Friday, April 24, 2009

Baked Shrimp with Fennel and Feta over

Baked Shrimp with Fennel and Feta over

My mother sent me a couple of boxes filled with her old cookbooks, cooking magazines and two other cookbooks she received from her friend, Gwenn (thanks Gwenn). I've had so much fun looking through all of them. There are so many unique and interesting recipes. My "must try" recipe list has grown tremendously. Thank you so much Mom, I really love them and appreciate that you sent them to me.

Among all of the great magazines and books, I found a Fine Cooking magazine. It had many tasty recipes in it but this one in particular was calling my name. I had large shrimp I needed to use up and fennel in the refrigerator. I adapted the recipe a little bit, but for the most part followed the directions. I served the shrimp and sauce over penne pasta. We all really loved this meal. My kids both had seconds and each ate up several shrimp. I loved the crunchy breadcrumbs and salty feta cheese - it was really delicious.

A few side notes: I used day old bread finely chopped in my food processor for my breadcrumbs. I also added some dried basil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar to the sauce after finding it a bit bland. I really liked the addition of both flavors.

Shrimp Marinade:

  • 15 large shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • Zest of one lemon, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
Combine all ingredients in a large zip lock bag and marinate for at least 2 hours.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (recipe called for 1 1/2 cups - I used 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (recipe called for white wine)
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup of fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (I use low fat)
  • Penne pasta, cooked per instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and position the rack in the center of the oven. In a large OVEN PROOF skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the oil is warm add the fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté, stirring constantly for 45 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, dried basil, balsamic vinegar, crushed red pepper then season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Simmer 15 minutes. Spread the tomato mixture into an even layer in the skillet.

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of parsley, feta, remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on the tomato mixture and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the shrimp are cooked through and the cheese is melted. 10-12 minutes. Garnish with the remaining parsley. Enjoy.

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