Today’s world food that you can prepare in your home comes at you straight outta Greece! It is called Shrimp and Codfish Saganaki and it is based on traditional saganaki which is an appetizer of pan-seared cheese. It is named for the single-serving fry pan that it is usually both prepared and served in. In addition to the cheese, today’s recipe includes shrimp, codfish and a spicy tomato-based sauce. The result is a rich and delicious seafood dish that is best enjoyed along with a good crusty bread for dipping!
For a long time now, I’ve been meaning to prepare my own shrimp saganaki recipe. It’s been caught up in the thought storm in my mind. Often dishes like that can slip out of memory, but shrimp recipes tend to stay in my mind longer, and well the name “saganaki” tends to instill images of a strange Japanese sex act that involves restraints and lots of white face paint in my mind, so this one was especially easy to remember!
Hey baby, you up for some saganaki?
It is not a difficult recipe to prepare and if you have your ingredients pre-measured and ready, shrimp and codfish saganaki comes together really easily. In fact you can easily omit the codfish or shrimp if you like. You can also substitute mussels, clams or even lobster and get equally amazing results. This one of my new favorites and I’ll be preparing it quite a bit into the future. I’m pretty sure it is going to end up in the Chop Onions, Boil Water Hall of Fame! Try it!
Shrimp and Codfish Saganaki
4 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/4 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 cups of tomatoes (chopped)
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dill
1 shot of ouzo
1.5 lbs codfish loins (or similar white flaky fish)
1 lb. shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 cup parsley (chopped)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
2 cups feta cheese (crumbled)
A loaf of your favorite crusty bread.
Preheat your oven to 425°F
Place a large oven-proof pan* over a medium-high flame.
Add the olive oil to the pan, when the oil begins to shimmer add the onions and sauté until translucent.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook stirring constantly for about 1 minute.
Add the tomato, oregano, dill and ouzo and stir well. Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the codfish loins until just cooked (turning once). Carefully remove the codfish and set aside.
Add the shrimp and cook for 30 seconds on each side.
Remove from heat, stir in 3/4 cup of the parsley (reserving some for a garnish) and the kalamata olives. Stir well.
Carefully reintroduce the codfish and cover it with the sauce.
Evenly top with the crumbled feta and place in the oven uncovered until almost all of the cheese melts and the sauce is hot and bubbly.
Distribute even portions in hot shallow bowls, garnished with the leftover 1/4 cup of parsley.
*I use a large cast iron fryer for this.