Tag Archives: shrimp

summer dining: greek style mixed grill kebobs and pine nut orzo salad

It is hard to believe that it’s June already, and summer is just around the corner! Summer has always been my favorite season for a multitude of reasons: my birthday, no school, picnics, barbecues, swimming in outdoor pools, running and biking along the Hudson, lightweight colorful dresses, fresh and simple outdoor meals, farmers market trips, the list goes on!

Today I am going to share with you a delicious meal that is a perfect excuse to dust off your grill and outdoor dining set and invite some friends over for an al fresco dinner!

greek style mixed grill kebobs and pine nut orzo salad

Sourced from Rachael Ray, Serves 4

Ingredients for kebobs:

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green olive tapenade
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 lemons, juiced and 1 zested
  • 1/3 plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds firm white flesh fish, halibut or swordfish, cut into 12 (2-inch) chunks (I used shrimp instead)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 12 (2-inch) chunks
  • Black pepper
Ingredients for orzo salad:
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbles
  • 8 Greek hot peppers, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, for garnish
  • 2 tomatoes, diced, for garnish
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat grill pan or outdoor grill to medium high. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water to prevent burning.

Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil for the pasta salad. When the water boils, salt it and cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl combine the garlic, oregano, rosemary, tapenade, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon lemon zest and the juice of 1 lemon with about 1/3 cup olive oil. 

Place the fish and chicken in separate shallow dishes or bowls and season with salt and pepper then divide the dressing between the bowls and coat the fish and chicken evenly.

Skewer the fish and chicken on metal or soaked wooden skewers.

Grill the chicken 10 to 12 minutes until firm and juices run clear, and the fish for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning the kabobs frequently.

Drain orzo and combine with pine nuts, onions, parsley, feta crumbles, the juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serve the orzo salad with 3 pieces each of chicken and fish along side. Garnish plates with a couple of hot peppers, olives, tomatoes and cucumbers on each plate.

I didn’t get a picture of a finished plate because it was so delicious that we dug in immediately, but you should be able to get an idea from the pictures I took while cooking that this was an absolutely delectable meal. The shrimp/chicken were packed with flavor from the tapenade, fresh herbs, spices and lemon juice, and the orzo salad was so light and fresh from the cucumbers, feta, tomatoes and had a nice crunch from the pine nuts. That salad alone would make an excellent addition to any picnic.

Bon appetit!

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Shrimp & Tofu Stir-Fry

One of the best kitchen purchases I made at IKEA before school started was a wok. I knew of course, that having a wok is essential to a fully stocked kitchen. It evenly distributes heat and has been the source of many fast and easy dinners throughout the semester.

Lucy and I decided to have an asian night and discovered sweet potato noodles (also called yam noodles) at this little asian store on Eddy St. up the block from our house. So we whipped out the wok and got to work.

love trader joes.

Ingredients:
extra firm tofu
raw shrimp
whatever vegetables you have. I used:
mushrooms (I used dried mushrooms that I reconstituted-SO GOOD)
bamboo shoots
water chestnuts
baby corn
broccoli
pearl onions
asian chewy rice cakes (you can find them at most asian markets/stores)
noodles (any kind you want-rice, soba, udon, lo mein, etc)
stir fry/teriyaki sauce (i used Trader Joes Soyaki)

1. Cut up the tofu into small pieces and press out the excess water. Then cook it in the wok with a little sesame oil until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. Cook the shrimp in the wok for a few minutes until pink and nearly cooked through. Add to the tofu.
3. Boil water and cook the noodles and chewy rice cakes if using.
4. Throw all of the vegetables you’re using into the wok with some sauce and stir fry until cooked through. Then add the shrimp and tofu back in and heat until shrimp is fully cooked.

The best part about stir fry’s are that you can customize them to use up whatever you have. I used shrimp and tofu but you do chicken or beef if you prefer. You can also use whatever vegetables you like. I wanted to keep with the asian theme and used baby corn, etc, but it is totally up to you!

And if you don’t have a wok, get yourself to ikea and buy one for $5 now!