Thursday, February 26, 2009

CEiMB - Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe is Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta. I adore shrimp and tomatoes and am learning to appreciate feta, so I was excited to make this one. I stopped by Whole Foods after work to pick up the shrimp and fresh herbs, and in a moment of inspiration/laziness, asked the fish guy to peel and devein the shrimp. He was happy to do it (they weren't busy) AND didn't charge extra. Love it!

The most labor intensive part of the dish was chopping the onion. It was that easy. I doubled up on the garlic since we like garlic. After I added the canned tomatoes, I simmered it before adding the fresh herbs, shrimp and feta. Then I fiddled with the oven rack trying to fit the skillet handle in with the oven door closed. That may have let, oh, most of the heat out of the oven. The skillet sat in there basically doing nothing for quite a while, and I think the heat loss affected how the dish cooked.

After 15 minutes, the shrimp were cooked and the feta looked nice and toasty, but it had a puddle of what looked like water in the middle. I spooned around the puddle and served it over brown rice, though I think it would be great over soft polenta (to soak up the juices). Although the toasty feta rocked, the flavors weren't as pronounced as I thought they would be. I think it's really due to a couple of mistakes:

1.  I didn't cook the tomatoes down enough before adding the shrimp.

2.  I messed around when adding the herbs and shrimp, and I think the pan lost some heat, which I made worse by

3.  Messing around with the oven racks AFTER I preheated the oven (a duh, I know).

I think this can be a great dish (it was tastier the following day), so I do plan to make it again, but next time I'll add some red pepper flakes or maybe even smoked Spanish paprika for some heat. I'll also reserve some of the fresh herbs to add right before serving, which should brighten the dish. Speaking of brightening the dish, a squeeze of lemon juice would help considerably.

This week's recipe was chosen by Pamela at Cookies with Boys. Love Pamela and love her blog, so I feel bad that I didn't do my best with her pick. Check out what Pamela and the other CEiMB cooks did here. They are MUCH better at following directions than I am. Truly.

If you'd like the recipe, you'll find it here. But I really do recommend you buy the book, The Foods You Crave, by Ellie Krieger. It has a wonderful range of tasty and healthy recipes. CEiMB is a group of bloggers who cook one recipe from Ellie's book each week and then blog about it. It's been a blast, so if you'd like to join us, here's how you do it.


Pamela said...

Thanks for the compliment! I'm loving your blog, too. While I did enjoy this dish, my husband and I thought it could use a bit of kick the next time around, too. So, you were not alone. Thanks for cooking with me!

Sara said...

Looks great. I am all about peeled and deveined shrimp, as long as I am going to use them within a day. This is so tasty, you should definitely make it again!

Aggie said...

I didn't cook the tomatoes down enough either...I was actually surprised when I scooped it out b/c it looked pretty thick. I added some red pepper flakes and it was perfect. Yours really looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Your shrimp look great. I used red pepper flakes too which spiced it up just enough.

What's for Supper? said...

Your photos look great!

Jen said...

Your shrimp look great! I found that simmering the tomatoes really helped thicken the sauce and intensify the flavor...or maybe it was the white wine and tomato paste I added??? I loved this recipe and will definitely be making it again!

Peggy said...

I'm so sorry yours didn't work as well as you had hoped, but I bet it still was tasty! We loved this dish.

kittymama said...

I just made the same recipe, clipped from Everyday Food a while back. I loved the tomatoes with feta!
By the way, is that a head vase in your profile photo? My opthamalogist's wife is a huge collector - I just read article on her while waiting to see him. I'd never seen them before.