Greek Shrimp with Tomato and Feta (Garides Saganaki or Garides me Feta) -- LOW CARB!

Servings: 4 normal or 2 large (2 people no sides or bread, like when we're doing it low-carb)

There are two names for this Greek dish: Garides Saganaki (Saganaki Shrimp) and Garides me Feta (Shrimp and Feta). All of the recipes under either name use similar ingredients, so I THINK the real difference is the style of cooking, though it may be regional variance or something else entirely. "Saganaki" is a term applied to Greek dishes cooked in a two handled small frying pan called a saganaki (diminuitive of sagani). Both Garides Saganaki and Garides me Feta are described as being popular tavern appetizers. All of the Garides me Feta recipes I've seen finish the dish off in the oven, though, whereas the Garides Saganaki recipes vary. Some call for all preparation to be done in the pan, and some for baking/broiling at the very end. This is my version.

INGREDIENTS (in order used)

olive oil for cooking
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
1.5 pounds peeled, deveined shrimp
1/2 cup dry white wine or ouzo (optional)
3/4 cup finely diced onion or shallots
2 cloves minced/pressed garlic
1.5 pounds tomatoes, seeded and diced (Roma?)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp paprika (sweet, not hot)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
6 oz crumbled feta


INSTRUCTIONS (one pan method):

Toss the shrimp in a bowl with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you prepare your other ingredients.

Heat a heavy frying pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil, then shrimp. Sauté the shrimp lightly, stirring or turning so they cook evenly. Turn the heat down and remve the shrimp from the pan to a dish or platter to add back in later.

Deglaze and cool the pan with the wine or ouzo.

Add more olive oil to the pan, and cook the onion/shallots and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and spices, increase the temperature, and cook until the tomatoes soften (about 5 minutes).

Add the shrimp back to the tomato mixture and let everything cook together for a few minutes to meld the flavors. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Mix in the feta and let it soften for a a few minutes, then serve and enjoy! Yum!


2 pan method (more traditional?):

Toss the shrimp in a bowl with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the tomato sauce.

Cook the onion/shallots and garlic as above. Add the tomatoes and spices.

While the tomato mixture is cooking, sauté the shrimp in a second pan. Pour the wine/ouzo in the shrimp pan and deglaze, then add the tomato mixture to the shrimp pan, stir and cook to meld the flavors, taste and adjust seasonings, then stir in the feta and cook a couple of minutes more to soften the feta.


Pan and oven method (also traditional):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or set to broil. Make the tomato and shrimp in separate pans as above. Put half the tomato mixture in a flameproof casserole, add the shrimp and some feta, then top with the remaining tomato mixture and feta. Bake or broil for 10-15 minutes.

I saw a video from one chef who got a similar effect in the frying pan by sprinkling the feta on top and torching it to soften and brown the feta slightly.



NOTES

Ouzo is traditionally used, from what I've read, but it's flavored with anise, a flavor similar to licorice that I don't enjoy, so I use wine. The first time we made this, we forgot the wine, though, and it still turned out great!

Tomatoes: Many recipes recommend using Roma tomatoes, but I don't know yet if they are actually better than other varieties for this dish. Some recipes use whole tomatoes for a juicier sauce, and, in many of those recipes, peeling the tomatoes is recommended to make a smoother, silkier sauce. Some recipes say to drain the tomatoes to remove excess fluid, but others say to keeping the juice to make something more like a tomato sauce. We prefer the taste of seeded tomatoes at my house, so they are naturally drained and it isn't very "saucy."

Spices: Some recipes call for no spices at all, but we like flavor, and many recipes I found listed the ones I've included in my version, so I think they are equally authentic.

Most people recommend serving with hearty, crusty bread. We don't when we are going low carb, of course!


SOURCE: Created by Melissa MB Wilkins from at least 10 different recipes.