Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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« St. Patty's Day Eats | Main | The Story of Girl Meets Boy »

Roasted Shrimp with Fennel + Feta

Thank you all for your very sweet words after yesterday's post. It was so fun to share our love story that started 11 years ago :)

So today I'm here to tell you about my new Ina Garten cookbook. I received How Easy is That? for Christmas and though I'm a huge (huge) Ina fan, I had yet to break it open and give it a spin. Until last week.

If you've read my blog in the past, you'd know that I absolutely adore Ina. I love her crisp Hamptons style, her delicious and semi-artisinal eats, and especially her refusal to compromise any ingredients to save a few calories. When I came across her roasted shrimp with feta, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't very unhealthy at all. In fact, the only 'bad for you' ingredients are feta cheese and panko breadcrumbs...both of which can be substituted with reduced-fat cheese and whole wheat panko. But I went all out on this one.

The sharp feta balances the acidic tomatoes while the tender fennel gives just an extra sweetness and texture that should not be compromised. Admittedly, I had never worked with fennel before, but it couldn't be easier to break down.

I had avoided it completely due to my distaste for anise flavor, but I will admit that it's essential in this dish. And once it gets cooking, it's actually sweet. And pretty fantastic. I'm a convert.


Roasted Shrimp with Fennel + Feta
*Adapted from Ina Garten (my girl!)
1 medium-sized fennel, diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/3 C white wine
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb. peeled shrimp (I used frozen, raw shrimp. I defrosted & peeled)
5 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 C panko breadcrumbs
3 tsp ground parsley
1 tsp grated lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof skillet (preferably one with high sides). Add the fennel and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, stir, and then add the wine. Bring to a boil and scrape up the brown bits on the bottom (aka, the best part!). Simmer for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the flavors all meld together.

Meanwhile, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the panko, lemon zest and parsley; set aside.

Lay the uncooked shrimp over the tomato mixture in the skillet.

Layer the feta over the shrimp. Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 15 minutes until the shrimp are completely cooked and the panko is golden.

Squeeze the lemon juice over the finished dish.

Now serve it up!

I served this dish with a bit of whole wheat baguette that I picked up at Whole Foods. It needed no other side dish. It was super filling. The shrimp cooked up perfectly and the flavors all just came together. It was fantastic. The one tweak I will make next time is to add more white wine or even a bit of vegetable broth. Once the dish cooked up, there wasn't much 'sauce' left in the skillet, but all of the juices had been absorbed. I really wanted that sauce for my baguette. Next time, friends! The sauce will be mine.

So there you have it. A super easy dish that we got 5 meals out of. Shocking, no? We had a serving for dinner, both had some for lunch and I had it for dinner another night that week. So what do you think? Do you ever cook with shrimp or seafood? And what are your feelings on Ina? Yay or nay? Or do you have another favorite celebrity chef?

Reader Comments (14)

This looks so good! I too, appreciate Ina Garten. When you're baking the layered product for 15 minutes, I assume you keep it uncovered? Also, low heat? Just curious, I want to try this out soon! Hugs :)

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey, at Happyolks

I love Ina- I want her to be my friend lol. This looks really good although I'm not a fennel fan. Do you think you could leave it out of the dish?

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren at Keep It Sweet

Lauren, you probably can leave out the fennel. I'd suggest substituting it with a large-diced onion, I think you need some texture there!

Kelsey, so happy you found us! Yes, leave the dish uncovered and bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

March 10, 2011 | Registered CommenterRachel

I've never cooked with fennel! I'm such a little baby in the cooking world. :) I need to start challenging myself!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa @ Life of bLyss

several things. 1) LOVE that plate!!! 2) this dish looks delish and 3) i've been avoiding fennel for as long as i can remember...but you may have inspired me to try it again!

I LOVE INA! HEr recipes are always amazing!! This looks sensational! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I Will have to try it!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterthehealthyapron

all your food looks so lovely Rachel,i honestly wish I could cook the way you do!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKel

I love Ina too! I have never cooked with fennel and I tend to agree with you - the anise taste can be harsh at times. But, this dish is worth it! :)

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan (Oliepants)

Love Ina - her roast chicken with fennel is the best I've ever eaten. I love cooking with fennel - it's great roasted on the grill. I've been known to order a dish in a restaurant just because it contains fennel - and it's great raw as well. Ah memories of Thanksgivings past!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermonap

That looks great! I love Ina....and seafood. My fave is crab, but I really like to cook with shrimp!

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I just made a curry dish with shrimp tonight, but I cheated and bought the already cooked kind at Costco. ;)

March 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristin@purplebirdblog

Rach... this was absolutely, positively fantastic!!! We (I mean Ryan!!) made this last night for dinner! Beyond delicious! Thank you for always sharing and allowing me to expand my dinner plans!!!

March 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

Kris, YAY! I'm so happy that you tried it and liked it! Literally the day after we finished our leftovers, Shaun asked me to make it again. He even went out to get the ingredients!

March 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterRachel

A very good recipe. Yes use more wine or broth for more cooking juice.
Needs more like 25 minutes for shrimp to cook and sauce to get nice and hot.
A great lunch dish for girlfriends. Serve over orzo and with garlic biscuits.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

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