The problem with developing an interest in food is that little by little one becomes a food snob. You might swear it will never happen, but the transition is very slow, barely noticeable at first. You find you start to get a little pickier. Then you find yourself completely turning down things because they just aren’t up to your standards. That’s when you realize it.
I’m a food snob.
It may not be in the traditional sense. I don’t need fancy caviar and champagne, but I do want authentic Asian cuisine and microbrews.
I think it started with coffee. There was a day when I would drink that stuff that is produced affordably for the masses at conferences or in the typical office setting just so I could have my coffee. Now, no thanks. I’d rather go without than suffer through a mediocre cup.
Then it moved on to cheese. While it doesn’t have to be imported, I definitely would prefer a small scale creamery making authentic varieties. At the very least, I have to buy it by the block and shred it myself. That being said, I haven’t been to France yet, so I have a feeling things may only get worse.
The latest addition to my food snobbery list is pasta. Once I made homemade pasta I was sold that the time invested is completely worth the final result. I rarely have the desire to buy and boil up dried pasta. However, some of those fancy shapes and sizes are a bit too difficult for home production, for me anyway.
Orzo is the first one that comes to mind. I love orzo and I’m just not sure I would have the talent or patience to make all those little pieces!
So okay, maybe I’m not as snobby as I thought, but I am starting to get the impression that in certain situations my standards are a bit high. I guess that’s just more reason to travel for the best and make the rest!
Lemon Feta Orzo with Shrimp
1 lb orzo, cooked to al dente
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 spring onions, sliced (greens reserved)
20 to 25 shrimp, thawed if frozen
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup black olives, sliced
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp black pepper
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, deep skillet (a wok works well) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp, the juice of half the lemon and the zest of half the lemon. Cook until the shrimp just begin to turn opaque, or if already cooked, just until they start to heat through.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet. Stir in the olives, and feta. Continue to cook until the shrimp is cooked or heated through. Remove from heat. Add the remaining tbsp of oil, the juice and zest of the other half of lemon, the reserved onion greens (scallions), parsley and pepper. Stir to combine all ingredients. Serves 4 to 5.