Sunday, October 26, 2008
Greek-Spiced Baked Shrimp
I am addicted to Gourmet magazine's Gourmet Everyday section. Every month I eagerly await the arrival of the mag, set myself down with whatever tasty beverage-of-the-minute I'm craving, and pore over that baby like it's fine literature. I subscribe to Bon Appetit as well, I just haven't quite developed the appreciation for it that I feel with Gourmet. I've found so many great recipes in Gourmet that I'm pretty sure at this point I'll be a subscriber for life.
This month's luscious find was Greek-Spiced Baked Shrimp. It has an unusual (for American cuisine at least) combination of spices, cinnamon, allspice, and red pepper flakes with a sprinkle of dill over the top. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it, but figured it was worth a shot. I shouldn't have hesitated, because it is most definitely one of our favorite new meals. Mr. Totally Awesome and I downed nearly the whole recipe in one evening, sopping up the juices with some herbed-butter bread. The interplay of piquant tomato sauce, salty feta, and the fresh shrimp was just right.
I did switch a couple things up, I used tinned diced tomatoes instead of chopping up whole tinned tomatoes - that seemed like a useless extra step - and I was all out of fresh dill, so I just sprinkled some dried over the top after baking. With the dried it was tasty, I can only imagine how much better it is with the fresh. I'm a sucker for fresh dill.
For a quick and easy weeknight meal, Gourmet hit a home-run on this one. I urge you to try it out with some nice big 15 count shrimp. I used little bitty 25 count guys and they were nice, but I bet some big-ass prawns would seal the deal like no other.
Greek-Spice Baked Shrimp
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
Pinch of sugar
1 1/4 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
1/4 pound feta, crumbled (2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
Cook onion and garlic in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes with juice and sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Season shrimp with 1/8 teaspoon salt, then stir into tomato sauce. Transfer to a 2-quart shallow baking dish and top with feta. Bake until just cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with dill.