Monday, February 27, 2012

Shrimp Saganaki and Mushroom Risotto

I've decided that I can no longer be allowed to go to a Market District unsupervised. When I go shopping normally, I have a list (thanks to the app Cozi) that I follow. The list has been done ahead of time and the meals are planned for that week, based on our respective schedules.

All of that goes out the window when I go to a Market District. I get into a food haze when I walk in there. My mind starts to race about different things to make, different foods to try, and new variations on products.

I didn't intend to replicate some of the dishes that we had on our honeymoon in Greece, but it turned out that way.

I'm not a fan of mushrooms. At all. But for DB~ I'm re-considering all options. Since her favorite dish of all time was the mushroom risotto that she had at Kandouri's in Oia, Santorini, I decided to buy some crimini mushrooms and do a knockoff version of it for her.

My original intent was to find some seafood that Market District advertised during their Fill Your Freezer Sale, but I ended up just getting a 2 lb bag of shrimp. I always like to buy shrimp fresh not frozen, even if I'm just going to end up freezing them myself. I also like to buy American. Both of those things were overlooked in my Market District frenzy. Even though they are Indonesian and most likely raised on a farm instead of wild, it is nice that they are already peeled and de-veined.

For the shrimp saganaki dish, attempting to recreate the dish I had at Cafe Petros, I used the two tagines. I put some canned tomatoes seasoned with garlic and oregano in each tagine, then topped them with crumbled feta. I baked this in the oven covered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. After that, I introduced the shrimp into the tagines to cook for 5 additional minutes.

Making risotto is labor intensive. First I started by putting 2 cans of chicken broth into a saucepan and keeping it on medium-low heat. Then I sauteed the chopped mushrooms in a little olive oil to soften them up. Next I added a little oil to a medium size saucepan and added some diced yellow onion. After softening that for 3 minutes, I added the 1-1/2 cups of arborio rice to the saucepan and coated it in the oil and onion. You then introduce 1/2 cup of chicken broth and stir the rice vigorously. This breaks down the rice and introduces the starch into the mix, giving it that creamy texture. Once the rice absorbs that liquid, repeat the process until all 4 cups of broth are done.

Then add the mushrooms, some grated parmesean cheese, 3 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper, and stir together until creamy.

We ate directly out of the tagines, so I plated a scoop of mushroom risotto in the center of the plate surrounded by 4 grape leaves. DB~ put on a CD of Santorini music and for 1 hour we felt like we were back on that island again.

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