Shrimp and Feta Cheese Casserole

Shrimp Feta Cheese CasseroleEasy, fast and very tasty way to serve shrimp. I usually serve it over rice.

  • 3 TBS olive oil
  •  2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 – 2  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (optional; I usually don’t have this on hand and just add a bit more dill)
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill
  • 2 cups tomatoes or 16-ounce can of Italian peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of Tobasco
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is soft. Add the herbs, tomatoes, and tomato paste, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes (or until they just lose translucence).  Add red pepper or Tabasco to taste.

Pour the mixture into a well-greased 1 1/2 quart casserole. Sprinkle top with the feta cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted (and shrimp is cooked through.)

Serve hot, to 4 as main dish, or 8 as appetizer.

Notes: I usually use a can of tomatoes, but recently had a lot of grape tomatoes so I sliced them once and cooked as directed in recipe.  It was delicious!  Best ever.

I have also just cooked everything on the stove top and skipped the oven.  I just cooked the shrimp longer to make sure they were cooked (but never overcooked!) and added the feta cheese, stirring it into the hot mix.  It melts pretty quickly within a minute or so.  You don’t want it completely melted into the tomatoes.  Try to keep it so there are lumps here and there as in photo.  Time the addition of the cheese so you don’t overcook the shrimp trying to get the cheese to melt.

Other variations of this recipe call for grated lemon peel and oregano rather than dill. We are very partial to the dill, but variations are also very good.

 

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Published in: on February 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Not-So-Impossible Moussaka Pie

mssaka

My younger self, a traveler to the Greek Islands and a frequent diner at all the authentic Greek restaurants of Munich (thanks to all the Gastarbeiter) would be appalled to think that I would consider this moussaka.  I don’t consider it moussaka; I just think of it as a tasty way to use eggplant and feta cheese when I have too much of it.

Not-so-Impossible Moussaka Pie

  • I tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces (1/2 lb.) ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons minced green pepper (or celery)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced zucchini (or use eggplant; see note below)
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon; 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup biscuit mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease or mist a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble in ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up meat, until the beef is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring until zucchini softens, 4 minutes.

Transfer beef mixture to pie pan. Srpinkle feta cheese evenly over top.  Whisk together biscuit mix, milk and eggs in a small bowl, then pour this evenly over feta.

Bake the pie until it is golden brown and firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then cut it  into wedges and serve.

NOTE:  I have made this with pre-cooked eggplant.  I spread about 2 cups of cooked eggplant in the bottom of the pie plate. I topped it with meat, feta cheese and the bisquit mix.

Published in: on July 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Stifado (Greek spiced braised beef & onions)

stifado4

Too bad that the photo for such a delicious dish is soo bad. I will try to get a better photo next time I make this. But, don’t wait for the photo update to make this Stifado recipe. Try it as soon as possible because it’s a winner.

As usual I couldn’t follow the recipe exactly.  I didn’t see any of those little white onions in the store so I just bought a big white onion (not yellow, but white onion).  I chopped it and added it after the meat was pretty much tender.  My onions were just slivers so they didn’t need the extra 30 minutes of cooking that the small round ones need. I think I cooked them another 10 minutes or so. I just threw the feta cubes on top AS WELL AS chopped mint which I coincidentally bought at the same store.  The mint was a great addition!  Make it part of the recipe if you can. But we’ve had it in the past with no mint and it was still very good. I serve this over orzo  just because orzo is Greek.

6 servings

  • 6 TBS olive oil
  • 3 lbs lean boneless beef, prefereabely round or chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks (I just sprinkle in a little ground cinnamon)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs small white onions, each about 1 inch in diameter
  • 1/2 lb feta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I probably use less)

In a heavy 10-12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over moderate heat until a light haze forms above it.  Pat the cubes of beef completely dry with paper towels and brown them in the hot oil in 3 or 4 batches, turning them frequently with a slotted spoon and regulating the heat so the beef colors deeply and evenly without burning. As they brown, transfer the cubes to a heavy 6 to 8 quart casserole.

To the fat remaining in the skillet, add the stock, tomato paste, vinegar, cumin, cinnamon and a few grindings of pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any brown particles clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan.

Pour sauce over the meat in the casserole.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole tightly and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes before adding the onions.

To peel the onions easily, drop them into a large pot of rapidly boiling water and cook briskly for 1 minute.  Immediately drain them in a sieve or colander and run cold water over them.  Then trim the ends with a small, sharp knife and slip off the peel.

Stir the onions into the casserole, re-cover and cook for 30 minutes longer, or until the beef and onions are tender.  Stir in the cheese and simmer uncovered for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese softens somewhat and is heated through. Taste for seasoning and serve directly from the casserole.

From “Foods of the World: Middle Eastern Cooking.” Time-Life Books  (But I got it from a newspaper clipping. I think those Time-Life Books are pretty old which would explain some of the language.)

Published in: on May 21, 2013 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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