Sunday, May 11, 2014

There are a lot of Saucy Mamas out there, and I'm one of them!

I've been blogging now for almost five years. I love the writing and the cooking, love the friends I've made and love the newest opportunity that came my way a few weeks ago. I've been chosen as one of 25 bloggers to compete in the Saucy Mama blogger challenge.  And it's a big one. The winner of the challenge will win $1,000, a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championships and a $1,000 travel stipend. Barhyte foods sent me 6 of their Saucy Mama sauces and asked me get saucy with an original recipe. The package included: 12 oz each of Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce, Jamaican Jerk Wing Sauce, Honey Barbecue Wing Sauce, Hot Wing Sauce, Honey Dijon Dressing and Four Leaf Balsamic.

So the tasting began. Each and every sauce has a quality of it's own. My two favs were the Orange Habanero and Four Leaf Balsamic, but I could have been happy creating with any one of the six. Those who know me have probably guessed by now that I fell in love with the Orange Habanero Wing Sauce. The flavors are complex (as are the other sauces), but this baby won my heart. I love me some heat and citrus and I was on the road to happiness.

My mom used to make the creamiest orzo (pasta) and I decided to add a little zest/oomph to her recipe and update it by adding orange supremes, a little orange zest and a tad of the Habanero Orange Sauce. And what goes better with orzo than shrimp? Well probably nothing... and so my cooking adventure began. I did a few test runs to get the recipe just the way I wanted it, and here's what I came up with.

Zesty Orzo Smothered with Orange Habanero Shrimp
Serves 4

2 cups uncooked orzo (I used Barilla)
3 T unsalted butter
1 T canola oil
1/2 cup onion diced
Salt and pepper
3-1/2 cups chicken broth with extra juice from the oranges
1-1/2 T Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
Zest of 2 navel oranges
2 navel oranges supremed (save the juice to add to broth)

1 pound Gulf shrimp peeled and deveined (I like the 16-21 per pound)
1 medium onion chopped
5 cloves garlic finely chopped
3 T unsalted butter
1 T canola oil
1 tsp Azafran seasoning
1/3 cup Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce
1 bottle Shock Top orange beer
Juice of half lemon and juice of half orange

I'm ready to put this dish together with some pictures. It's really a quick fix and simple, simple, simple.

To make the orzo: Add butter and oil to medium size skillet on medium low heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until softened (3-4 minutes). Don't brown them, just soften. Now add your orzo and toast the pasta in the butter mixture kind of like you're making risotto. Add the Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Sauce and combine. Add a small amount of salt and pepper and take a moment to admire the toasty goodness of the orzo.

Now it's time to add the broth, zest and orange supremes.

Cover pot and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes. Voila! Creamy orzo is ready.

Set the orzo aside and let's get ready to cook the shrimp. Besides the Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Sauce, there's another secret ingredient to this dish. It's orange beer, and apparently easy to find. One stop at a liquor store and I found what I was looking for.

 In large pot add butter, oil, garlic and onions. Cook on medium to low until onions and garlic are translucent, but not brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add beer, Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Sauce, Azafran, lemon and orange juice. Increase heat a bit and add shrimp.

Cover and cook on a low boil 5-6 minutes until shrimp become pink. Remove shrimp from cooking liquid and set aside to cool a bit.

Once shrimp are removed, increase stove heat slightly and reduce the beer, habanero orange sauce mixture to intensify the flavors. Do this with the cover off. This takes about 10-15 minutes. While you're reducing the liquid, I give you permission to taste the shrimp, just one or two though. Aren't they delish? And that's without the decadent sauce. A few more minutes and you're ready to eat.

While my sauce was concentrating, I put together an avocado, orange, scallion, and Fresno chili salsa to go with this flavorful meal. It's certainly not a necessity, but I always like some veggies with my meal.

And now for the reader giveaway. Saucy Mama would like you to try their sauces and has offered a give-away to my readers. Simply leave a comment here on the blog or on my facebook page by the Saucy Mama post and you could be chosen to receive 3 Saucy Mama wing sauces. That's a saucy way to begin the summer season, don't you think?



Looks, and sounds, yummy Linda!

Paula Todora said...

Linda, your recipe is wonderful, just like you are. I can almost taste the shrimp in your description of it-good luck in the contest and I'm glad you're my foodie friend!

Debbie Zimmerman said...

sLinda, Your recipes always make my mouth water. They also tempt me to start cooking again.

Lori said...

You are my favorite saucy mama! xx

Courtney Wager said...

Looks amazing, Linda - I hope you win!!!

Romi said...

Orzo, shrimp, AND Habanero sauce? All my favorite things in one recipe..YAY!

Can't wait to try this, am already drooling over my computer.

Andrew and Maria said...

This sounds beyond delish! I can't wait to make it, although,I doubt it will be as good as yours :) I love the avocado on the side too!!!!! Thanks for sharing.

NeuroticWife said...

looks delish! thanks for sharing the recipe.

Wendy Rusch said...

Linda this dish looks divine!!! You are one Saucy Mama!!! :)

Allison said...

Sounds delicious! Can't wait to try it out at home. Thanks for the recipe!

Jeremy Pepper said...

You didn't do wings?! How are the sauces on wings?

KB said...

sauces! just in time for summer grilling ...

Maryanne said...

It looks and sounds amazing! I might have to try it out. Thank I for your imaginative recipe!

Anonymous said...

Linda - I love this colorful recipe! My taste buds are tingling and can't wait to try at home. Mary Anne

Dori Degenhardt said...

With these two ingredients:'Saucy Mama Orange Habanero Wing Sauce' & '1 bottle Shock Top orange beer' (my favorite!) -- I cannot NOT try this recipe. Sounds amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to make this...a fabulous summer recipe I think! Thank you. :)

Anonymous said...

this sounds so yummy! thanks for sharing your recipe!

Linda said...

Thank you all for your comments. I'll keep you posted on the give-away and get in touch with the winner. :)

Linda said...

And the winner of my Saucy Mama blogger giveaway is...... Wendy Rusch. Congrats Wendy, I'm so happy to be able to share these wonderful products with you.