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.
For the Millet
Pinchfine sea salt
For the Saganaki
1tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
1cupfinely chopped yellow onionabout 1 small
1clovegarlicpeeled and slightly crushed
1smallhot green chileminced (optional)
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
128 ouncecan whole tomatoes crushed in a bowl
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/2cupgreen pimiento-stuffed oliveshalved if large
1poundjumbo shell-on shrimpdeveined and patted dry
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
1/3cupouzoor other anise-flavored liqueur
1/4cupchopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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.
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.
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.
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.