This combination of spicy tomato, fresh oregano, succulent shrimp all topped with creamy salty feta is irresistible!I love Greek food! The dishes are always packed full of flavor that is so fresh and satisfying.
Tonight I’m cooking up one of our all time favorite dinners. Every time I serve this, my better half comments after just about every bite.
“Man! That is so good!”
“Gees, this is awesome!”
He can’t help himself because it really is that tasty!My quick and simple version of Shrimp Saganaki is so surprisingly easy to cook that I usually feel like I’ve left something out as I’m making it. The flavor is so complex for such uncomplicated ingredients.Saganaki is a traditional Greek preparation named after the two handled heavy bottom skillet in which it’s prepared. It is best served straight from the pan. I have cooked this in my oven proof skillet and my dutch oven pot. I also like to transfer the dish to smaller baking ramekins for another experience. Whatever way you choose, just make sure you use something that can go from oven to table to get the best experience.I start by sautéing my onion in some olive oil. I then add a heaping mound of fresh chopped garlic. Oh yeah!And because we like it hot, I add in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
After this sautés for a few minutes, I toss in some fresh chopped juicy tomatoes. I prefer the texture and combo of fresh chopped tomatoes with canned tomatoes. I’m using two cans of my fave…the Sweet Onion flavored tomatoes that Hunts makes. If you can’t find these, just use a can of regular diced tomatoes and try a pinch of sugar.I give them a chance to sweat a bit and then I do this.I like to give those tomatoes a little squeeze in the pan to release more juices and to soften them a bit more.
Now it is time to add in all that wonderful aromatic fresh chopped oregano! I love love love it!
I’m going to allow this to simmer for a few minutes and come together.
Then it is time to start the party in the pot! Ouzo!Ouzo is a Greek anise flavored liqueur that elevates this dish to something extraordinary! It is full of lip-smacking flavors and gives quite a taste punch. Pow! (But it will mellow out in the dish so don’t be too concerned.)
Ouzo. Is. Awesome.Once it is added to the dish, I let it simmer and allow the sauce to thicken. It smells so good in the kitchen and we are all getting excited!!Now it is time to toss in the raw peeled shrimp. Be sure to leave those tails on because they add a lot of flavor to the sauce. I want to stir and combine the shrimp with the tomatoes until they become opaque, but not overcooked.
Time to pop the pan in the oven or transfer to a baking dish. I am using small personal baking dishes tonight that I got at TJ Maxx. I spotted these and thought they would be a perfect little imitation of the two-handle saganaki.The dish is topped with feta and ready to broil in the oven until the sauce is bubbling and the feta is melted and beginning to brown.
With a little fresh parsley garnish, this hot, bubbly, melty, delectable meal is ready to feast on!
Crusty bread is not an option here. Trust me. Every last bit of the spicy savory sauce and that briny creamy feta cheese should be sopped and mopped up with fresh warm bread!
We are doing a happy dance!The only way this dish could get any better is if I was enjoying it on a tranquil Greek isle listening to the waves crash while soaking up some rays. One can only dream, I suppose.
What is your favorite baked dish?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, less if you prefer less heat
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 14.5 ounce cans Hunts Sweet Onion Diced tomatoes
- 1 heaping tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
- ¼ cup ouzo
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on (I used jumbo shrimp)
- desired amount of fresh feta, crumbled
- 1 handful parsley (chopped)
- Heat the oil in an oven proof pan or dutch oven at medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 2-3 more minutes.
- Add the fresh tomatoes. Stir to combine and let simmer for 5 minutes to release some of the juices.
- Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes and stir again to combine.
- Using a potato smasher, give the tomatoes a quick squeeze in the pan to soften even more.
- Add the oregano and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour in the ouzo, and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, being sure to stir every few minutes.
- Add the shrimp directly to the tomatoes. Stir to combine every few minutes until the shrimp is opaque but not overcooked.
- Leave in oven proof pan or transfer to a baking dish and top with the feta cheese.
- Broil in the oven until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is beginning to melt and brown.
- Remove and top with fresh chopped parsley.
Use crispy bread to dip in the sauce.
If you love the flavor of the ouzo, you can add another splash or two. We do!