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Amazing Orzo Risotto Recipe with Crayfish (or large shrimp or lobster)

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I really felt the need to share this recipe, I love it so much. Last summer I ate this dish at Lefteris Lazarou's restaurant in Athens, Greece (Varoulko) and still dream about it. I found it offered online but it is in Greek, so here is a translated recipe for you guys. I want to spread the joy...:)

ORZO RISOTTO WITH CRAYFISH

52ml olive oil
3/4 diced onion
375 grams orzo
75ml finely grated tomato with juice
30 crayfish (or large shrimp), cleaned (but keep the heads and shells for stock)
2 tbs butter, unsalted
1/2 bunch of mint
1 fennel, diced
1 tbs chopped garlic
1/2 hot red pepper, diced
a sweet Greek wine called Moschato Limnou (or a sweet, aromatic wine of your choice)- 2 tbs
a dry White Wine of your choice-3/4 cup
2 limes, sliced
40 grams freshly grated parmesan
2 tbs chopped parsley
dash of salt

1) Make the crayfish stock: in 2 liters of water, boil the crayfish heads and shells. Add the sliced lime, fennel, and mint and let the water boil until the liquid is reduced by half- make sure to keep dunking the heads and crayfish into the water so the flavor infuses properly. Strain the stock into another pot and keep warm.

2) Saute the onion in olive oil until soft. Add the orzo and stir continuously. Lower the heat and add the dry white wine until it is all absorbed. Add the stock and grated tomato in small portions and let it absorb before adding more. Do this until the orzo is cooked but still has bite.

3) Add the butter and garlic and take the orzo off of heat, stirring continuously. Add the crayfish, hot pepper, the sweet wine and a small dash of salt. Add parmesan and parsley and serve immediately!

I hope I am not hyping this up too much but I really love it.

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  1. I just read this recipe to my man and he said "save it" -- he is a great lover of all things orzo (aka kritharakia, ne?) Sounds lovely, evie. Polí orea. Will try it when I get back to the US!!!

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      Glad to hear it! I would eat it every day if I could. :) Kali Orexi!

    2. thank you for sharing the recipe - i love shrimp and greek food and fennel. ta-da, here's all three!

      but....why is it called "risotto"? it is either risotto (rice) *or* orzo.

      also, it is an interesting use of limes instead of what i expect in greek food -- lemons.

      you need to link this over on the mega-fennel thread.

      1. sound fantastic, and I agree with Al - is it Risotto or Orzo - instructions seem to be risotto!

        1 Reply
        1. re: lexpatti

          maybe it needs to be called orzo "risotto-style." ;-).

        2. Glad you are into the recipe :)
          I read once that risotto is more about the method than the arborio rice- any starch absorbing liquid in slow doses to reach its final texture is considered a risotto I think- like potato risotto, etc.
          But I am not an expert, so I am not 100% sure.

          My guy who hates risotto generally happened to love this because it was not as thick or heavy as arborio rice tends to get.

          1. I just stumbled on this post (which is almost about to celebrate its first birthday)
            I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it looks absolutely amazing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: ursy_ten

              Im so glad you will try it! It is just sooooooo delicious!

            2. More heresy: you can make paella with orzo in place of rice. The crust is fantastic. Use fava beans, Italian sausage, and capicola in small dice.