Con­sid­er­ing shrimp for din­ner? Check out this Greek recipe

El Dorado News-Times - - Living -

In the tra­di­tional Greek dish called shrimp saganaki, sweet, briny shrimp are cov­ered with a gar­lic- and herb-ac­cented tomato sauce and topped with crum­bles of creamy, salty feta cheese.

Restau­rant ver­sions, how­ever, can be a gam­ble. The shrimp can be tough and rub­bery, the tomato sauce can turn out dull or over­whelm­ing, and the feta is often lack­lus­ter. We set out to de­velop a fool­proof recipe for home cooks.

Canned diced toma­toes along with sauteed onion and gar­lic pro­vided the base for the sauce. Dry white wine added acid­ity, and ouzo, the slightly sweet anise-fla­vored Greek liqueur, added wel­come com­plex­ity.

While the shrimp are typ­i­cally lay­ered with the tomato sauce and feta and baked, we were af­ter a quick and easy dish. We opted to cook the shrimp right in the sauce; adding the shrimp raw to the sauce helped in­fuse them with the sauce's bright fla­vor.

And for even more fla­vor, we first mar­i­nated the shrimp with olive oil, ouzo, gar­lic, and le­mon zest while we made the sauce. A gen­er­ous sprin­kling of feta and chopped fresh dill over the sauced shrimp fin­ished our recipe.

The cook­ing time is for ex­tra-large shrimp (about 21 to 25 per pound). If us­ing smaller or larger shrimp, be sure to ad­just the cook­ing time as needed. If you don't have ouzo, you can sub­sti­tute an equal amount of Pernod or 1 ta­ble­spoon vodka plus 1/8 tea­spoon anise seeds.


Serv­ings: 4-6

Start to fin­ish: 45 min­utes


1 1/2 pounds ex­tra-large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and de­veined

1/4 cup ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil

3 ta­ble­spoons ouzo

5 gar­lic cloves, minced

1 tea­spoon grated le­mon zest

Salt and pep­per 1 small onion, chopped

1 red or green bell pep­per, stemmed, seeded, and chopped

1/2 tea­spoon red pep­per flakes

1 (28-ounce) can diced toma­toes, drained with 1/3 cup juice re­served

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 ta­ble­spoons coarsely chopped fresh pars­ley

6 ounces feta cheese, crum­bled (1 1/2 cups)

2 ta­ble­spoons chopped fresh dill


Toss shrimp in bowl with 1 ta­ble­spoon oil, 1 ta­ble­spoon ouzo, 1 tea­spoon gar­lic, le­mon zest, 1/4 tea­spoon salt, and 1/8 tea­spoon pep­per; set aside.

Heat 2 ta­ble­spoons oil in 12-inch skil­let over medium heat un­til shim­mer­ing. Add onion, bell pep­per, and 1/4 tea­spoon salt, cover, and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til veg­eta­bles re­lease their liq­uid, 3 to 5 min­utes. Un­cover and con­tinue to cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til liq­uid evap­o­rates and veg­eta­bles are soft­ened, about 5 min­utes. Stir in re­main­ing gar­lic and pep­per flakes and cook un­til fra­grant, about 1 minute.

Stir in toma­toes and re­served juice, wine, and re­main­ing 2 ta­ble­spoons ouzo. Bring to sim­mer and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til fla­vors meld and sauce is slightly thick­ened (sauce should not be com­pletely dry), 5 to 8 min­utes. Stir in pars­ley and sea­son with salt and pep­per to taste.

Re­duce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any ac­cu­mu­lated juices; stir to coat and dis­trib­ute evenly. Cover and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til shrimp are opaque through­out, 6 to 9 min­utes, ad­just­ing heat as needed to main­tain bare sim­mer. Off heat, sprin­kle with feta and dill and driz­zle with re­main­ing 1 ta­ble­spoon oil. Serve.

Nutri­tion in­for­ma­tion per serv­ing: 330 calo­ries; 150 calo­ries from fat; 17 g fat (6 g sat­u­rated; 0 g trans fats); 168 mg choles­terol; 1298 mg sodium; 16 g car­bo­hy­drate; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 21 g pro­tein.

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