Thursday, March 22, 2012

Prawns saganaki (Garides saganaki)

I tasted garides saganaki for a first time about eight years ago. On the Halkidiki peninsula, Greece. 
In a restaurant which tables were about 2o meters away from the sea. On the beach. We were barefoot, we ate the dish with fingers, soaking huge pieces of bread into the tasty sauce. We were young and free and happy. I will always remember this feeling. This will always be a dish which makes me feel good. Every time I wish to experience the whole atmosphere from those days, I prepare garides saganaki at home. And it works. 'Saganaki' comes from the Greek word 'σαγάνι which is a two-handled pan or dish. Garides saganaki are shrimps, cooked in a spicy tomato sauce and covered with feta cheese. Greeks serve it right out of the skillet with bread to soak up all the delicious juices.  So do I.

  • 750 g large shrimps
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green hot chili pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 200 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 700 ml passata tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Put oil in a frying pan, heat on medium and saute onion until soft (about 10 minutes). Add chili pepper, garlic and shrimps and fry until shrimps change their color from grey to pink (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the passata and feta cheese, simmer for 15 minutes on low heat until part of the liquid evaporates and sauce thickens slowly. Preheat oven to 200 C. Transfer shrimps-tomato mixture to a terracotta pot with lid and roast for 1/2 hour in the oven. Serve hot with some freshly ground black pepper sprinkled above. 

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