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Today I am sharing a quick way to make one of the simplest yet most delicious Greek seafood dishes, garídes saganáki, aka shrimp saganaki, a true Greek summer classic.
You might know saganáki from Greek restaurants in the States, which is what they call seared feta or hard cheese that's splashed with ouzo and served flaming to the delight of everyone at the table. In reality, this happens only in the US and in Greece, saganáki refers to anything cooked in a little sagani two-handled pan...so, saganáki! You can get cheese saganáki in Greece (but without the flames!), yet in the summer, seafood-based saganáki dishes are really popular, and my home town of Thessaloniki is famous for midia saganáki, mussels saganáki, and it's just delish.
The most popular seafood saganáki is by far made with shrimp and tomatoes. It's a very easy dish to make, as long as you don't overcook the shrimp. Many people just prepare the tomato sauce and add the shrimp in the end, but personally, I prefer to pan sear the shrimp for a minute, set it aside and then prepare the sauce, before blending it all together at the end. I think this way of cooking it gives more flavor and texture, with a crisper shrimp that's still tender on the inside, but it's really up to the chef and what they like.
Whichever way you decide to make shrimp saganaki, be sure to serve up lots of fresh, crusty bread to sop up the delicious sauce (your guests will thank you) or serve it as a main dish over pasta, rice....even over grits or couscous! Enjoy!
1 lb of shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 lb ripe juicy tomatoes, chopped with their juice, or if you have to, a high-quality brand of canned chopped tomatoes (one can)
2 tsp Sparoza's Greek Fisherman's Fish & Seafood Mix
100g crumbled feta cheese
Wash the shrimp and pat dry with a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle with a teaspoon of the Sparoza seasoning, keeping another teaspoon for the sauce.
Warm up a frying pan on high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shrimp and sauté for a minute on each side. Put the sautéed shrimp in a plate and set aside.
Add the seasoning mix to the pan and let them sizzle for a minute, scraping the bottom of the pan. Then add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Keep boiling for a few minutes until the sauce thickens.
Return the shrimp to the sauce, add the feta and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and the shrimp is well-coated with the thick, fragrant sauce.
Serve with fresh bread so that you can enjoy a traditional Greek papára, or what the Italians call a scarpetta - in other words, be sure to sop up all that sauce with your crusty bread, wiping the dish clean - don't you dare leave any behind!
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