If you ask my mom what she thinks Eric and I eat every night for dinner, I would bet you $100 that she would say chicken. We do eat a lot of chicken, but we don’t eat it everyday…for the most part. There was a time in my life when I had chicken and a salad every night, those were my single days when I was lazy and didn’t feel like making copious amounts of food. Oh how the times have changed. Granted chicken is a main staple in our house, we buy it in bulk and for good reason, its easy, versatile and delicious.
The other night I found a recipe for avocado orzo and garlicky shrimp. I thought it sounded interesting, especially since I’m obsessed with anything avocado. I wasn’t quite sure how Eric would like the orzo, he’s more of a red sauce on pasta kind of guy and doesn’t really like any “salad” that’s cold or room temp, well except tuna salad, but he’s even picky about that. Surprisingly he said that we should try the recipe, I think it was the shrimp that sold him. In addition to always having chicken in the freezer, I also always keep a bag of frozen raw shrimp. For some reason I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of shrimp lately, so I convinced Eric that we should use the marinade in the recipe and just swap in chicken. I’m so glad I did! The chicken came out amazing and I’ll definitely be making it again, maybe over a salad. As for the avocado orzo, I think I’ll pass on it next time. It tasted really good if you ate with the chicken, not so much when it was eaten alone. Eric pretended it was guacamole and ate it with chips, can we say carb-overload?
Avocado Orzo with Garlicky Shrimp (or Chicken)-(Heather Christo Cooks blog)
Garlicky Grilled Prawns
6 large prawns in shell
2-3 cloves garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp chipotle pepper powder
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1lb orzo (I used 1/2 lb.)
2 avocados, spilt, pitted and peeled ( I used one avocado)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Lime, zest and juice
2 tsp vegetable oil
Kosher salt to taste
Extra lime wedge for serving
Slice the prawns up the front and pull the prawn apart, leaving the shell on the back and the belly open and exposed. If you are going to skewer them, shove the skewer in the back to keep the prawns flat- this makes grilling evenly easy. In a dish, combine the garlic, red pepper, chipotle, cilantro and vegetable oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Let the prawns (or chicken) marinate (on both sides) in this combination. I let it go for like 1.5 hours.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook it to al dente according to the manufacturers directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the avocado.
In a large bowl, combine the flesh of the avocados, the garlic, lime juice and zest and vegetable oil. Mix it really well until the mixture is fairly smooth, season with kosher salt.
Drain the pasta and rinse. When the pasta is drained add it to the avocado mixture. Mix together well and season one more time with Kosher salt if needed.
Prepare the grill to medium-high. Grill the prawns, shell side down for about 1 minute. Flip and repeat until the flesh is barely opaque in the center. Gently peel the shell off of the prawns and discard. If you don’t have a grill, you can use a grill pan or a frying pan (that’s what I did) I cooked the chicken about 2-3 minutes per side (I butterflied them so they were pretty thin)
Dish up the avocado orzo and serve with one or two prawns draped over the top. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over the top before eating
Verdict: We loved the chicken. The marinade give a wonderful flavor, I’m sure it would have been awesome with shrimp. I can take or leave the orzo, not too flavorful and basically tasted like bland guacamole and pasta. However, if you put parmesan cheese on it, it wasn’t so bad…duh, cheese can make anything good.
Tonight we’re not doing anything fancy, probably leftover lasagna. I’m making Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes tonight so I’ll need all the kitchen space I can get. This is a new recipe, I’ll let you know how they turn out..I’m thinking AWESOME!