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This is Ina Garten's secret for convincing your guests that you're a natural-born cook! I recommend Greek or French feta if you can find it. Usually Ina prefers feta cubed rather than crumbled, but here she crumbles it in large pieces. Pernod is one of her secret ingredients. "Whenever I cook with fennel, Pernod gives the dish just the right licorice jolt that I love. You don't know the Pernod is there, you just know that the fennel tastes wonderful."
- olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups diced fennel (1 bulb)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
- 14 1⁄2 ounces diced tomatoes, drained (1 can)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon Pernod
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1⁄4 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails left on
- 3 ounces feta cheese, coarsely crumbled (preferably Greek or French)
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 lemons
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add the fennel and garlic and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender.
- Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits clinging to the bottom of the skillet, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the skillet.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Arrange the shrimp artfully in one layer over the tomato mixture in the skillet.
- Scatter feta evenly over the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle evenly over the shrimp.
- Bake the shrimp for about 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through and the bread crumbs are golden brown.
- Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp.
- Serve hot with wedges of lemon.
- *To make 1 cup of fresh bread crumbs, remove the crusts from 3 to 4 slices white bread and place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until the bread is in crumbs.
- Assemble the shrimp right in a 10- to 12-inch stainless-steel sauté pan, and then put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes before serving.
Had this at a friend's house last night...AMAZING.
Although I changed a few things, my family and I really enjoyed this recipe, even my pre-teen who really doesn't enjoy tomatoes.
It took me a little work to find the pernod. I had to go to a specialty liquor store, and WOW was it expensive ($65 a bottle in fact) so I had to use Linie which I researched to be a not so shabby runner up. My modifications were:
1. I used fresh heirloom tomatoes that I peeled. 2. I tossed in bow-tie pasta before adding the shrimp and then I baked it, and I added diced yellow bell peppers when I saute'd my garlic & fennel. The taste was fabulous, and as always with Contessa the fresh ingredients do all the talking. I'm big on spices but with Contessa the flavors just work in harmony.