shrimp

Avocado Orzo with Garlicky Grilled Shrimp

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Last week was a long one. I am still trying to wrap my head around the grieving of my Grammy, and though I understand that 92 years is a long and beautiful life, there is still sadness in our family.

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I spent 5 grueling days helping my family to clear out her place. It was no small deal. It took my mom, myself and all of my siblings. Everyone took time off work. Turns out Grammy was quite the secret internet shopper. It is actually making me giggle just thinking about it.

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But God bless her, because there are a lot of ladies that received the results of her “clothes collecting” at a local shelter here. I smile every time I think about all those Coldwater Creek outfits with gobs of matching accessories and purses and white sandals. I hope they made some people happy.

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This is a tiny scratch of what the last week or so has held for me, and my most overwhelming emotion is exhaustion. Is that an emotion? Well, whatever- you know what I mean. I’m tired. Dog tired.

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When I am tired I want pasta. And bread. And pasta.

And sometimes, I want Mexican food. Guacamole specifically.

So to make myself feel better, I essentially put guacamole on my pasta.

But that didn’t really feel like enough so I threw some enormous garlicky prawns on top. By the way- I may have set some prawns on fire in this process. Like a pretty big fire.

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And I have to say- it was exceptionally, finger licking good. You should try this right away.

To make the Avocado Orzo with Gralicky Grilled Shrimp

After you have split the prawns up the belly, combine the garlic, red pepper, chipotle, cilantro and vegetable oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt in a dish.

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Let the prawns marinate (on both sides) in this combination.

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Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook it to al dente according to the manufacturers directions.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the avocado.

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In a large bowl, combine the flesh of the avocados, the garlic, lime juice and zest and vegetable oil.

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Mix it really well until the mixture is fairly smooth, season with kosher salt.

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Drain the pasta and rinse. When the pasta is drained add it to the avocado mixture.

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Mix together well and season one more time with Kosher salt if needed.

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Prepare the grill to medium-high. Grill the prawns, shell side down for about 1 minute. Flip and repeat until the flesh is barely opaque in the center.

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Gently peel the shell off of the prawns and discard.

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Dish up the avocado orzo and serve with one or two prawns draped over the top.

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Squeeze a lime wedge over the prawn before eating.

Avocado Orzo with Garlicky Grilled Prawns, serves 6

Garlicky Grilled Prawns
6 large prawns in shell
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp chipotle pepper
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, minced
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Kosher salt

Avocado Orzo
1lb orzo
2 avocados, spilt, pitted and peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Lime, zest and juice
2 tsp vegetable oil
Kosher salt to taste

Extra lime wedge for serving

1. Slice the prawns up the front and pull the prawn apart, leaving the shell on the back and the belly open and exposed. If you are going to skewer them, shove the skewer in the back to keep the prawns flat- this makes grilling evenly easy.

2. In a dish, combine the garlic, red pepper, chipotle, cilantro and vegetable oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

3. Let the prawns marinate (on both sides) in this combination.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook it to al dente according to the manufacturers directions.

5. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the avocado.

6. In a large bowl, combine the flesh of the avocados, the garlic, lime juice and zest and vegetable oil.

7. Mix it really well until the mixture is fairly smooth, season with kosher salt.

8. Drain the pasta and rinse. When the pasta is drained add it to the avocado mixture.

9. Mix together well and season one more time with Kosher salt if needed.

10. Prepare the grill to medium-high.

11. Grill the prawns, shell side down for about 1 minute.

12. Flip and repeat until the flesh is barely opaque in the center.

13. Gently peel the shell off of the prawns and discard.

14. Dish up the avocado orzo and serve with one or two prawns draped over the top.

15. Serve with a lime wedge to squeeze over the top before eating.

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39 Comments

  1. Cassie says:

    This is a beautiful dish. The orzo is right up my alley!

  2. Vicki B says:

    That is such an emotionally as well as physically exhausting endeavor. I can’t believe you whipped up this delight. Grandmothers are missed forever.

    • yeah Vicki, to be honest, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. After my husband and girls food is my biggest comfort- so I couldn’t help myself :)

  3. Beth says:

    This seems truly unique and so appealing to me. Worth hunting down some high quality prawns in my landlocked existence. Your Grammy’s unintentional gift to the shelter is beautiful and delightful! Just another way to celebrate her life. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks Beth- that made me smile. I keep imagining that I will be driving downtown and see someone decked out in Grammy’s signature style and it makes me feel happy. As for the prawns- totally worth it :)

  4. oh heather, i can’t imagine what you guys have been going through. i’m glad you were at least able to enjoy a delicious pasta dish – i am totally a carb-lover when I get exhausted too!

    • Thank you for the kind words Heather. Yes- carbs do seem to be the best medicine for stress huh? funny :)

  5. This is making me drool, I have to make this! Thank you for sharing! Nettie

  6. GET. OUT.

    First of all, and we didn’t get a chance to talk about this, but my Memaw died in March, so everything you were saying in the car ride? I’m there. Totally there.

    And secondly, those are the biggest shrimp I’ve ever seen! I just fainted.

    • Lol! Thanks Bev. Maybe Memaw and Grammy are lunching in heaven :) I hope so.
      Seattle Shrimp!!!

  7. Jann says:

    This looks delicious! So sorry about your Grammy…I lost my dad in December and I miss him!
    By the way, how did you get the skewer t attach to the prawn?

    • Oh Jann- I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope it gets easier with time.

      I just (kind of brutally!) shoved a thick skewer up the back of the prawn. You will see that it will make the shrimp flatten out when you do it. (make sure you keep the shell on to protect the back flesh from the grill.

  8. brandi says:

    so sorry to hear that – grandmothers are completely irreplaceable, that’s for sure.

    this orzo looks so comforting – especially with that bowl full of mashed avocado and those prawns!

  9. Lucy Lean says:

    This looks so delicious – I’m not eating pasta at the moment (although I do love orzo) so I’m going to take your shrimp recipe and eat it with a large salad with an avocado dressing. Hope you start to feel better and I say exhaustion is now officially an emotion. Be kind to yourself during these hard days.

    • Thank you so much Lucy :) THat is very sweet, and I should be eating the avocado with salad too!

  10. Jackie Dodd says:

    Oh my goodness, Heather. Everything about this post is beautiful. When my Grandma died, she didn’t want a funeral, she just wanted everyone to come take “things they can use” and make sure everything else found a home. Of course I raided the kitchen and still use every bit of the vintage kitchen stuff I came away with. And, I adore this dish.

    • Thanks Jackie! We are not doing a funeral either- a cocktail party is my family’s style and what she would have liked :)

      The greatest thing I found at her place was hundreds of old recipes and lots of old cookbooks- I can’t wait to go through them.

  11. I know how it goes. When my grandma passed away, there were SO many things we discovered and savored, which we had no idea she owned. We also donated some of her items to Salvation Army and Goodwill.

  12. So sorry to hear about your grandmother Heather :(

    This recipe looks amazing, and like perfect comfort food for a tough time.

  13. marla says:

    Now this is comfort food ~ especially after all you have been through! I would love a bowl right now. LOVE that your g’ma was such an internet shopper. So savvy!

  14. rebecca says:

    Hi Heather,
    I tried this last night and modified to fit what I had. I had shrimp instead of prawns so after marinating I just saute’d them in a pan and for color I added yellow squash and fresh pear tomatoes from the garden. It was awesome. Thanks!

  15. What great components for the perfect summer dish! I can’t wait to try this one!

  16. So sorry for your loss! This certainly is a comforting dish. I could live on avocados, this sounds amazing! Those are some HUGE shrimp too!

    • Thanks you so much Erin! I could live on Avocado’s too right now!

  17. Kristin says:

    Great combo – where did you find those fabulous gigantor shrimp?!

  18. susan says:

    if i could eat that shrimp right off of my screen, I would. looks delish, heather!

  19. Kristi says:

    What IS it about pasta & grilled stuff that just makes it all better? I love this recipe – and cannot figure out why I never thought to turn avocado into a pasta sauce before. Good one!!! Thanks, hope you’re doing better =)

  20. Dyskalkulie says:

    This looks amazing and it is a wonderful idea to put avocado into a pasta sauce!