I absolutely love this recipe. Fresh oregano is a must in this Mediterranean masterpiece of simplicity. Serve cold as a summer side or main attraction. Omit shrimp for a spectacular vegetarian meal.
Orzo with Shrimp and Feta
1 Pound shelled shrimp
1 Pound Orzo Pasta
1/2 Pound feta cheese
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
3 Green onions slivered
3-4 Cloves finely chopped garlic
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp fresh finely chopped oregano
Handful of kosher salt for pasta water
Heat a skillet over medium heat; drizzle with olive oil and saute shrimp and garlic until cooked. About 5-6 minutes turning once. Remove immediately to a cool dish scrapping all oil and garlic out. Cool in refrigerator until ready to add to orzo.
In a large stock pot boil 4 quarts of water. Cook orzo per packaging instructions, should be between 9-11 minutes.
Tip: Heavily salt the water for cooking the orzo; this should be all the salt this dish needs!
Drain orzo into a colander; rinse for 30 seconds with cold water. Let drain for a few minutes.
In a large bowl drizzle enough oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add orzo, drizzle a little more olive oil and add all ingredients except feta. Mix well. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for an hour before adding feta cheese.
This recipe can easily be manipulated to make many variations. I look forward to trying this with fresh mint and parsley.
One of the greatest pairings in food has got to be Guacamole and Salsa; they go so well with beef, pork, lamb, goat, fish and tortilla chips. Last night I made awesome steak tacos with Guacamole and Salsa that took just half an hour to make. Thanks to the legendary Diana Kennedy… Anyone can cook authentic Mexican food at home. My good friend Jay Erisman gave me her cookbook a few years ago and I have been trying her recipes ever since. Here is my modernized version of Guacamole and Salsa maintaining all of Diana’s original ingredients.
3-4 Ripe avocados
1 Medium onion
2-3 Serrano chiles finely chopped
1 Large handful cilantro
Juice of one lime
1 Tsp salt or more to taste
In a blender or food processor combine quartered onion, serranos, cilantro, salt and juice of ½ lime. Blend until finely chopped. In a bowl, mash avocados with a potato masher or fork until only small chunks remain. Next add serrano, cilantro, onion and lime juice mixture. Do not add all at once; about ¾ usually is but this way we can make it to our own taste and consistency. Add remaining lime juice if needed.
3-5 garden tomatoes chopped
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2-3 serrano chiles finely chopped
1 handful chopped cilantro
Juice of 1-2 limes.
1 Tsp salt- add salt to your own taste or none at all.
In a bowl combine all ingredients and let rest in the refrigerator for about ½ hour. For a more liquid salsa combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
Grilled Greek Chicken
1 4-5 Pound chicken cut in half
4-5 Cloves garlic minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1/2 Cup olive oil
1 Tsp cracked black pepper
1-2 Pinches red pepper flakes
Combine garlic, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and red pepper flakes in a bowl and whisk together.
Make small slashes in the wings, legs and thighs of the chicken. Do not slice the breasts. Pour marinade over chicken and marinade from 8 hours to overnight.
Prepare a charcoal fire with the grate as far away from the coals as possible. We do not want the chicken too close to the coals because the fat drippings will cause flare ups burning the chicken.
Grill covered for approximately 30 minutes turning every ten minutes. My son and I ate the whole thing! This recipe is very easy and very gratifying. Do not over cook the chicken, we don’t like dry chicken!
Perfect Greek Chicken
About six years ago my friends had a late night get together after a Tequila tasting. Carol Friesz and Greg Agricola are excellent home cooks. Carol made an excellent cold Orzo Pasta Salad with shrimp and Greg made smoked burgers on the grill. I asked for the recipe but we never took the time to make it happen. Several months ago I bought a package of Orzo; it sat in my pantry for far too long. I finally cooked my Orzo in this incredibly easy recipe.
1 Pound orzo pasta
8-10 Baby Portobello mushrooms
10-12 Asparagus spears
1 Red bell pepper sliced
1 Small Spanish onion sliced
3 Cloves garlic minced
1-2 Ounces fresh basil torn or chopped
Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
Treat Orzo like you would any other pasta when cooking. Have a saute pan ready and preheated when you add the pasta to the water. Immediately after adding the Orzo to the boiling water add olive oil to preheated saute pan. Add all ingredients except basil and saute for 8-10 minutes; this is the exact time it takes the Orzo to cook. Add salt and cracked pepper. Add basil after 4 minutes of cooking. Drain cooked Orzo and add to sauteed vegetables and stir in adding more olive oil as needed. Plate and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Do not overcook the vegetables.
Alternate Recipe: Substitute Fried smoked bacon and grease for olive oil. Add crumpled bacon at the end. Saute vegetables in the bacon grease.
Swordfish Steaks about an inch thick
Grilled Pineapple Habanero Salsa Recipe
Olive oil to coat
Salt & Pepper to taste
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Coat swordfish steaks with olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides. Grill over medium high heat for 2-3 minute per side. Do not over cook, dry fish is terrible. Serve with Grilled Pineapple Habanero Salsa.
I came up with this recipe to accompany grilled swordfish. My friend and “Foodie” Jay Erisman makes a killer Pineapple Habanero Salsa that he brings into work for people to snack on. I make a desert called Grilled Pineapple Skewers. I married these two recipes to come up with this salsa.
1 Pineapple sliced in 1/2″ rings
1 Large white onion
2 Habanero peppers
1 Clove garlic minced
1 cup cilantro
Salt to taste
Grill pineapple, onion and habanero peppers until caramelized and peppers are lightly charred. Let Cool. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until chopped well. Do not over mix! Add salt to taste. Chill in refrigerator and serve with grilled seafood such as shrimp or swordfish.