Friday, March 29, 2013

Shrimp Saganaki

Well, the story of this meal, which was delicious, starts with my back garden. When we bought this house it was a MESS. Completely overgrown with creeper, strewn with chihuahua poop (ok that happened after we moved in). Basically unused space going to waste. So I decided I should clean it up, and seeing as I had a week off for Spring Break, now's probably the time.
The garden before. It smells like turds and the gate won't close because of the damn vines.
So that led to me having to go to Home Depot, my least favorite place on earth. I needed shovels and cutters and stuff. That was the worst part of the whole day. I had to have a conversation about dirt with a man I didn't know.
But: my sister very nicely said she would help. My sister is really buff--she works out ALL the time. And she sees all life activities as opportunities for exercise. So she is the best possible person to help you clear out your back garden.

This firm and lovely creature is single. Calm down, gents.
Bridget is awesome at pulling on thick, woody shafts.
 So we yanked and raked and clipped for hours. It sucked. We got pokey things stuck in our pants and hair, scratches on our arms, dirt in out buttcracks. But:

We finished it up! It looks so much better and we yanked out all the creeper. In a few months I can actually plant a vegetable garden here. Hooray!
So, to thank my sister for her help I decided to make her Shrimp Saganaki for lunch! This is a Greek shrimp appetizer that I order whenever I see it on diner menus.
So, here is the recipe:

1 tablespoon olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
1/4 cup onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, if you like it HOT)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 cup ripe tomatos (chopped)
Ouzo! Enough to deglaze the pan--about 1/4 cup
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 pound shrimp
1 handful parsley (chopped)
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)

Directions (use a pan that can go in the oven):
1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.

4. Deglaze with the ouzo.
4. Add the tomato and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 7 minutes. I covered it for a few minutes to encourage saucification as well.
5. Add the shrimp. Space out and bury in the sauce.

6. Top with the feta cheese.
8. Bake in a preheated 425F oven until the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

9. Eat!  

 The most difficult ingredient to find was ouzo--a Greek, anise-scented liquor. I found it at Argonaut's, because they have everything. All the other stuff was easily located at Albertsons.
The ingredients

Plus red pepper flakes! I forgot to put those in the previous picture.
The sauce bubbling away. This is the garlic, onions, red pepper, ouzo, and tomatoes. I am waiting till it looks saucy enough. 

The finished saganaki. We decided to eat it on the deck so that we could gaze upon the garden at the same time. 
I needed a glass of wine, considering I had to go to Home Depot today.
Serve with sourdough toast.
This was an easy, delicious lunch. Garlicky, tomato-y, and just slightly licorice-scented, thanks to the ouzo. I would make it again for a weeknight dinner, an appetizer--anything.
Yum.Consuela is so pissed we didn't share.

1 comment: