Prawn, Pea, Broccoli, and Lemon Orzo and Dialing It In

Soundtrack: ‘Wrong Creatures’ Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

I don’t want to read your ramblings, I just want to make the recipe: One Pot Lemon Orzo and Shrimp – Damn Delicious

Star Rating: Two mediocre stars 👎🏻👎🏻

When I cook something disappointing, it affects me on many levels. The first reason is a very straight forward equation – eating more delicious things > eating less delicious things. This is then combined with a faint feeling of remorse; what I could have done differently to avert such an outcome? What if I’d thought things through a little more? Surely I’ve been cooking for long enough to be able to foresee these kind of outcomes? And finally, I’m your typical over-achiever and I don’t like it when things I do don’t turn out how I want them to.

Which brings us to this week’s recipe. Full disclosure, I was totally dialing this one in. It was a grey and rainy day in Seattle and I didn’t feel like going out of my way to the supermarket on my way home from work, so I arrived at this recipe by Googling the ingredients I knew I had in the house.

I was also coming off a 24 hour fast, which is something new I’m trying out. You start after lunch on one day, and break the fast at lunch the following day, attempting to keep 24 hours between those two meals. As I’d not had dinner the previous evening, you’d think I would have been highly motivated to ensure that what I was cooking this night was guaranteed tasty, but my energy levels were low and with this came a certain degree of apathy.

With the benefit of hindsight, I should have predicted that this recipe would be so-so. Standing alone each ingredient is fine, but what’s missing from the mix is something which would give this meal what my friend Ping would describe as *P💥💥M*. I should ask Ping for her specific definition of*P💥💥M*, but in my experience this is a you-know-it-when-you-taste-it element that elevates good food to great. Sadly, this meal was not even*P💥💥M* adjacent.

Having said that, there were some positive elements to this dish. It mostly contains items I always have in my kitchen – frozen peas, frozen green prawns, pasta, dried herbs, chicken broth, garlic. I added broccoli and spinach because I am a vegetable freak and there is always room for more veggies. It also took about 20 minutes from start to finish, and could be cooked in one pot, so if you can tweak it to have some actual taste, this could be a good mid-week standard.

(Note: I omitted the parmesan cheese because of my fussy lactose intolerant gut, but I doubt this would have saved it. Also cheese and prawns? Ew)

In the end, this meal just didn’t taste like much. The canned tomatoes needed to be cooked down before being added, and without doing so the pasta was watery and anemic. I should have added more herbs and seasonings – some paprika or sambal or harissa would have given it a bit more life. To be honest, adding some chorizo with the onion and garlic would have done a lot to steer this back towards Flavourtown – or even swapping out the prawns for chorizo entirely.

This was nutritious and edible and good for you and entirely unsatisfying, which is why it only gets two stars. I eat reasonably healthily, but refuse to eat healthy food if it’s tasteless, and would never recommend anyone else do it either. Tasteless food makes me sad and it never satiates me. I end up eating more when it’s bland in a flawed attempt to hunt down what I’m actually after – taste.

You could make this if you wanted to, but I suggest you try any other recipe I’ve posted on here first*.

*Recommendation bound by date of post. Who knows what horror lurk in our future?