Someday, I’ll write a big, long post about why John is amazing. He’ll be embarrassed and I won’t care. For now, let’s just say that he’s a Wonder Husband and I’m a lucky girl.
Yesterday, I was struggling with a few weighty issues that were bringing me down. Instead of trying to talk me out of being emotional, John supported me in all sorts of ways. Sometimes that means taking the dog out so that she gets exercised when I just don’t have the energy.
Sometimes it means pouring me a glass of wine before his own.
Sometimes it means taking my crazy list to the grocery store and getting it all right. Sometimes it means offering to cook me dinner, and then stepping aside when I decide it will be good for me.
And sometimes it even means peeling and deveining shrimp for me. Yuck!
Yesterday marked Day One of my attempt to significantly reduce my gluten intake. It’s not that I don’t love wheat and all of the glorious things it’s in; it’s actually one of a few changes I’m making in an effort to start a family. Did YOU know that gluten can make it more difficult to have a baby? Me, neither! For dinner, I came across a shrimp recipe on Pinterest that is generally an appetizer. With a couple of tweaks, Shrimp Saganaki sounded like a tasty main dish. Bonus: it’s gluten-free!
(Side: In an effort to keep my mind off of bigger stuff, I reorganized my Pinterest food board, separating out the desserts. It was quite therapeutic. I learned that have exactly as many dessert recipes pinned as savory dishes. I had no idea I had such a sweet tooth!)
Shrimp Saganaki is basically shrimp baked in a spicy garlic tomato sauce. It’s full of tasty Greek flavors like oregano and feta cheese. From the photo, it looked like the Greek version of comfort food. There are very few ingredients and very few steps in the recipe. PERFECT.
I got the oven heating up and prepped the veggies while Wonder Hubby took care of the shrimp. A big pile of garlic, tomato, and onion is a happy start to a meal for an Italian like me!
Because it sounded like the recipe came together pretty quickly, I had my prepped ingredients on hand and ready to go. First, the onion.
Next, the garlic and plenty of crushed red pepper. Ay ay ay! Spicy!
In went the chopped tomatoes and a generous bit of oregano. So far, so
Here, the recipe called for OUZO, a licorice-y aperitif that is common in Greece. Shockingly, we didn’t have any on hand. But I did have a glass of white wine on hand. IN hand, to be exact. Splash!
The tomato mixture simmered away, breaking down and creating a garlicky sauce. It was time to add the star: the SHRIMP. John was just finishing up with them, and nestled them gently into the sauce. He’s so cute.
After less than a minute, I turned each shrimp over. Before they were cooked all the way through, I turned off the heat and stirred in a big handful of chopped parsley.
Next, the shrimp and all of the tasty sauce went into a baking dish, where I literally covered it with salty feta cheese!
Cholula made sure the feta wasn’t poisonous. Whew! Close call.
Truth: I can’t make rice. It’s either too al dente or too mushy- it’s NEVER right. So John made it! He sautéed the dry rice in a bit of oil first, then cooked it in chicken stock. He added garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning to the water, and I squeezed in some fresh lemon when it was done. It turned out perfectly done– and scrumptious!
The shrimp only needed 10 minutes in a hot oven to finish cooking and for the feta to bubble into amazingness. It smelled incredible as it came out of the oven!
I served a scoop of shrimp and sauce over a scoop of the yummy rice and topped each bowl with fresh parsley and a lemon. Guys, this meal is no joke.
It makes me happy when a simple recipe with just a few ingredients packs so much PUNCH. What more do you need than garlic, tomato, a few seasonings, and a splash of wine? Apparently, the answer is NOTHING because we both went back for seconds.
For an appetizer, this dish would have a bit less shrimp and no rice. It’s generally served with a crusty bread to scoop up the garlic-tomato sauce. I doubled the recipe to make enough for our dinner (and I have enough leftover for lunch! Eee!)
After dinner, Wonder Hubby refused to let me clean up. He did all of the dishes, scrubbed the stove, wiped down the counters- all while dancing and singing “Life is a Highway” (with the wrong lyrics) to me.
A full belly, a glass of wine, a fire blazing, a dog at my feet, and that mountain man doing his best to make me feel happy…
Those moments remind me how lucky I truly am.
(The clean kitchen didn’t hurt, either.)
Shrimp Saganaki (adapted from Closet Cooking)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it HOT)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup Roma tomato, chopped (I used 3)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 splash Ouzo (white wine worked perfectly, too- maybe 1/ 4 cup)
- Garlic salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 handful chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnishing
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté for another minute. Add the tomato, oregano, and Ouzo/white wine. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and simmer for less than a minute on each side. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the feta cheese. Give your dog a taste of feta.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and amazing. Serve over rice or with a big hunk of bread to scoop up the sauce. YUM.
*For a full list of all of my recipes and culinary adventures, be sure to visit the FOOD BLISS link above!