I had a different recipe post planned for today but then I made Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta Monday night and whoa boy, all bets are off.
You need this. STAT!
Fresh tomatoes are in season and are the key to this simple, savory sauce.
Feta cheese, while not something that springs to mind for a shrimp dish, gives this a sharp but creamy topping.
This starts on the stove top but bakes in the oven making it a simple, one pot meal. Definitely one for the Quick & Easy Category.
Here’s what you need:
Shrimp, Tomatoes, Shallots, Garlic, Fresh Mint, Feta Cheese, Olive Oil, Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano, Salt & Pepper.
Let’s talk about shrimp for a minute. We love shrimp and have the good fortune to live on the Gulf of Mexico where wild caught shrimp are plentiful and affordable.
I used to buy the bags of farm raised shrimp at the store but I got tired of them being mushy and limp. You can make up your own mind, but a quick search of the good old google will show you some rather unappetizing aspects of most farm raised shrimp.
So, if you have a good fish counter at your supermarket or a fish monger or specialty fish store, I personally think your money is better spent on wild caught shrimp.
These beauties are Pink Florida shrimp caught down by the Keys and FROZEN on the boat. Yes, I am eating frozen shrimp. Why? Because if you look at a map, the Keys are waaaaay down there, a long boat ride away from Tampa. The shrimp are processed and frozen right on the boat so they stay fresh and flavorful. I buy mine at the Tampa Shrimp Docks in a 5 pound box (anywhere between $9-15 per pound depending on size), bring them home and repackage them into 1 pound baggies.
Then when I want shrimp for dinner, all I have to do is mosey out to my own freezer and grab a pound of gorgeous pink shrimp.
EVEN if you don’t live in Florida, you can still get these (or similar) shrimp. My dad gets Florida or South Carolina shrimp in his store in Kansas City…nowhere near a big body of water.
Peel and de-vein 1 to 1½ pounds of shrimp and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Season lightly with salt & pepper and toss to coat.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
For this recipe we need to peel the tomatoes. If you don’t peel the tomatoes, they will peel themselves while this cooks and float oddly around in your sauce. Not good.
The easiest way I’ve found is to cut a little X in the top or non-stem end of each tomato.
Bring a tea kettle or large pot of water to a boil and either pour the water carefully over the tomatoes (turn them over and pour water on both sides) or dunk them in the pot of boiling water.
I like the tea kettle method because it doesn’t leave a big steamy pot of water on my stove heating up my house.
Let the tomatoes rest for 5-10 minutes and you’ll see the skins start to pucker up and peel away.
While the tomatoes are resting, cut 4 large shallots into a large dice or chunks. You’ll want about 1 cup of chopped shallots.
Cut the shallots a little bigger than you normally would for a sauce so that they don’t burn in the pan.
Finely chop 3-4 cloves of garlic.
Heat 3 Tablespoons of good olive oil in a large, oven proof pan over medium heat. Place the shallots and garlic in the pan and sauté gently, 5-8 minutes until soft.
Keep an eye on these and lower the heat as needed to keep the garlic from browning.
Check back in on your tomatoes. Chances are good that they are ready to go and the skin will easily slip right off.
Cut the tomatoes (I have 4 baseball sized tomatoes, about 2 pounds) into wedges.
By now your shallots and garlic should be soft and tender.
Add the tomato wedges to the pan and season with 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the tomatoes are soft and just starting to break down, about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and arrange your shrimp in a single layer on top of the tomatoes.
Top the shrimp with 4 oz. of crumbled Feta cheese and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until the tomatoes are bubbly, the shrimp vibrant pink, and the cheese slightly browned.
If your cheese doesn’t brown in that time, don’t increase the cooking time or you’ll have rubbery shrimp. Rather pop the whole pan up under the broiler for 1 minute to get that nice golden topping.
Let the dish rest for 5 minutes for the sauce to thicken.
When you are ready to serve, finely chop 2 Tablespoons of fresh mint and sprinkle it on top of the shrimp. I forgot to do this until we were half way done eating and let me tell you, this dish is good on its own but is out of this world with the mint added.
I served my Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta with some brown rice but couscous or angel hair pasta would be a good, quick side for soaking up that amazing sauce.
Technically this should serve 4 people. We had to SERIOUSLY restrain ourselves from eating it all in one sitting. Even while I was cleaning up the kitchen it was so very tempting to sneak just one more little shrimp out of that pan.
Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta is definitely going into the dinner rotation at our house!
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from David Tanis/The New York Times
A quick note of thanks…today Idiot’s Kitchen is 4 years old. This could not have happened without the support and encouragement of my friends and family. Thank you for coming here, for sharing your recipes with me, and for indulging my passion for bourbon, chocolate, and cat pictures. xoxo – Claudia