Rock Shrimp w/Red Pepper Orzo

Maybe one of the best inventions ever, for my money, is the splitter table devised by Rodney Thompson to shell and clean Rock Shrimp. These tasty little buggers are a delight, prepared in any number of ways. One of my favorite is sauteed in butter & garlic then paired with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo (or risotto if you like).


Rock Shrimp 1Lb

Orzo: 1/2 Package

Butter: 2Tbsp

Olive Oil: 1.5 Tbsp

Garlic: 2 Heads

Dried Oregano: 1 Tsp

White Pepper: Pinch

Red Peppers: 3-4

Jalapenos: 2

Chicken Stock: 2 Cups, MOL

Parmesan Cheese: Enough:)


The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Char the red peppers in the oven or over a grill. Be sure to get a pretty even char across the entire surface of each pepper. In the oven, under the broiler, this usually takes 30 – 40 minutes and 4 turns of the peppers to achieve.







Next, place the charred red peppers in a plastic bag, tie off tight and let sweat for 15 minutes.

BaggingPeppers Bagged Peppers

While the peppers are roasting you can tend to two other items.

First, the garlic needs to be roasted. Here’s how I do it in tandem with roasting the peppers.Cut the top of the garlic heads off, place in an small ovenproof container, drizzle with olive oil, cover and place in the oven just underneath the pan you have the peppers roasting on. Works like a charm in just about the same amount of time.

Second, remove seeds and chop the the jalapenos. Drizzle a little oil in a skillet and saute on the stove top until slightly charred.







Once the peppers are roasted and peeled, the garlic and jalapenos are done, put all three, along with a little olive oil and thos cut off tops of Garlic heads (raw) in a blender/food processor. Puree the entire mix.







The Orzo

Time to prepare the orzo or, if you prefer, risotto. Pour a teaspoon or so of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat, toss in the orzo (dry) and oregano. Stir to coat. Slowly add in chicken broth in small amounts, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes. Keep the mix a a slow rolling simmer… just enough to keep the liquids roiling slightly. Test for doneness along the way and, when close to al dente, stop adding broth, cook off the remaining broth and remove from heat.

Pour the pureed red pepper sauce into the orzo and mix well. Add parmesan and you are almost there!







The Rock Shrimp

You are less than 2 minutes away from dinner, now. Butter a skillet and saute the rock shrimp…. 90 seconds and you are there.Do not overcook!



The Dish

Plate (or bowl) the prepared orzo, top with rock shrimp and enjoy.



There are several good riffs you may employ with this dish. Add mushrooms to the sauce for an earthy tone, incorporate different cheeses or swap out the orzo for arborio rice. Tight lines and bon appetit!


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