The Shrimp Saganaki recipe from Food & Wine Magazine’s March 2009 issue is pretty much what started my obsession with wanting to cook a lot while we are in Taiwan. It looked absolutely mouth-watering and the ingredients seemed easy to get here and from there, we decided to do a themed week of cooking – all Greek recipes.
Grocery shopping for the shrimp out here was a little interesting though. Seems as though most shrimp in the stores are sold with their heads still attached – not really what I was looking for! We finally found some small shrimp, but nothing already deveined. Weeks later, we discovered Costco is finally carrying the larger deveined shrimp, both with or without tails. Too bad our freezer is not any bigger! LOL.
Anyways, we finally had all the ingredients to make this – including the Kalamata olives we hunted all over Taipei for! I was excited to make it. Although the shrimp I had to use were about 1/2 the size called for in the recipe, I just doubled the amount of shrimp and this dish was incredible.
- 2 tablespoons each of extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 6 plum tomatoes (1 1/4 pounds), coarsely chopped
- Crushed red pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds shelled and deveined large shrimp, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 3 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled
- Crusty 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 crushed red pepper 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 dill and half of the feta and cook just until the feta is hot, about 1 minute. Transfer to shallow bowls, sprinkle with the remaining feta and serve with crusty bread.
To serve with the shrimp, I made something that is probably one of my favorite side dishes of all time now. It is called Spanakorizo, basically a spinach and rice recipe. I found a particular one of interest on Allrecipes (of course). The original recipe calls for fresh spinach but I could not find any here so I used canned spinach instead. One of the things I love most about Allrecipes is the list of reviews and ratings that follow – I try to read all the suggestions and input from the people who’ve made it. It really does help – some people have found to reduce this or that, to add more of this, or to completely spin off and do something different with the recipe.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 pounds fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions in the oil until soft and translucent. Add spinach, and cook stirring for a few minutes, then pour in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, and season with parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Stir in rice, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Add more water if necessary.
Wine Pairing: 2008 Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio
Food & Wine Magazine had some great Greek wines to pair with their dishes but we couldn’t find anything over here so we tried to improvise the best we could.
They mentioned a grapefruit scented wine so I opted for a fruity Pinot Grigio from Santa Margherita since it was readily available here.
Ironically, the wine is less expensive here in Taiwan than I have seen it in the US for.