Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Spicy Shrimp and Peppers with Orzo
This was one of my first attempts at converting a former favorite recipe to low salt back in June, and I really made a mess of it. My first try was way too spicy, with an amateur idea to have heat replace the salt. It didn't work. The dish just tasted hot as hell, with no other discernible flavor to redeem it, and we couldn't even taste the shrimp. And it still tasted like it needed salt. Total fail!
This version was savory, shrimpy tasting, not overly spicy, and best of all did not seem lacking in salt (at least not to my altered taste buds). If you are not on a sodium restriction, this would be great as is but with some salt shaken onto your plate just before you eat it. That was all Marty needed to enjoy his portion and just about lick his plate clean. I was OK with some freshly ground pepper and Mrs. Dash lemon pepper seasoning on my plate.
8 oz orzo, cooked and drained (we cooked ours without salt in Wyler's no sodium chicken flavored instant broth for added flavor) - this can be cooked concurrently with the shrimp dish and will be ready together.
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
3 T white wine
2 T low sodium organic chicken broth
4 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2" squares
1 vidalia onion, diced
1 t cornstarch
1 lemon, cut in half
1. Combine garlic, wine, broth, 3 T olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and blend with a whisk. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Set aside to marinate at least five minutes.
2. Pour 1 T olive oil into a skillet and heat over medium high flame. Add onion and cook ~2 minutes until translucent. Add peppers and cook 1-2 minutes more, stirring often.
3. Spoon out about 2 T of the liquid marinade and mix with cornstarch in small bowl, set aside. Add the shrimp and remaining marinade to the pan. Cook shrimp, covered, stirring about every minute or so, until opaque pink through and curled, about 2-3 minutes.
4. Uncover and add reserved liquid and cornstarch mixture. Stir to combine. Cook about 1 more minute uncovered, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Turn off heat. Squeeze in the juice from one lemon (using a strainer to catch seeds) and stir to combine.
5. Serve shrimp and sauce immediately over drained orzo.
Sodium content ~300 mg per serving, mostly from the shrimp. You can reduce this by about half by leaving out the salt altogether, but that 1/4 t really does add a lot to the flavor.
Recipe conversion secrets - not a whole lot really. We greatly reduced the added salt, and made up for it by adding the lemon juice at the end to brighten the flavor. We also increased the amount of garlic and red pepper flakes (but do not consider this a "spicy" recipe by our high standards). Also by cooking the orzo in the Wyler's "fake chicken broth" that has zero sodium we add flavor that would normally come from salted cooking water. If you can't find this product, you could add flavor with unsalted butter in the cooking liquid.