Saveur Magazine Classic Recipes No. 74 – Garides Saganaki (Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta)

shrimp

Sometimes, you come across a recipe and you read it and think, hmmm, ok, sounds nice but you really don’t think much of it.  Well, this one was like that for me.  Last night, with Paolo’s parents here on a visit, we decided to give it a try, and we were all spectacularly pleased with it.  First of all, it was super easy to prepare, and very quick.  If you have these ingredients on hand, you can make this dinner in 30 minutes, tops.  Secondly, the flavor!  Oh my lord…..the tomatoes and melted feta were heavenly, add to that the nuanced hint of the ouzo, it turned an already delicious dish into something more than special.  The secret to this dish is to really buy the best ingredients possible.  Since it only has about 8, and in small quantities, it really begs for you to go all out.

shrimp2

One thing that I absolutely recommend you to do.  Have lots of fresh crusty bread on hand.  You’ll be sopping up this sauce for sure!

Overall points: 8.5/10

Difficulty: Easy

Availability of ingredients: Readily available, if you can’t find Ouzo, use any other anisette liqueur

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 medium hot green chile, stemmed and finely chopped

1 1/4 cups canned whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 large head-on shrimp (about 12 oz.) bodies peeled (heads and tail shells left intact), deveined

4 oz. Greek feta, coarsely crumbled

2 tbsp ouzo

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1. Heat broiler to high.  Heat oil in an 8″ round metal gratin dish or a heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and chile, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and season to taste with salt and pepper; cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.

2. Arrange shrimp in dish, spoon some sauce on top, and continue to simmer until shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.  Scatter feta around shrimp, then transfer dish to broiler, and broil until feta begins to melt, about 2 minutes.  Remove dish from broiler.  Warm ouzo in a tiny pot over low heat, then ignite it with a kitchen match and pour over shrimp and feta.  When flames die out, garnish dish with parsley, and serve.  Serves 2.

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Arroz Caldoso a “Seis Manos” – “Six Hand” Seafood Stew and Rice

Arroz Caldoso de Pescado

 

This is one of those feel good Sunday dishes.  All over Spain, you can find variations of this.  Truly one of the most comforting and homey dishes, it is also a main feature in many menus here, from small family run restaurants to Michelin starred dining rooms.

Rice is taken very seriously in Spain, with a plethora of incarnations, from Paella to Rice Pudding, Salads to Stews, it is almost national pride.  I have called this “Six Hand” because it was a collaboration between three people, our amazing hostess, Dolors, long time friend and extraordinary woman, my friend Fer, who hails from Zaragoza and is a killer in the kitchen, and myself.  Each one of us had a part in making this dish, and it was such a great experience, because that is what Sundays are all about.  Family, Friends, Food and Fun.  Oh, and spending an afternoon in our hostesses breathtaking Ramblas loft was a plus, too.

The key to arroz caldoso is in the stock.  This is an inexpensive way to make a dish for a large family, and because you are showcasing the stock, it has to be quite amazing.  It is the canvas to the rest of the ingredients, and you can let your imagination go wild.  We decided on monkfish, squid, shrimp and mussels.  Then, the finishing touch, is obviously the rice.  And bomba rice is the one that you need to splurge on, since I was informed that if you use regular short grain rice, there is a chemical reaction that occurs when paired with shellfish stock.  Apparently, the grain splits, and lets out too much of its starch, making this more of a cream than a stew.

It was an amazing lunch, and all of us, even the kids (all 10 and under) repeated three times.  Now that speaks for itself!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Serves 6-7

3 liters good quality shellfish stock, preferably homemade (recipe below)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

6 roma tomatoes, finely diced

1 nyora pepper, soaked and peeled

2 tsp spicy Pimenton powder (or hot smoked paprika)

400 g monkfish, cubed

1 large squid, cut in bite sized pieces

a few pinches of good quality saffron threads

400 g Bomba rice

400 g shrimp, peeled and deveined

200 g mussels, steamed and shelled

Fresh parsley, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

 

In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and sauté until sauce has thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the nyora pepper, stir until mixed, and sauté another 5 minutes.  Salt and pepper the squid and monkfish, and add to the tomatoes along with the pimenton and saffron.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until tender.

Add your shellfish stock to the fish and squid, add the rice and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer, about 10 minutes.  In the last few minutes of cooking, add the shrimp, mussels, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.

For the stock:

5 liters of water

shrimp shells and heads from the shrimp you will be using in your stew

monkfish heads and bones (ask your fish monger to give these to you when you buy the monkfish)

fennel, stalks and fronds

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

1 bay leaf

some saffron, nyora peppers, pimenton and salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients and boil for about 40 minutes.  Spoon the foam off the top as it cooks.  When done, leave on the stove and cover, and let it sit, so the flavors will meld, about 20 minutes.  Strain and reserve.

 

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

Surf & “Turf”

Surf and Turf

 

Normally, when we have friends over for dinner, I spend a few days carefully planning what I am going to make.  I love that process, poring through my cookbooks to get inspirations, reading my recipes over and over, thinking of who is coming and what I think they might like.

Not so yesterday.  Our friends were invited to dinner last-minute, and we went to the market after lunch, which for me means, no inspiration whatsoever.  I mean, I’m stuffed, I’m not thinking of what I want to make for dinner???

This whole dish was inspired by Paolo’s choice of wild mushrooms.  There were some beautiful chanterelles, and he asked me if I could make a dish out of one of his favorites mushrooms.  So, I started wracking my brain, and normally when I think wild mushrooms, I think game meats or beef.  But we had a large chunk of meat for lunch, so that was out of the question.  He suggested seafood, and I thought, ok, my version of surf and turf!

I am quite impressed how well this turned out, none of the flavors masked the other, rather, the briny shrimp paired perfectly with the sautéed chanterelles, over an individual “Pommes Anna” laced with a sultry porcini sauce.  Everyone said that this should be my signature dish, and I agree.

This dish is very simple to prepare.  It just takes a bit of organization.  But totally worth it!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Serves 4

1 large russet potato

Thyme

400 g fresh chanterelle mushrooms

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

20-25 large shrimp, head on

1/4 cup olive oil

4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 porcini stock cube, or pre-soaked dried porcini, reserve them for later, and use the soaking liquid about 1 1/2 cups

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp instant cornstarch

Salt and Pepper to taste

First, pre-heat the oven to 200 C.

In a bowl, add the shrimp with a couple of sprigs of thyme, the olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.  Mix well and refrigerate and marinate them for at least 30 minutes, up to two hours.

Oil a baking sheet, set aside.  Slice the potato really thinly with a mandoline (if you have one).  Soak the potatoes in salted water while you are slicing so they won’t turn brown.  Rinse and pat dry, and make individual round “cakes”, layering the potatoes in a circle on top of each other, overlapping.  Place on the oiled baking sheet and put a pat of butter, salt and pepper on each.  Lower the heat to 190 C, and place in the oven and cook until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.

In a stockpot, place 1 1/2 cups of water and the porcini stockcube. (If you don’t have it, add the drained soaking liquid from the dry porcinis.)  Heat to high, and add the butter.  When it is boiling, reduce the heat and add the cornstarch.  Cook, stirring until it thickens.  Keep warm.

In the meantime, add half a tablespoon of oil to a large sauté pan over high heat,  Add the garlic cloves and the chanterelle mushrooms and cook for about 7-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are fully cooked.  Add a little salt and pepper, and place in a heat proof bowl and put them in the oven.

Drain the shrimp,and discard the thyme sprigs, leaving only about 1 tbsp of oil and sauce.  Add that to the same sauté pan, and over high heat.  When it is almost smoking, add the shrimp and sauté, tossing, for about 5 minutes until the shrimp start to curl and are fully cooked.

To assemble the dish, place the potato round on the plate.  Top with some of the sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, then 5 shrimp arranged over the chanterelle.  Spoon some of the porcini sauce over the shrimp, mushrooms and potatoes.

You are going to love it!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

Shrimp Tacos with Charred Poblano and Pineapple Slaw

Shrimp Tacos

Whenever I’m in Miami, I am amazed at the amount of produce that I can’t get in Barcelona.  Obviously, the population is decidedly more Latin American here than over there, so the markets cater to them.  But I can’t help wanting to buy everything, almost obsessively.

I love Poblano peppers.  I love the deep green hue, almost brown, that is unlike any other pepper.  I love how smooth and, elegant, dare I say they are.  So I designed this dish entirely around the poblanos.

Poblano Peppers

I had never made this before, hoping that my flavor combinations would turn out ok.  This was not just ok, it was Gosh Darn Delicious!  Even my mother, who is a total skeptic when it comes to trying something new, was smacking her lips and licking the last bits of the tacos as she happily ate all three!

Charred Poblano and Pineapple Slaw

Slightly charring the Poblanos brings out their smoky flavor, and the addition of the pineapple to the slaw…..genius!  Every third bite or so you get this amazing sweetness that really complements the shrimp.  Now, for the shrimp I used this seasoning pack that you get all over Florida, I am not sure if you can find it elsewhere.

Sazon GoyaThis is a simple combination of achiote, which is a seed that gives a wonderful color to your foods and is used in Mexican and other Latin American countries.  It also has cilantro and garlic salt, etc.  You can easily substitute all these things if you can’t find any of this in your local market.  Apart from that, some fresh onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice, and you’re good to go!

So, here’s what you’re going to need:

Makes about 10 tacos

For the Slaw:

1/2 cabbage, shredded

3 Poblano peppers, charred, peeled and seeded, and thinly sliced

1 small handful shredded carrots

1/8 cup sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp yellow mustard

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp garlic salt

1 tbsp hot sauce, such as Louisiana or Tabasco if you’re in a pinch

1/4 cup chopped pineapple

In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients except for the cabbage, carrots, poblanos and pineapple.  Combine all the ingredients to make a dressing.  Then in a large bowl, pour it over the cabbage, carrots, poblanos and pineapple.  Mix well, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

For the shrimp:

3/4 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

2 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 packet of sazon goya

Dash of ground cumin

Dash of garlic salt

1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

1 lime, juiced

10 corn tortillas

In a large sauté pan, add a drizzle of olive oil, onions and the spice packet.  Cook over high heat, about 7 minutes or until the onions start to soften.  Add the tomatoes and lower the heat to medium, cooking another 10 minutes or until a you have a thick sauce.

Turn the heat up again to high, and add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes, or until pink.  Add the fresh cilantro and lime juice.

ShrimpWarm your tortillas in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels, for about a minute.  To assemble, on the tortilla, spoon a bit of the shrimp, so that every tortilla has about 3-4 shrimp, and top with a dollop of the slaw.  Try not to scarf them down like I did, and enjoy, cause once they’re gone, you’re gonna want more!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla

 

 

 

Shrimp with Lemon Caper Sauce

A couple of days ago, I realized, it has been a loooong time since I ate some shrimp.  And Spain has a plethora of amazing shrimp, in all sizes.  From tiny little ones, to ridiculously enormous ones.  I actually decided to go middle of the road with this recipe, because I wanted it to be a main, and frankly, not so expensive.

This dish takes a little bit of preparation, only that I made a quick vegetable broth, and peeling shrimp is just so damn laborious.  But, you can manage this under 45 minutes, I promise.

I left the heads intact, just peeling off the body segments.  I like this because the heads impart loads of flavor to the sauce, making it less lemony and more briny.  And you have to make sure to have lots of crusty bread on hand….this sauce is made for sopping up!

So here’s what you’re going to need:

Serves 3

15 fresh shrimp, heads on

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 tbsp butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 celery, chopped

1 carrot , chopped

1 onion or leek, chopped

2 cup water

2 lemons, juiced

1 tbsp capers, drained

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet, add 4 tbsp of the butter, 2 tbsp of olive oil and garlic.  Saute over medium heat until just fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add the celery, carrot and onion.  Saute another 5 minutes, or until just softened.  Add the water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until the water is almost evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel your shrimp, leaving the heads and tails intact.  If you feel the need, you can devein as well.  In Spain they don’t, so I have gotten used to it.  But I know it’s a moot point for some of you.  When the stock is sufficiently reduced, strain it into a bowl, discard the veggies, and return the liquid to the skillet.  Add the remaining 4 tbsp of butter, lemon juice and capers.

Stir, and add the shrimp, and raise the heat to high.  Now add the wine and salt, and let reduce for 3-4 minutes.  Cook until the shrimp are just turning pink and curling up.  Turn off heat and add the parsley and pepper.

I served it over fresh spinach leaves, but you can serve it over rocket, or watercress…..either way, it will taste divine!

From my kitchen to yours,

Carla