Day 1: Spicy Baked Greek Shrimp

This baked shrimp dish will warm you up on even the coldest nights.  Boiling the tomatoes may seem like an unnecessary step, but if you have the time, I’d highly recommend doing it.  When baked, the already boiled tomatoes will produce a richer flavor that will carry over to the other ingredients of the dish as well.  

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6)

Extra-virgin olive oil

3 large shallots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 pounds large ripe tomatoes

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 ounces Greek feta cheese

2  teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes or until you can see the skin loosen. Immediately remove from heat and place the tomatoes in a bowl of cold water to cool.  Drain the tomatoes, and then with a paring knife, core, deseed and remove the skins.  Cut tomatoes into thick slices or wedges.  Chop tomatoes to medium dice.

Place 4 tablespoons of Kosterina EVOO in a medium to large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are translucent and softened (this should take about 4 minutes).  Decrease the heat to low until tomatoes are ready, so the mixture doesn’t brown too early. 

Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and season with salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Keep cooking the mixture, stirring occasionally, which will take around 10 minutes.  When done, transfer this to a shallow baking dish.

Place the shrimp in a bowl and season with 1 tablespoon of Kosterina EVOO,  salt and pepper.  Stir to coat all shrimp.   Place the shrimp over tomato mixture in one layer. Add the crumbled feta cheese on top then sprinkle with oregano.

Bake for 10 until the mixture is bubbling.  Broil for two minutes to brown the feta.  Remove from oven and let the dish sit for 5 minutes. Add mint and serve.