Over the weeks, I have shared quite a number of cookie recipes like vanilla cupcake, chocolate chip and pumpkin spice.
But today is for Shrimp Saganaki, the dish is usually prepared by sautéing shrimp in olive oil along with garlic and onions until the shrimp are cooked. Then, tomatoes are added to create a rich and flavorful tomato sauce. Feta cheese is crumbled over the top, and the dish is baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
While shrimp is a common protein choice for Saganaki, variations of the dish can include other seafood, such as mussels or squid. The key is to use fresh, high-quality ingredients for the best results.
Shrimp Orzo Tomato Feta Recipe
- Oven-Safe Skillet
- Blender (optional)
- Lid for the Skillet
- Kitchen Tongs or Spatula
- Cutting board and knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Oven mitts
- Serving Plate or Dish
- Toaster or Oven for Toasting Bread
- 1 pound of jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (retain the tail)
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 of a medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 15-16 ounces of pureed tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, grated
- 4-6 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- A handful of chopped fresh parsley
- 4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
- Lemons for garnish
- Season up those shrimp with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Get a skillet that can handle the oven heat and heat it up over medium-high. Toss in the shrimp, but don't overcrowd the party. Give them a quick 30-40 seconds on each side for a nice sear – no steaming allowed.
- Now, dial down the heat to a cozy low-medium. Let the onions hang out in the skillet for 5-7 minutes until they're doing that golden, translucent, and soft thing. Toss in the garlic for a quick mingle.
- Time to amp up the flavor! Throw in those tomatoes, a dash of sugar, some crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, and just a pinch of salt. Remember, the feta brings its own salty game, so don't go overboard with the salt.
- I'm all about the canned tomatoes – quick blender blitz to save time. If you're rolling with crushed canned tomatoes, skip the blending step.
- Lid up that pan and let the sauce work its magic- reduce and thicken for about 6-7 minutes. Toss in the scallions, the shrimp, and crumble in that feta.
- If your pan can handle the heat, pop it under the broiler for a cool 5 minutes. Wait for that cheese to melt, the sauce to get bubbly, and maybe a hint of char for extra flavor.
- Top it off with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and some lemon wedges.
- Grab some crusty, toasted bread or toss it over pasta. It is your call.
- Ensure your skillet is hot before adding the shrimp to get that perfect sear. Don’t overcrowd the pan and let them sizzle, not steam.
- Cooking the onions until they’re slightly golden and translucent adds a sweet depth to the sauce. The quick warm-up with garlic enhances the aroma.
- If you’re a fan of a chunkier sauce, go for crushed canned tomatoes without pureeing. For a smoother texture, a quick blend does the trick.
- Be mindful of salt, especially if you’re using feta. The cheese brings its own salty goodness, so taste the sauce before adding too much extra salt.
- Feta delivers a tangy kick. Experiment with different types of feta or even other cheeses for a personalized touch.
- If your skillet isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to an oven-safe dish before broiling. Keep an eye on it to achieve the desired melt and slight char.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges for a fresh finish. This dish pairs well with crusty bread or pasta and choose your favourite.
- Prepare the sauce in advance for a quick assembly later. It keeps well in the refrigerator for a day or two, letting the flavours mingle.
- Adjust the crushed red pepper flakes to your spice preference. Add more for a kick or omit if you prefer a milder flavour.
- Versatility Alert: This sauce isn’t just for shrimp! Try it with other proteins like chicken or even as a tasty veggie option.
- Creative Twists: Feel free to customize, throw in your favourite herbs, and veggies, or experiment with different seafood for a unique twist on this versatile dish.
What Side Dishes Pair Well with Shrimp Saganaki?
Here are side dishes you can pair with Shrimp Saganaki.
1. Crusty Bread or Pita
A must-have to soak up the rich and savoury tomato and feta sauce. The crispy exterior and soft interior of crusty bread or warm pita bread makes for an ideal accompaniment, allowing you to savour every bit of the delectable sauce.
2. Rice or Orzo
Serve Shrimp Saganaki over a bed of fluffy rice or orzo to absorb the flavorful juices. The neutral base of rice complements the robust tomato and cheese components of the dish, creating a satisfying and well-rounded meal.
3. Greek Salad
Balance the warm and hearty Shrimp sagaki with a refreshing Greek salad. The crispness of cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta, tossed in a lemony vinaigrette, provides a cool contrast and adds a burst of freshness to the palate.
4. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini, enhance the meal with their caramelized flavours. The slight char and natural sweetness of the vegetables complement the savoury notes of the shrimp and tomato-based sauce.
5. Tzatziki Sauce
A dollop of tzatziki on the side introduces a creamy and tangy element. The coolness of the yoghurt-based sauce contrasts beautifully with the warm, spiced shrimp, creating a harmonious balance of textures and flavours.
6. Lemon Wedges
Enhance the seafood’s freshness with a squeeze of lemon. The citrusy zing adds brightness to the dish, cutting through the richness of the sauce and providing a burst of acidity.
Can I Use Frozen Shrimp for Shrimp Saganaki?
Using frozen shrimp can be a convenient and practical option without compromising the dish’s deliciousness. When using frozen shrimp, ensure they are properly thawed before cooking. You can thaw them by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or using a quick thawing method in cold water.
Pat the thawed shrimp dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before seasoning and cooking. This helps achieve a better sear during the cooking process and prevents the dish from becoming overly watery.
Can I Use Other Seafood Or Proteins In Place Of Shrimp For Saganaki?
If you’re not a fan of shrimp or simply want to try something different, there are several seafood and protein options that can seamlessly replace shrimp in Saganaki:
1. Mussels or Clams
Mussels or clams work wonderfully in Saganaki, infusing the dish with a briny essence. Their tender texture and ability to soak up the rich tomato and feta sauce make them an excellent substitute for shrimp.
With their delicate sweetness, can provide a luxurious twist to Saganaki. Their mild taste pairs well with the robust components of tomato and cheese, creating a sophisticated dish.
3. White Fish Fillets
Opt for mild white fish fillets, such as cod or halibut, for a lighter take on Saganaki. The flaky texture of the fish complements the sauce, offering a delightful contrast in both taste and mouthfeel.
4. Calamari Rings
Calamari adds a delightful chewiness to Saganaki. The rings can be quickly cooked in the sauce, absorbing its essence while maintaining its unique texture.
5. Chicken or Tofu
For a non-seafood variation, chicken or tofu can be used as protein alternatives. The sauce can complement the heartiness of chicken or provide a savoury base for tofu, creating a satisfying and vegetarian-friendly option.
6. Mixed Seafood Medley
Create a seafood extravaganza by combining various types of seafood, such as shrimp, mussels, and calamari, for a diverse Saganaki experience.