Shrimp with feta and tomatoes is a Greek classic for a reason! The salty feta. The juicy, sweet shrimp. The quick and tangy tomato sauce. It’s such a great combination! And I’ve added my own twist to the classic by flambeing the shrimp, which gives the dish great depth for only few minutes more of work. Bonus!
Recently, I’ve been posting Italian comfort food and French comfort food, and I realized it was time for some Greek comfort food!
Not that I’ve been ignoring Greek recipes and flavors. I just posted a great Greek Buddha bowl and my Cauliflower Farro Salad has some definite Greek influences. However, Greek comfort food has been thin on the ground, and that’s gotta change.
I love weird farmer’s market vegetables and fruits, all sorts of Mediterranean foods (especially Italian!), vegetable based recipes, and comfort food. These are my things. And now it’s time for a Greek comfort food recipe.
And don’t worry if you’re looking for Spanish comfort food. I have a great, comforting Spanish soup coming very soon!
But back to this recipe for Greek shrimp! I make a few great recipes for shrimp with feta and tomatoes. (Because you can’t just have one!) I have summer recipes and winter recipes and saucy recipes and cooked down recipes.
Today I have a cooked down, concentrated, winter recipe for shrimp and feta. The flavors of this recipe depend on a few points:
- Using extra large shrimp
- Flambeing the shrimp in brandy
- Draining then softening the tomatoes
- Broiling the feta over the shrimp
- Using fresh dill over the top
I looked at each of these points while I was nailing down this version of Greek shrimp. And, all together, they add up to dish full of layers of great flavor which I’m happy to put on my table any day of the week.
If you’re nervous about flambeing, I won’t make you. But it can be fun so long as you do it safely and I do love the flavor it provides to the dish. My husband loves flambeing, so he is usually the one who lights and swirls, but I can and have done it myself, so I know you can do it too.
- Remove anything flammable from the area before you start.
- Always pour from a cup into the pan and not from the bottle.
- Give the pan a swirl and a few seconds to heat and then start. (It’s a pretty fast process! Be ready as soon as you pour in the brandy.)
- Keep your pan lid nearby to extinguish the flames if needed.
- Use a LONG match or lighter.
- And turn down the lights so you can ooh and aah over the pretty flames. 🙂
– Happy Flambeing, Annemarie
Juicy, plump shrimp are flambeed in brandy then topped with feta before being broiled over a bed of tomatoes in this classic Greek dish!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined, leaving the tail on if you wish
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 6 oz feta cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 2 cup cooked rice, white or brown
Adjust the oven rack to the upper middle position and begin preheating the broiler.
Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the salt and onion and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Drain the tomatoes through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Reserve the liquid. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and let bubble for 15 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the edge of your spoon. If the sauce gets too dry, add more of the liquid.
In a second skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. DO NOT use a non-stick skillet!!! You will be flambeing and flames are BAD for non-stick. (And bad for you!) Add the shrimp and give them a quick saute to heat up, about 2 minutes. Then add the brandy and warm it through. Take the pan off the heat and light the brandy with a long lighter. Swirl the skillet and move it on and off the heat so the pan is warm enough to keep the brandy at a gentle flame. Once the fire goes out, transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
Stir the liquid from the shrimp into the tomato sauce. Then top the sauce with the shrimp. Scatter the feta over everything, making sure you get most of it on the shrimp. Move the skillet into the oven and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese gets soft and browns a little.
Top with fresh dill and serve over rice.
- Adding the tomato liquid a little at time allows it to boil off and keeps the sauce from being too 'saucy.'
- This recipe will produce a fairly chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother sauce, feel free to puree the drained tomatoes before you add them to the skillet. Or, grab your stick blender and give the sauce puree before you add the shrimp back.
- Always measure the brandy into a cup first and then pour from the cup to the pan. If you pour from the bottle and then quickly light, you might get more flames than you bargained for.
- Keep the pan lid nearby to cover the flames if needed. (We've never needed. But it's good to be prepared.)
- The brandy will be ready to flambe after a quick swirl of the pan. You don't need or want the liquid to be too hot when you start. And once you get the fire lit, keep (gently!) tilting the skillet to move the brandy around.
- I find that it's easier to see the fire if I turn down the lights first. The flames can be quite low and blue, which can be difficult to see if it's too bright. Make sure the flames are out before you transfer the shrimp to a bowl.
- Use a long lighter to keep your hands away from the flames. Remember, the whole surface of the skillet is going to be on fire, so keeping your hands outside the skillet when you light it is an excellent plan.
- I know I said it in the instructions, but I want to be firm about this. NO NON-STICK.