Shrimp Orzo Salad

Yields One Large Bowl of Goodness

2 C Cooked Orzo 1 Ear Corn 1/3 C Small Chopped Radish 10 Grape Tomatoes 1/3 C Small Chopped Asparagus Ends 1 C Rough Chopped Cooked Shrimp 2 TBS Small Chopped Fresh Chives

1 TBS Olive Oil 1/2 tsp Salt Cracked pepper to taste Sauce Ingredients:

1 C Heavy Cream 1/2 C Clam Juice 1 Lemon Juice 2 TBS Salted Butter 1 TBS Flour 1/2 C Parmesan

1/4 tsp Salt 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder

Optional Garnish:

4-5 Grape Tomatoes

4-5 Fresh Chives

Shaved Carrot

Lemon Zest

Click HERE for printable version

So, I think we have convinced Mother Nature that Colorado is actually the birth-child of Washington State, and Alaska! It has been thunder snowing, and raining here for weeks; which for most normal humans is quite irritating, but for me is a side order of bliss. I don't know what it is, but there is just something about grey weather that really does it for me! Looks like the shrubbery is all about it too! Wowza!

It made for a great day to get creative, and cook up something delicious for all of you too!

This recipe begins by cooking your orzo for 10 minutes in boiling water. You will want to use 2 (cooked) cups of it in this recipe, so I usually just make my whole package and save the extras to make stuffed mushrooms the next day. Drain and cool your orzo, and coat all of it in a bit of olive oil to ensure that it does not stick together. Although if starchiness is your thing, by all means forgo the oil and glob away!

Now that we have this understanding about proper pasta prep, let's move on to produce. Chop, and cut everything as stated in your ingredient list. If for any reason you like your veggies a bit bigger or smaller, cut them that way instead. I promise I won't judge you! Truth is I most likely won't be there when you are making this anyhow, so you could really add anything you want into it and I wouldn't know the difference! As far as the corn, I charred mine for a little extra flavor. Being that it is raining outside, I decided not to use my grill; instead I broke mine in half, stabbed it with a fork, and roasted it on an open flame - "Lauren's roasting on an open flame, hoping not to singe her nose...." (this diddy is of course sung to the tune of "The Christmas song," and for the record no bloggers were harmed in the charring of this corn). Lastly, with noses still intact, rough chop your shrimp and add that in as well.

Add in your orzo, and coat everything with 1 TBS of olive oil, salt, and pepper then mix well.

Let's get saucy! Put your cream, lemon, and clam juice into a sauce pan and bring it up to a simmer. Meanwhile, make your roux by melting your butter (on medium heat in a separate pan) and then mix in your flour. Cook until your roux is a golden brown color, and then add it into your simmering sauce pot. Once again let your sauce come to a simmer, and then add in your Parmesan, salt, and garlic powder. Turn the heat up to medium high - stirring frequently - and reduce sauce by about half. Add your creamy creation into your salad, and mix well.

Now that this is all incorporated put your salad into a sauté pan, and cook it down until a majority of the sauce has absorbed into your mix. You will want to smash your tomatoes during this process, to add all that flavor into the sauce. - It's ok, you won't hurt their feelings! - Once you have successfully reduced, and pummeled, put your salad into a bowl and let it cool down in the fridge. You will want it to still be slightly warm, but not piping hot. Put your cooled mix into a serving dish and garnish with your chives, shaved carrot, fresh tomatoes, and lemon zest.

It's got all that health appeal, with a kick of sin for the big win! Bon Appétit Foodies!