Wednesday, February 22, 2012

52 Food Adventures (Vol 5)–OUZO!

Here we are again with another installment in my continuing adventures in the food world.

I really do sound pretentious. Blame Dandy cuz this whole thing was all her idea.

Man, I digressed within the first three sentences. Amazing.

At any rate. Moving on.

Do you know what Ouzo! is? I knew what it was but I will admit that I had never tasted it or used it in anything. Ouzo! is Greek alcohol (boy howdy!) with a distinctive anise flavor. Think black licorice.

If you don’t like black licorice don’t be scared away because it isn’t overwhelming in the recipe.

First let me say that deciding to use Ouzo! meant that I had to pay a call on my local liquor store. Skuttle in to the store hoping that no one sees my car in the parking lot.

Ask for the placement of the Ouzo!

Realize that one bottle costs…..$18!!!!!!!

Stand there for a moment trying to decide if it was worth it to do this recipe. Decide yes.

Skuttle back up to the counter and pay for the Ouzo! Have detailed conversation about the weather with the store owner.

Skulk out of the store with bottle in plain paper bag clutched in my hand hoping no one sees me.

Oh the Baptist Guilt!

Sorry. Now on to the recipe. I bet you never thought I would get there. This recipe actually came from an old issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine.


These are all the ingredients that you will need. I don’t think you can possibly go wrong.


You can’t go wrong with Feta cheese. It is deeelicious.

First you should open the Ouzo! and take a nice big whiff so that you know what you are dealing with. And then pour yourself a very small amount and take a taste.


This stuff tastes like liquid Good and Plenty candy….with a BIG alcohol kick.


Debbie gives a big thumbs up to Ouzo!


MMMMMMMMM, Shrimp. The first thing you are going to do is put the shrimp in a bowl and then add some olive oil, lemon zest, salt, garlic and Ouzo! Just let them sit and get to know each other for a bit. They love each other and want to be together forever.


Heating olive oil in my trusty cast iron skillet. I love that thing.


Then you are going to want to add your diced up red pepper and onions to the pan and saute them. The recipe calls for green pepper as well but green pepper and I don’t get along so I left them at the store. The red pepper did just fine by itself.


Then you are going to add the rest of the garlic as well as some red pepper flakes. Thank goodness I looked at the recipe again BEFORE I put this in. I had measured out 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes instead of the 1/4 teaspoon that the recipe called for.

Put on your glasses Deb!!!


Then a can of diced tomatoes with the juice.


Then some white wine.

White wine AND Ouzo!? Deb you are a wild woman. Wild I say.


Then just a tad more Ouzo! You will be the better for it I promise you.

Then you let this all reduce down until the sauce is thicker and lovely. Give it a bit of a taste to see if you have added enough salt and pepper. If you want (and it isn’t written in the recipe) you can add a tablespoon of butter to thicken up the sauce.

There is also some chopped Italian parsley that goes in as well but I forgot to take a picture of it.

While the sauce is reducing you need to start the pasta water boiling. That is if you are going to serve this over pasta, which I was.


Ohio City Pasta lemon pepper fettuccini. Oh be still my beating heart.

When you throw this into the boiling water you can also put the shrimp into the sauce. You don’t want to overcook either the pasta or the shrimp.


Stir the shrimp around, turn the heat down a bit and cover the pan. You should not over cook the shrimp or they will be tough like leather.

Leather shrimp isn’t all that appealing for dinner.

When the pasta is done and the shrimp are done you are going to grab your plates plus the feta cheese and the dill.

Did I mention the dill?


Dried dill from the garden. It may look strange but it smells fab.


Then you quickly sprinkle with feta cheese and dill. Take a picture which is so so at best.

And then sit down and eat.

Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta


  1. It's unfortunate that I can't separate the dish from the disgustingness of licorice because it looks delicious. So you've never done a shot of Jägermeister? You need to look into that one if you can get past that whole Baptist thing again. I can't stand the stuff but if you like Ouzo!, you'll find the other practically orgasmic (included that just for the whole Baptist thing).

    1. If we keep talking about all this alcohol stuff we are going to lose our "Growing up Baptist" cred.

  2. OMG my mouth is watering! I adore Ouzo--this has something to do with a Greek boy in my youth...opa! I have to try this recipe! Perfect for Lent...
    A word of warning about the ouzo: it sneaks up on you. Hoo boy. Hoo boy. Don't ask how I know!

  3. OMG my mouth is watering! I adore Ouzo--this has something to do with a Greek boy in my youth...opa! I have to try this recipe! Perfect for Lent...
    A word of warning about the ouzo: it sneaks up on you. Hoo boy. Hoo boy. Don't ask how I know!

  4. well, THAT part of my baptist upbringing is long gone. I only go about once a year but I love the liquor store. I did my first ever tequila shot on my 50th birthday, under Mel's able guidance. (although since she had only turned 21 two months before, I'm SURE she only knew what to do because of youtube videos. absolutely positive.) I have some monster shrimp in the freezer that have been waiting for inspiration. I might just have to hit the liquor store soon, this looks awesome.


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