumble feta, I tend to crumble it all over the kitchen! M is a great lady - we always end up chit-chatting a lot, so she took a break to chit-chat and she helped me put it all together.
This meal is a definite keeper. It was nice to have a cold dish for dinner on such a hot day (Tuesday was really hot!) and the shrimp were perfectly cooked - SP as usual did a great job with the shrimp on the grill. We both really like dill. Unfortunately, our fresh dill is not quite large enough yet so we had to use dried dill. We'll be trying his again when the fresh dill is ready!

We used the entire box of orzo. It was a 1 lb box and the recipe called for 3/4 lb, but we weren't going to save just 1/4 lb orzo.

I only mixed the orzo, dressing, tomato, and cucumber together. I kept the feta separate, to place on top as much/little as desired. The recipe says 3/4 lb feta, which seemed like an awful lot of feta. I also wasn't sure if we'd finish all the pasta mixture during the week (sometimes the last serving or two of a huge pasta salad just gets tossed out) and I didn't want to waste feta or have it get too soggy from sitting in dressing. We buy Dodoni feta at Costco. There are 2 blocks of feta in the brine. I crumbled 1.5 blocks and put the crumbles in a plastic container then put the remaining uncrumbled feta back in the brine.

I am sure we used more than a pint of grape tomatoes since we bought them at Costco. And no green onions.

Recipe here.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good; I may try something like this done with farro at some point. :P