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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Baked Shrimp Dish: Recipe

This recipe, while not mine, has become a staple at our Christmas Eve dinner. My husband loves it and I only make it once a year so I forget just how incredible it really is - I was in heaven with the way it smelled and nearly put it away for the day after Christmas (for just us to was so good I didn't want to share).

If you follow the exact recipe you will be thrilled - the ouzo cooks off (oh, and do yourself a favor...light it on fire as directed - it's sooo super cool and it really does cook off the alcohol. However, word of caution: do not have any small children or pets close by and be sure to have a lid handy. I nearly took out my kitchen wall this year - good thing my husband wasn't home to see that!).

I would give you a link to the recipe on Epicurious but curiously they do not have it on the site today. Odd, I know. Good thing I keep every issue of Bon Appetit!

*The fish monger and I discuss this each year - order the large or extra large shrimp for this dish, not the colossal ones.

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes, Feta and Ouzo
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 medium onions, chopped
2 14.5 oz cans peeled, diced tomatoes in juice
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. fried oregano
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 lbs. uncooked, peeled, deveined shrimp with tails on* (see note above)
1/2 cup ouzo
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
8 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Heat 1/3 cup oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add onions. Saute until golden, about 12 minutes. Add in the tomatoes with the juice, 3 Tbsp. parsley, oregano, pepper and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, simmer until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe the pan clean.

Preheat oven to 400.

In the same pan, heat 3 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat and add the shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute the shrimp about 3-4 minutes, until they are almost opaque in the center. Add the ouzo and quickly (AND CAREFULLY!) ignite with a match. Allow the flames to subside on their own by gently shaking the pan back and forth. Add the shrimp to the tomato mixture and stir. Add in the olives and the parsley and stir. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish and sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 10-12 minutes and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of parsley.

** I usually make this one day ahead of time and place in the fridge overnight. I bring it to room temp before putting it into the oven but even still, I cook it about 30 minutes, uncovered, before serving it.

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