Roasted Shrimp with Tzaziki Dipping Sauce

Monday, February 4, 2013

If you're looking for a new way to serve the classic shrimp cocktail, try roasting the shrimp! The warmth is wonderful, and they are ready in literally 5 minutes. I took a turn from Greece here and marinated the shrimp in some salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano then roasted them in the oven until perfect. To pair with a wonderfully bright tzaziki dipping sauce made with Greek yogurt and sour cream, fresh cucumber,   garlic, and spices. The color of the sauce fit in nicely with the white-theme of the party, and the shrimp added a nice color contrast. These were great!

Roasted Shrimp with Tzaziki Dipping Sauce
3 lbs raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic
juice of about 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves

1/2 cup greek plain yogurt
1/4 cup greek style sour cream*
1/2 cup grated cucumber
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, picked off of stems
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash and pat dry the shrimp, then place in a large bowl or plastic storage bag. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Smash the garlic with the flat side of your chef knife and add the larger pieces in. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, then take the oregano and smash it in between the palms of your hands to release the flavor. You don't want to chop it up -- you want the essence of the oregano here more than the punch of flavor. Mix everything together and let marinade at least 1 hour, preferably 2-3.

When ready to make shrimp, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy clean up. Take the shrimp out of the marinade and layer out on the baking sheet (you may need to use two). Roast in oven 5 minutes or until they turn bright orange and are firm to the touch.

To make the sauce combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then pour out into serving bowl. This can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to serve.

To serve, I like the contrast of a warm shrimp and cold sauce so I'll serve the shrimp straight from the oven and the sauce straight from the fridge. You can garnish with lemon slices but you don't really need it!

*Greek style sour cream is tangier than regular American or French style sour cream. If you can't find it, simply use 1/4 cup regular sour cream and add 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice!

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