Monday, March 9, 2009

One for the "Keeper File"

I was dragging yesterday afternoon. It seemed like a pretty good day to drag around, actually. From start to finish, it did nothing but pour down rain….then sleet, and then snow…blech. I dashed out to Sendiks around 4:00, right when the rain was changing over to sleet. Perfect timing (note the sarcasm here) -- someone (*ahem*, dear?) had pilfered the umbrella from my glove box, so I got absolutely pelted by the needle-y (is that a word?) drops of freezing rain as I ran from the car to the store, all the while hoping I wouldn’t run in to anyone I knew -- since I had become a drowned rat in the parking lot.

I got my shopping done in record time and made it through with no girlfriend sightings (and no sightings of any girlfriend’s husband’s either). Phew! That was a close one.

Dreary weather and drowned rats aside,the absolute highlight of my day was the phenomenal Greek inspired shrimp dish we had for dinner. I found the recipe while perusing Food & Wine yesterday afternoon.

Of all of the cooking magazines I subscribe to, Food & Wine is one of my favorites. Their recipes are consistently good; I’ve never had one bomb on me (and this is saying a lot!). If you have the March ’09 issue handy, you can find this fantastic Shrimp Saganaki recipe on page 82. Large shrimp (isn’t that an oxymoron?) are sautéed along with onions, fresh tomatoes and olives, then finished with fresh basil and a sprinkle of feta cheese….wow. I think I’m in love.

As for alterations -- I did swap in the sale grape tomatoes (.99!) instead of the romas that were called for. I halved them and they worked beautifully! I also tossed in fresh basil (personal preference) instead of dill, with great results.

I served the Saganaki in shallow bowls, on top of a bed of the sale Rice Select Orzo. We had a big romaine salad and toasted pita alongside…..again, wow! I would even go so far as to call this a restaurant quality meal – certainly good enough for entertaining, and definitely one for the ‘keeper’ file.

As usual, sale ingredients are highlighted in green.

Shrimp Saganaki
Source: Food & Wine Magazine, March '09
Serves: 4

2 T. olive oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1 box grape tomatoes, halved
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 1/2 lbs. shelled and deveined large shrimp (Cen-Sea Brand)
1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. sliced fresh basil (or dill)
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese, plus additional for garnish if desired

Toasted pita bread, for serving

In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste and cook until softened, crushing them with the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and olives and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the basil and half of the feta and cook just until the feta is hot, about 1 minute. Transfer to shallow bowls, sprinkle with remaining feta, and serve with toasted pita. Enjoy!

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