Greek Saganaki...Sort Of

Most people who've had a dining experience in any of the Greek Chicago restaurants have also experienced the tableside flambeed Saganaki, a large slab of Greek cheese served sizzling hot and on fire. The fiery spectacle is usually extinguished with a generous squeeze of lemon juice tableside. Perhaps you've also heard of Shrimp Saganaki, a baked shrimp and tomato dish topped with crumbled feta just prior to serving. What both of these dishes have in common is a little pan called sagani, which is why anything cooked in it is given the name saganaki to indicate the smallish portion size and the dish it was cooked in.

So easy. So few ingredients. So delicious.

The recipe I'm sharing with you today was neither cooked in a sagani nor is it a small serving. This is why I call it Greek Style Shrimp. Traditional flavor, but not a traditional recipe or cooking method. Everything comes together quickly and effortlessly. Well, there is a little effort, but not much. The key to this dish is to have everything ready to go and to use only wild-caught colossal or extra-large shrimp. The recipe in printable format is at the other end of this link.

Serve with crusty bread for dipping and dunking in the sauce for a quick one-pot meal or as part of a traditional Greek mezze spread with wine and ouzo on the side. Greek music playlist is optional. Extra points for outdoor entertaining. Here's the recipe so you can get started.

I serve this dish the Greek mezze way: Small plates and forks for everyone, serve yourself white wine and ouzo (always served with water to make it milky and less potent) and Feta cheese, olives, a Greek bean salad, a few wedges of ripe tomatoes, sliced cucumber, Greek Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and lots and lots of good crusty bread for dipping in the sauce. OPA!!! You're Greek for the rest of the evening or afternoon.


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