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Conventional cooking wisdom says that you should never pair seafood with cheese.
The one glaring example of where this convention does not hold true, and in fact begs to be broken, is with a classic Greek dish called shrimp saganaki or shrimp santorini. It pairs shrimp with tomatoes and feta cheese and is absolutely delicious in every rule-breaking way.
We found a beautiful example of this classic dish in a recipe by Ellie Krieger in a publication by Fine Cooking several years ago.
You make a quick and easy tomato sauce on the stovetop with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, then add shrimp and feta and plop it in the oven to bake. Easy!
Now my father will be the first to tell you that he doesn’t like shrimp. Most shrimp recipes I propose are usually met with that reminder and a change of subject. But this one seemed so intriguing, we had to make it.
We tried it early one afternoon so we could get good light for a photograph, and then had to taste it.
We kept tasting it, and tasting it, and then we had to call my mother over because we were well on our way to eating the whole pan.
The only thing I wish we had at the time was some crusty Italian bread to dip in the sauce.
Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 to 1 1/4 pounds medium sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (can leave tails on), thaw if frozen
- Pinch of salt, more to taste
- Pinch black pepper, more to taste
- 3 ounces feta cheese (about 2/3 cup, crumbled)
1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
2 Sauté onions and garlic: Coat the bottom of a large, oven-proof skillet with oil and heat it on medium high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
3 Add tomatoes, simmer: Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the juices thicken up a bit.
4 Add feta, shrimp, herbs, put in oven and bake: Remove from heat. Stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Place pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
Serve immediately. Serve with crusty French or Italian loaf bread, pasta, or rice.
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