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Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp with Feta

Ina Garten’s Roasted Shrimp with Feta

Shrimp is far and away the popular seafood in the country and has been for at least the last 10 years.  Nothing comes remotely close to per capita shrimp consumption which hit 3.6 lbs. last year.  Just for comparison, salmon catapulted to the second position beating canned tuna for the first time ever in 2013.  But it’s an also-ran with Americans eating fully a pound less of salmon than they do of shrimp.  Needless to say, I am a shrimp aficionado.  It is so easy to keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer.  They defrost in no time and like almost all seafood, they cook in record time.  So when I came across this Ina Garten recipe from her 2010 cookbook “How Easy is That?” (Clarkson Potter), I had to try it. The results were nothing short of remarkable.

         First of all, this is a one skillet wonder that comes together in just over a half hour.   Ina suggests making it early in the day and then popping it in the oven for the final 15 minutes of baking time.  Secondly, if you are not familiar with any Greek food other than baklava, you can introduce your family and friends to this combination of Greek flavor.  Tomatoes, garlic, oregano and Feta cheese all meld together without hiding the taste of the shrimp themselves.  Ina calls for Pernod, the anise flavored liqueur that will always remind me of the south of France.  It just so happened, I had a small quantity of Ouzo. Ouzo is about as Greek as Aristotle. After a pure white alcohol has been distilled, it is then infused with herbs: aniseed, licorice, mint, wintergreen, fennel and hazelnut.  As you can see, three of these ingredients add to its anise flavor.   And as you can see, the other ingredient boosting that flavor is Fennel itself.   A loaf of crusty bread lets everyone soak up every drop of the delicious sauce. 

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