Sunday, September 26, 2010

Garlic Basil Shrimp with Orzo Pasta

I'm always looking for new healthy dinner options. I have had lots of success with Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave cookbook. Several months ago I also purchased her newest book, So Easy, but haven't made much out of it to date. I recently honed in on a recipe that I thought both hubby and I would enjoy...Garlic Basil Shrimp.

I have made it twice now and it's official. It will be making regular appearances in our dinner line up. I asked hubby this evening if he liked it again the second time. He said, "I really, really, really like it a lot...very much". Let me translate that for you. He freakin loves it. Hubby is somewhat stingy with praise on food. It's something that I used to take personally, but I realize that it's not personal. He is equally stingy even when we dine some pretty amazing restaurants. It takes a lot for a compliment above "it's ok" to come out of his mouth. There are literally a handful of dishes that hubby truly loves. And I'm super excited to add one to the list because I really enjoy this dish as well.

The shrimp is basked in a white wine sauce with fresh garlic, basil, and grape tomatoes served over orzo pasta. Of course I made a few modifications to the recipe. I added a bit of chicken stock and increased the wine...I'm a sauce girl. I would rather have extra than not enough. The other changes I made were to increase the garlic by a couple of cloves and to season the shrimp with salt and pepper before cooking them rather than adding the salt and pepper to the sauce at the end. Oh, and I also omitted the red pepper flakes. We're pretty wimpy when it comes to spicy stuff. The end result is a luscious sauce that has a wonderful depth of flavor but is light at the same time. Delicious!

A side note about shrimp. Do you ever use frozen shrimp? It's wonderful! We buy frozen uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp from Costco. We buy the 21-25 shrimp. 21-25 is a reference to the size of the shrimp. It means there are approximately 21-25 shrimp per pound. Some charts refer to this as jumbo and others say large. To me, large is a more appropriate description. Frozen shrimp are cinch to thaw and cook up in just minutes. It's one of our go to proteins for dinner!

Anyway, if you want a simple, easy, fresh delicious shrimp in garlic white wine sauce dinner try this recipe out!

Garlic Basil Shrimp
by Ellie Krieger

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp (20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced (a little extra garlic doesn't hurt!)
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used 1 cup plus 1/2 cup chicken stock)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through.


  1. Hmmm - there is nothing not to love about this dish. It has delicious written all over it. I love it!

  2. Gloria, Greek orzo salad with shrimp is one of my all-time favorite recipes to make(meaning I can not keep myself out of the salad to save my life!) and this recipe from Ellie . . . with the shrimp being sauteed and garlic added in, sounds better then what I have been making. Great pictures too! Now all I am going to be thinking about is this salad =). I usually add Feta cheese but the ingredient list for this recipe is going to be a "must try".

    I am always happy to see you and I know how busy life gets. I just wanted to drop a couple of pointers about preserves. You can definitely cut the recipe down into small amounts and make just enough for a single container for immediate use. You do not have to can jars to enjoy the recipe.

    BTW, the chocolate cake with the tomato soup in the recipe was super rich and a little too chocolaty for me but Dustin (step-son) enjoyed the cake immensely. Thank goodness because there is a LOT of it and I sent him home with as much as he would take. =)