Citrus Rice and Shrimp

Last post about vacation in Florida… until my next trip that is!

We love eating out in Naples because it holds so many of our favorite restaurants, as well as new and enticing places to try. But as fun as it is to try new restaurants and enjoy what a chef has prepared for you, we also love eating in just as much. It’s a rare chance for the family to take our time cooking and eating together using super fresh seafood and produce. It’s really such a treat.

One of the meals we made on our most recent trip was shrimp and citrus rice, with a tropical mango salad that my Dad made up on the spot.  It was light, fresh, and a collaborative effort, which made it all that much better.

Citrus Rice

Recipe from Giada de Laurentiis

Rice Salad:

  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 medium orange, zested
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

For the Rice Salad:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. I actually just toasted mine in a dry pan on the stove. Either way works fine.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock, salt and oil to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add the parsley, orange zest, half of the lemonzest, green onions, and 1/4 cup of the almonds. Toss well.

We didn’t have a zester at the condo and I didn’t realize that until the last second – ergo, I had to peel and finely mince the lemon and orange peels myself. Now that is dedication!

For the Vinaigrette:

In a blender, combine the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, honey, and cumin. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the vinaigrette over the rice mixture and stir well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and almonds.

The shrimp was in my Dad’s domain, so I don’t have a recipe for that, though I believe it’s pretty standard to make. Just pick up some ‘shrimp boil’, which you can usually find near the seafood department, along with your fresh, uncooked shrimp. It’s like a flavor pack that contains all the spices you need to make luscious and flavorful shrimp. You add it to a pot of water, along with some fresh lemon, and boil until the shrimp is pink and cooked through.

The citrus rice and shrimp were the perfect match. The vinaigrette for the rice actually ended up serving a dual purpose as a nice dressing for the shrimp, and really brought the whole thing together. Along with our tropical mango salad, this made for the perfect light and tasty stay-in vacation meal.


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