Monday, March 28, 2011

Roasted Shrimp with Feta


***Shrimp have always been one of my favorite kinds of seafood.  Growing up, I can remember always ordering fried popcorn shrimp when we went out to eat.  Those mini little pieces of yumminess were always so much fun to eat as a kid.  While my taste in shrimp dishes have become a little more refined over the years, it's hard to deny that an occasional fried shrimp isn't still delicious.

Now, if you've visited my blog before, you may know that I also love greek-inspired food.  This dish from Ina Garten is a clear choice...The roasted shrimp in this dish are perfectly accented by the feta and tomatoes.  It's a fairly easy dish that is a great remedy when you need a dish to impress your dinner guests.  They'll think you spent a lot more time in the kitchen than you actually did.  ;-)

Ina's presentation of this dish also gives it that extra special "something." Arranging the shrimp upright in a circle around the saute pan makes it so pretty.

Bon Appetit!!***

ROASTED SHRIMP WITH FETA
Source:  How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Serves 4

Ingredients:
Good olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced fennel (1 bulb)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Pernod
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds (16 to 18) shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on
3 ounces feta cheese, preferably Greek or French, coarsely crumbled
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see note)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 lemons

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and garlic and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Arrange the shrimp artfully in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet. Scatter feta evenly over the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle evenly over the shrimp.
5. Bake the shrimp for about 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with wedges of lemon.

NOTE: To make 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs, remove the crusts from 3 to 4 slices white bread and place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the bread is in crumbs.

Assemble the shrimp right in a 10- to 12-inch stainless-steel sauté pan, and then put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.

I recommend Greek or French feta if you can find it. Usually I prefer feta cubed rather than crumbled, but here I crumble it in large pieces. Pernod is one of my secret ingredients. Whenever I cook with fennel, Pernod gives the dish just the right licorice jolt that I love. You don't know the Pernod is there, you just know that the fennel tastes wonderful.

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