6 July 2007

Take Me Away....with Garides Saganaki

Today it is 35C here. It brings to mind my fabulous vacation in Greece a year ago. Not that it takes much to remind me. I find my self daydreaming of azure blue seas and dancing to the strains of bazooka music, island hikes and secluded beaches almost daily.

I cannot say enough about Aglaia Kremezi and her husband Costas Moraitis and their friends of course. I was so impressed by their enterprise Keartisanal that I talk about it whenever. I would return in a heartbeat and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves learning innovative Greek recipes, snorkeling, sunset dinners, and hiking ancient trails with a little bit of botany thrown in. My time on the island of Kea was probably one of the best trips of my life (so far). Eight days of being immersed in Greek life and being treated like part of a family. As it says on their web site Keartisnal  you will not enjoy your stay if you do not like dogs, seafood or garlic.

Aglaia Kremezi is a Julia Child award winning author. She makes excellent use of all the simple and intense flavours in her garden. Greek food is pure and simple with olive oil, lemon, garlic, capers, olives, feta cheese, oregano, mint and fennel. One thing I learned from her book "The Foods of the Greek Islands, Cooking and Culture at the Crossroads of the Mediterranean" was that dill is not readily available on the island, so fennel fronds are substituted. She had plenty of fennel growing as I recall. You will not go wrong with any of the wonderful recipes in this book. But here is one of my favourites!!

**Garides Saganaki**(Shrimp Baked in Tomato Sauce with Feta)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 lbs medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tomato, drained in a colander for 5 minutes
  • salt
  • 2/3 cup coarsely grated hard feta cheese (see note)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.

2. In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the pepper or pepper flakes and the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes, or until they start to become firm. Add the tomato and salt to taste and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Transfer to a baking dish or four individual gratin dishes.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 2 - 3 minutes or more. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

NOTE: Aglaia says, if you leave feta cheese uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, it will dry a bit and can then be easily grated. Best Blogger Tips

1 comment:

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