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Greek Millet Saganaki

Greek Millet Saganaki with Shrimp and Ouzo

A saganaki is a traditional two-handled skillet in which Greeks serve aromatic one-pot dishes, typically topped with cheese. This recipe is a play on the classic shrimp and feta saganaki, to which I have added millet for a deliciously satisfying meal, finished with a dash of ouzo to infuse the shrimp with its distinctive anise flavor. A Dutch oven doubles beautifully as a serving vessel, or transfer the cooked millet to a shallow serving bowl and top with the ouzo-infused shrimp.
Course Entree
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 405 kcal
Author Maria Speck

Ingredients

For the Millet

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup millet
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch fine sea salt

For the Saganaki

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion about 1 small
  • 1 clove garlic peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1 small hot green chile minced (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes crushed in a bowl
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup green pimiento-stuffed olives halved if large
  • 4 ounces coarsely crumbled Greek feta cheese about 1 cup, preferably sheep’s milk

For the Shrimp, and to Finish

  • 1 pound jumbo shell-on shrimp deveined and patted dry
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ouzo or other anise-flavored liqueur
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. To prepare the millet, bring the water, millet, bay leaf, and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover, remove the bay leaf, and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the saganaki. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic, chile, and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and turns light golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a light boil and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the millet and green olives. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust (keeping in mind that olives and feta cheese can be quite salty). Remove the pot from the heat, sprinkle with the feta, and cover to allow the cheese to soften.
  4. To prepare the shrimp, season them with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add the shrimp. Cook, undisturbed, until the shrimp turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes, and then flip them with a spatula and cook until they are just opaque throughout, 1 to 2 more minutes, depending on the size. Add the ouzo and cook until syrupy, about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, briskly remove the shrimp from the pan and arrange on top of the millet. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once.