How to Make Kefi’s Shrimp With Orzo and Tomato

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Photo: Courtesy of Kefi Restaurant

Welcome to “How Do You Make That?”: You tell Grub Street about a restaurant dish you’re dying to make at home, and we fetch the recipe from its creator. Commenter Daisy326 was so determined to get her hands on a certain Kefi recipe that she asked for it twice: “Please please please — the shrimp and orzo with feta in tomato sauce from Kefi. Pure heaven!!” You said the magic words, Daisy: Follow these instructions from Michael Psilakis.

SHRIMP WITH ORZO & TOMATO
GARIDES, KRITHARAKI, TOMATA

SERVES 4 AS AN ENTRÉE

This is a one-pot meal that should take, at the most, 15 minutes to throw together. The results, however, would suggest otherwise. This dish is also a great example of the interesting combination of fish and cheese. Historically, the Greeks have had a long love affair with cheese, and it is used in many dishes where it would be absolute heresy in other cuisines. I’m sure after trying this recipe, however, you’ll side with us. Of course, I am a little biased.

16 U-15 shrimp, peeled
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 ½ cups orzo
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
9 whole scallions, thickly sliced
½ cup water
3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups smooth tomato sauce or puree (or a good, store-bought marinara)
¼ cup Garlic Puree (page 264)
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese, divided in half
6 cups baby spinach leaves (about 8 ounces)
Small handful torn fresh herbs, such as dill, mint, and/or parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 275 [degrees] F. Season the shrimp with kosher salt and pepper.

Cook the orzo according to instructions and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Reserve, keeping warm.

In a large, heavy soup pot, Dutch oven, or wok, warm the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. When the pot is very hot, add the garlic and shallots, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the scallions and shrimp, and sear for 30 seconds. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Garlic Puree. Cook for 2 minutes and remove the shrimp to the reserved orzo. Continue to reduce the liquid until the mixture has thickened (2 to 3 minutes), and season with salt and pepper.

Place a serving bowl in the preheated oven for 2 minutes to warm.

To the pot, add the orzo and shrimp, half of the feta, and the spinach, and toss to combine. As soon as the spinach has wilted (about 1 minute), transfer to the preheated bowl.

To finish, scatter the remaining feta, the fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Reprinted from the book How to Roast a Lamb by Michael Psilakis. Copyright © 2009 by Michael Psilakis. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company.