This is Holy Week for the entire Christians in the world as we are about to observe Easter on Sunday. Most Greek if not all Greeks partake in lent to prepare our body, soul and mind of impurities before receiving communion on Easter. For most observing lent is a huge sacrifice because we have become a society where our daily food intake consists of animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy. For some who enjoy eating a vegetarian diet for 7 to 40 days, lent comes as a refreshing change to the daily menu. My Mom and I are always creating new recipes to spice up our lent menu. Yesterday, we made Shrimp and Orzo for lunch. Now this is not altogether a new recipe however the preparation of it is now and ew added a new ingredient that brought this traditional Lenten dish to a new level of yumminess. Usually my Mom makes this dish in the oven but since the oven was being used for the Tsourekia we made it on the stove top. The other day my Mom was emptying out her freezer when she came across a small ziplock bag of roasted red peppers. She defrosted the bag and contemplated what do with the contents. As we were gathering the ingredients for our lunch, my Mom asked, “Eleni do you think we should add this to the food.?” If you do not know already, I love to experiment with classic recipes. I did not hesitate to answer, “Yes! Let’s do it! I think it’s going to be the best Garides me Kritharaki we ever had.” I was right! The sweetness of the roasted red pepper and the smokeyness of the paprika added new flavours to this traditional Lenten dish sending us to lunch time heaven.
1 lbs of shrimp, chopped
2 cups of orzo pasta
1 onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
1/2 tsp smoked mild paprika
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups of water
1/2 cup tomato pulp
1. Start with bringing the 8 cups of water to a boil.
2. Meanwhile saute the onion and garlic in a pan until softened. Add the smoked mild paprika, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
3. Add the shrimp and saute until the flesh of the shrimp turns pink. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Once the water comes to a boil add the orzo to the pot, stir once and boil for 15 minutes.
5. In the same pan you used to saute the shrimp add the roasted red peppers, white wine and tomato pulp. Simmer until the orzo is done cooking.
6. There should be some liquid in the orzo. Do not strain the orzo. Now add the shirimp and the sauce into the pot and stir together to combine all ingredients well.