Levy Restaurants

The U.S. Open Flaming Ouzo Shrimp

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Wine Bar Food, the U.S. Open outpost of James Beard Award-winner Chef Tony Mantuano of Chicago's Spiaggia, brings a taste of the Mediterranean to Flushing. The menu consists of small plates from the region, but no dish is as beloved, and as dramatic, as the Flaming Ouzo Shrimp.

This recipe is in the tradition of the flambéed Greek cheese dish known as saganaki.  Ouzo is a Greek anise-flavored liquer that pairs well with shrimp.

Make sure that the ouzo goes on while the dish is very hot, or it will not light.  Stand back and take care when flaming the shrimp.  Serve with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 russet potato, very thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/4 pounds peeled and deveined extra-large shrimp (under 15 per pound)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces ouzo
  • 1/2 lemon
Preparation
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F
  • Heat a large skillet in the oven for 5 minutes
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add 1/4 cup of the olive oil.  Carefully layer the potato slices in the pan, slightly overlapping them. 
  • Top potatoes with slices of jalapeño, garlic, and finally the shrimp
  • Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil
  • Return the pan to the oven and bake until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 5 to 7 minutes
  • Remove the pan from the oven and add the ouzo. Stand back and carefully hold a lit match to the juices to flame the dish. As the flame begins to die down, squeeze the lemon over the shrimp.
  • Serve immediately.

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