Thursday, March 21, 2013

15 Minute Greek Baked Shrimp with Feta

15 Minute Greek Baked Shrimp with Feta


Opa! It is time to celebrate Greece. 1976 found me there.  Our family started in Israel to celebrate my brother's Bar Mitzvah. After touring Israel we flew to Athens.  Imagine drinking coffee in the main plaza and tuning around and spotting your best friend from high school drinking coffee their, too. Totally serendipitous. She was there after spending a year in France. and stopped in Athens on her way home which is where I spotted her. It is a small world and it keeps getting smaller. Not that this has anything to do with Greek shrimp but when I think of Greece I can't help but remember that story. Sad to say I don't know where that friend is anymore but maybe one day our paths will cross again. And if they do I can only imagine where that might be. It is a small world, after all.

But back to food. Israel's food back then was nothing to write home about. Other than the famous Israeli breakfasts there wasn't much to say. Needless to say now the food is over the top glorious but back then we thought we'd died and gone to heaven when we hit Greece's little tavernas. I remember sitting in a tiny seaside town under a white umbrella gazing at the blue, intoxicatingly blue sea and ordering seafood. The breeze had the scent of salt  and the essence of wood drifting from the grill where your order was cooked fresh. And fresh it was as we watched the fisherman unloading their small little dinghys. I'm sure we started with fried zucchini and garlic aioli, because I believe we did that at every meal there. Couldn't get enough of that. And we probably had a grilled fish and maybe we had grilled prawns. I don't remember. I do remember the magical, lackadaisical feeling of being truly relaxed and wishing the moment wouldn't end. Between the sun and the ouzo and the breeze, life couldn't get any better then.

Well, this recipe won't take you to Greece. And frozen shrimp just can't compete with big meaty sweet prawns grilled over wood and drizzled with fresh green olive oil. But it is a perfect quick dish to throw out for company or when you haven't picked up anything else. I tend to always keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand because I make them often. I don't eat red meat so shrimp is one of my stand ins along with chicken and fish and breakfast for dinner.

This recipe is short, just like this blog entry. But it is sweet and satisfying. And quick. Opa!



Taverna Baked Greek Shrimp with Feta (serves 2)

18 large shrimp (I used 31's-40 but I prefer 15-30's, thawed and deveined and shelled)
3/4 c canned diced tomatoes
1 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil and more if you want a drizzle on top
2 t red wine or vinegar
1/2 t garlic powder or 2 cloves minced
1 t greek seasoning or some fresh oregano and basil shredded
pinch of red chili flakes
2T frozen peas
2 oz cubed feta

In a small baking dish (8x8) mix tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, wine or vinegar and seasonings. Place shelled shrimp on top of tomato mixture. Add cubes of feta around shrimp.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 13 minutes until feta is starting to brown and shrimp is turning color. Add peas.  Cook for about two minutes more. Do not overbake as your shrimp will end up dry.)

Take out of oven and drizzle with oil. Serve over cous cous or rice or spaghetti and say OPA! 



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20 comments:

  1. Looks pretty tasty, I love greek cuisine and I love shrimp so this recipe is totally for me!!

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  2. Thanks Natalie and I'm glad you found this. Somehow Blogger eliminated the original blog which eliminated a lot of comments. Oh Well.... How's the juice?

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  3. You're right. Short, sweet, an I can only imagine how satisfying. If I've a quibble, it's a small one. This dish should be served over spaghetti or alone. There simply are no other options. :)
    Thanks for sharing a great recipe.

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  4. It's a good quibble. And spaghetti tastes great with this! I do like it with some type of starch because it soaks up all the good sauce. Thanks John.

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    1. I just re-read my comment and want to make sure you realize I was joking. Of course this would be delicious served with, as you mentioned, any starch.

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  5. What a feeling your story provoked. It was like I was right there in the Greek aisle! Funny though when you grow up with Greek parents that lived in the middle of the country, you never eat like this!!! Sure wish I grew up with this dish!!! Wonderful. And how amazing to run into an old friend!

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  6. John, I know you were joking! what i really feel bad about is that I lost a lot of comments with this post. Something happened when I tried to edit it that changed the format and then I had to repost it. Never had that happen before. Tried to fix it and finally gave up so I apologize for getting it twice!

    And Tanya, I 'm so glad it made you feel like you were on a Greek isle. It is such a good feeling. And the world never ceases to amaze me. Thanks for reading!

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  7. Editing in Blogger can be a frustrating experience! I've never had a format change, but once I lost an entire post. Aaargh! I had to reenter the whole thing. ;-( Anyway, good dish, and I love all the peas for garnish. ;-)

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  8. I don't know what happened! But once I tried to add the extra recipes at the end and then it turned into a 2 column post. For the life of me I couldn't change it back so I copied and pasted it into a new post.At least I didn't have to rewrite the whole thing! I got your last comment about the peas. Pretty funny but it is not helping me get these things onto the photo sites. I'll keep trying! Wish I could have added all the comments back but it wouldn't let me do that either!

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  9. This sounds fabulous and I love your traveling memories. Perhaps if you went back to Athens you might just run into your friend again! :)

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  10. iThank you so much! And love your idea of going back to Athens! My bags can be packed with a moment's notice. And I would love to go back to Greece!

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  11. How strong is the feta in this? I'm not a big fan of feta but trying to acquire a taste for it, and this looks SO delish.

    Follow back if you can :)

    http://chowdownbythebay.blogspot.com/

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  12. Chelsea, i just buy the standard feta at the grocery. All it does is add a bit of a salty and creamy taste.Leave it out if you must and add some goat's cheese instead.

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  13. Abbe -- I won't mind calling this a "comfort food" at it's best! Thanks for sharing and visiting my blog :)

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  14. Thanks Kiran and the best part is that usually one has all the ingredients on hand! And thanks for visiting mine!

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  15. I have never seen a recipe like this before. I am always looking for new ways to cook shrimp, as they can be a little boring. This seems easy and healthy!

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  16. What a small world that you get to bump into your best friends on the street. :) And your description of "big meaty sweet prawns grilled over wood and drizzled with fresh green olive oil" sounds mouth watering and scrumptious! Wish I can have some too. But really your Baked Shrimp with feta looks wonderful and beautifully presented. :)

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  17. yumm! the melting feta over the baked shrimp is making me really hungry right now. The recipe looks quite easy with your explanation. Gotta try this soon! Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Yi, you have buns to eat and those looked so good. But this shrimp is really tasty and the feta makes it great!

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  19. Laura, these shrimp are not boring! And look at my Mexican shrimp with garlic and lime. Yum!

    Amy, funny, isn't it? And really the prawns were just like THAT! But this is a very good quick recipe even if we aren't in Greece!

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