by Clifford A. Wright (Zester Daily)
Greek cuisine seems intimidating to the home cook, but many classic Greek dishes are easily doable for dinners at home. Here's one of my favorite recipes - Baked Shrimp With Feta Cheese
Greek food is one that is festive, healthy, simple and delicious, and Greek restaurants are always fun to go to.
Greek food is easy to cook at home too, as long as you have the basic staples -- none of which are exotic -- such as olive oil, tomatoes, oregano, lemon and feta cheese.
When I crave Greek food I don't bother Googling "Greek restaurants" but simply open the refrigerator.
Here are two very simple recipes I make when I think, "How about Greek tonight?" Both use feta cheese, one with meat, this one with seafood. I was introduced to both these dishes during my travels in Greece and realized that they are very doable at home.
The stifado is simple braised beef with lots of garlic, onions and interesting spicing. This baked shrimp with feta recipe is probably even easier to do, and I've never made it without people asking for seconds.
Garides me feta, shrimp with feta, is usually cooked in an earthenware casserole called youvetsi (or giouvetsi), derived from the Turkish, that is like an earthenware Spanish casserole or cazuela. It is a taverna type of dish popular in the Greek Islands.
Diane Kochilas, author of "The Food and Wine of Greece," told me that it is a specialty from Thessaloniki, but it is also well known among the tavernas around Piraeus, the port city of Athens. Some people add ouzo or replace the white wine with retsina.
This is one of my favorite shrimp dishes, and it is easy to prepare at home.
Baked Shrimp With Feta Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Baked Shrimp With Feta Recipe Ingredients
2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined if necessary
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion or 3 shallots, finely chopped
5 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 pound Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled in large chunks
Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Baked Shrimp With Feta Recipe Directions
1. Place the shelled shrimp in a large bowl and pour the lemon juice over. Toss and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then cook, stirring occasionally, the onion or shallots and scallions until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, garlic and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Stir well, reduce the heat to low and simmer until dense, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
4. Spoon some sauce into a large baking dish. Spread the shrimp around the dish and cover with the remaining sauce. Spread the feta cheese around, pushing the chunks of cheese down into the sauce. Place in the oven and bake until the shrimp are cooked and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve garnished with parsley leaves.
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Baked Shrimp With Feta Recipe - A Greek Classic
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Copyright Clifford A. Wright via Zester Daily and Reuters Media Express