Today is the first day of Autumn. Goodbye Grilling out, goodbye watermelon, bright citrus, and roasted corn. However, hellooooooo soul-warming food. I love Fall, because we get to switch gears, throw on a sweater, and baby, get a stew goin’ (can you tell I just finished an “Arrested Development” marathon?). But, I don’t want to throw away the flavors of summer yet, especially when we’re still surviving 90 degree days.
I loved this recipe because it combines my favorite things; orzo, tomatoes, and shrimp: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/orzo-shrimp-stew/Detail.aspx. This stew is bright, flavorful, but still hearty. Plus, like most of the recipes I gravitate towards, it’s dummy-proof. I should note that the proportions seem a little off. I mean, really? Five cups of broccoli florets? I used about four cups and even that was broccoli overload.
The best part is that its a good base to add on. Replace the dried basil with fresh, add 1/4 cup of lime juice, and you’ve got a taste of summer. Plus, like I said earlier, orzo is my new obsession, it’s got the silkiness of arborio rice without the starchiness. Added bonus, unlike making a risotto this is strictly a hands-off dish. The main manual part is chopping the broccoli, which you’ll have time to do while the broth is getting to a boil. Once the brother was boiling, I added the canned tomatoes, broccolli and orzo. The one change I would have made would be to wait to add the broccolli instead of adding it with the orzo. The broccolli turned from a bright, vibrant green to a quickly boiled out of its mind blah, even when the broth was only at a simmer. I think adding the broccolli later would make a much more visually pleasing dish.
A final touch is the 2 tablespoons of butter at the end. I try to stay away from creamy soups and stews, but I loved the richness the butter added. Like most stews, this tastes even better the next day, even though the shrimp does get chewy if you nuke it, but I just considered it the price of admission to the great hangover cure.
So, I’m sad that summer is about to leave us, but if it means being holed up with steamy goodness for a few months, I think I’ll be ok.