Greek Shrimp Saganaki (called Garides Saganaki in Greek), is an appetizer made with shrimps, flavoured with masticha liqueur, cooked in a tomato sauce.
Saganaki takes its name from a traditional frying pan with two handles, called “sagani”. Hence all dishes cooked in this special frying pan are called “saganaki”.
The most popular way of making this appetizer is with ouzo but I used masticha liqueur instead.
I was not going to post this recipe today but some time after Easter, as I wanted to focus on strictly Lenten recipes.
Those who read my blog regularly know that I have been fasting since Clean Monday that is since 2nd March and I have been posting only nistisima, which are Orthodox Lenten recipes, as during lent no animal or products derived from animals such as eggs and dairy products, are allowed to be eaten. The only thing allowed is seafood and on two Sundays, the 25th March and on Palm Sunday, fish.
During Lent, on Sundays, I either make octopus, kalamari or shrimps and on the other days, I usually cook vegetables or dried legumes.
This recipe was made on the morning of my birthday on the 29th March. That morning it was a lovely spring, sunny Sunday and we enjoyed our lunch outside on the balcony accompanied by some ouzo.
The dish finishes with the addition of feta so as I was the only one fasting, before adding the feta I took some out for myself and added some feta for the rest of the family, who are not strictly fasting.
Apart from this dish, I also made some Bourekia with Mushrooms, a Greek salad and with some crusty bread, it was a very filling meal.
I cook more than three different recipes daily so it is impossible for me to post all the recipes I make as early as I would like to. I have more than 100 unpublished recipes some dating more than a year back and whenever the occasion arises I publish whatever I think suitable. I have made this recipe more than once.
When I was hosting the Think Spice event, I made a thorough research about mastic and it was then that I saw mastic liqueur used in saganaki, so I had that in mind when making the recipe.
Those recipes did not have any of the ingredients I added but I made the usual saganaki which is usually in a tomato sauce and feta making my own twist by adding mushrooms, peppers and fresh herbs. It was as simple as that.
To make this saganaki, I used fresh shrimp.
Before cooking them you will have to devein them, as follows:
Deveining shrimp is a common step in preparing shrimp for cooking. The “vein” in shrimp is actually the digestive tract, and removing it can improve the appearance and taste of the shrimp.
Here’s how to devein shrimp:
Knife or shrimp deveining tool
A small bowl of water (optional)
Peel the shrimp: Start by removing the shell of the shrimp, leaving only the tail if you prefer. You can also remove the tail, depending on your recipe and preference. To peel, gently grip the shrimp with one hand and use your other hand to pull the shell away, starting from the head end and working your way toward the tail.
Make a shallow incision: Lay the peeled shrimp flat on a cutting board. Use a small knife or a specialized shrimp deveining tool. Hold the shrimp firmly with one hand and make a shallow incision along the back of the shrimp, just deep enough to expose the dark vein. Be careful not to cut too deep into the shrimp.
Remove the vein: Once you’ve made the incision, you’ll see a dark line running along the back of the shrimp. This is the digestive vein. You can remove it using the tip of your knife, a toothpick or the shrimp deveining tool. Insert the knife or tool under the vein and lift it out. You can also use your fingers or a paper towel to grip the vein and pull it out gently.
Rinse and clean: After removing the vein, you can rinse the shrimp under cold running water to ensure all the debris is washed away. If you prefer, you can also briefly soak the shrimp in a bowl of water to help wash away any remaining bits.
Pat dry: Use a paper towel to gently pat the cleaned shrimp dry before cooking.
Now your shrimp are deveined and ready to be used in your favorite shrimp recipe. Deveining shrimp not only enhances the appearance but also removes any gritty texture that the vein can contribute to the dish. Enjoy your delicious shrimp!
This morning when I visited a Greek blogger, I saw a certain similarity to my recipe and just said that I had made a similar recipe. He started sending me e-mails, surprised that I could think of something he has also thought of, as if he had made the discovery of the century. I replied to his questions and I even sent him a copy of my recipe as well as a picture of my recipe. He insinuated that I made everything up and was warned not to post the recipe as I would make a fool of myself to claim that I made a similar recipe since he published it first and copyrighted it.
I am sure that the Greek bloggers have understood to whom I am referring to, as they have had a similar experience with him in the past.
He chose not to publish my comment. The conclusions are yours.
This dish can be also served without the feta for a Lenten (nistisimo) dish.
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Lenten Recipes (mostly vegan)
During the Greek Orthodox Fasting period, meat and animal products (cheese, milk, butter, eggs, lard), fish (meaning fish with backbones), olive oil and wine (all alcoholic drinks) are not consumed during the weekdays of Great Lent. Octopus and shell-fish are allowed, as is vegetable margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils, gelatin, olives, as well as honey are allowed.
Kounoupidi me Patates Kapamas (pr. kou-nou-PEE-dee MEH Pah-TAH-tess Kah-pah-MASS) is a simple vegan Greek Stew with potatoes. You can also make the dish without the potatoes and serve it as a side dish.
Ampelofassoula are the fresh green green beans (Vigna unguiculata) also known as cow peas, also called louvi in Cyprus. These beans are eaten before they mature,usually boiled and eaten as a salad with olive oil and lemon juice.
Revithia giahni sti gastra is a vegan dish with stewed chickpeas, traditionally cooked in a clay pot and baked in a wood burning oven. However, not all of us have wood burning ovens or clay pots but we can still cook it in a Dutch oven or any casserole dish in our home oven. If you don't have any of the above, use a baking tin which cover with an aluminium tent.
Tambouli salad, also written as tabouli or tabbouleh, is a refreshing parsley salad, which is made with bulgur wheat tomatoes, onion, cucumber, fresh mint and dressed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
Hoummous soup is made with the same ingredients as for hoummous dip. More hot broth is added until it reaches the consistency of a soup and is served with croutons. The cooked chickpeas can be freezed, so when making this soup, I usually boil more in order to make the dip whenever I like.
Koukia, Fava beans (Vicia faba), in Greek koukia (plural of word kouki), pr. kou-KHIA, is an easy, vegan Greek dish paired with lemon, dill, fennel and parsley, which adds lots of flavour to this healthy dish.
Vazania, is the name of eggplants in the Cypriot dialect, (in Greece they are called melitzanes), which are fried together with potatoes and stewed, to make them giahni, which is a delicious vegan and frugal dish.
This Brown Lentils with Carrots, Orzo and caramelized onions dish has been one of my family's favourite Cypriot dishes for years.
The addition of carrots and serving them with caramelized onions on top, add a lovely sweetness to the dish and an intense depth of flavour.
Brown Lentils with Smoked Eggplant and Pasta is inspired from my Cypriot dish called Fakhes Moudjentra. It is a light dish with a lot of flavour from the smoked eggplant as well as sweetness from the onion and carrot. The pasta is cooked in the leftover fluid, which absorbs all the flavour and adds body to the dish, making it a healthy, nutritional and filling dish.
Pastitsio nistisimo (pr. Pah-STEE-tsio Knee-STEE-see-moh) is a vegan pasta casserole dish made with tubular pasta, vegetable filling and topped with a vegan faux béchamel sauce. The same dish can be made vegetarian using the same filling but adding a real bechamel sauce on top.
Gemista (pronounced as ye-mi-STA), are Greek stuffed tomatoes and peppers filled with rice and herbs, baked in a tomato sauce. Between the gaps of the vegetables we add potatoes which absorb all the wonderful flavours of the vegetables. As potatoes need more time to bake, we must cut them into thin wedges about twice the size of potato chips.
In Greek, htapodi is octopus and makaronaki kofto is a small pasta, like ditali. It is cooked in a tomato sauce and then in the sauce we cook the pasta. It is a Lenten recipe, so during Lent no cheese is added on top.
One of my favorite dishes in the whole world is Greek style octopus salad, or “htapodi salata”, which combined with boiled potatoes, green onion, parsley and extra virgin olive oil is fabulous served as a side or main dish.
Hello, I have been reading your blog for a while, and I am amazed at your cooking stamina, your creativity and your experimentation with Greek recipes. This Sunday we had a dinner to honor my father, and among other things I made garides saganaki to serve to our guests. Before posting my recipe, I decided to take a look on the internet, to see what other bloggers did with this recipe. I read your post, read about the controversy with this Greek blogger, and decided that you should remove all masticha from your house! Ha, Ha, just kidding! How come that I, relatively new to blogging, knew exacty whom you were refering to? He makes that kind of impression. I never thought of using masticha with shrimp, but masticha is part of our heritage, and I am glad it's being used in all these various ways. I am facinated by the combination of shrimp and masticha, and I will have to try it. Thank you Ivy for your beautiful posts.
Thursday 24th of June 2010
Hi Ana. Welcome and it's wonderful to meet you. Thanks for your lovely comment. I have forgortten about this controversy as I've stopped communicating with this person ever since. At the beginning of blogging I wanted to record my traditional recipes, and as the time passes, I think that I have proven my creativity in hundreds of recipes and practically 99% of my recipes are my own creations.
Friday 9th of October 2009
Thanks Cheryl for leaving a comment and I am glad that you liked the shrimps. I have a recipe for tomato fritters, which I hope you will like. http://www.kopiaste.org/2009/09/summer-escapes-part-i-evia-and-ntomatokeftedes-tomato-patties/
Friday 9th of October 2009
Just returned on a trip from Greece and loved your recipe, tried it tonight and it was so good.
Want to know if you also have a recipe for Tomato Fritters or tomato keftethes?
Have seen different recipes but not quite certain which to use.
Would appreciate it if you could email me a recipe if you have it.
Thanks for the Saganaki recipe
Wednesday 15th of April 2009
it's disgusting to hear that you have been intimidated by emails and warned not to post what you created and wrote about.
i congratulate you on your courage to beat down bullies.
keep doing what you do best
maria’s last blog post..Gifts from Crete (Δώρα από τη Κρητη)
Monday 13th of April 2009
Ivy, I'm sorry you had to go through this ... I have been behind on blogging lately and just got to read this post of yours. How awful for people to actually have the nerve, the gall, to assert they created dishes. And to even take it a step further and essentially "harass" you about it. I feel sorry for this person as he has nothing better to do with his time.
As for your dish--I would much rather dive into a large platter of your own version of shrimp saganaki me mastiha along with a big "fratzola" of bread for dipping.
Maria’s last blog post..Savvato tou Lazarou--Saturday of Lazarus