|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Turkish-style shrimp and vegetable casserole, or 'karides güveç' (kah-ree-DEHS' goo-VECH'), is a delicious and popular hot starter, or 'meze,' that's traditionally served before a fish meal. There's nothing like a steaming spoonful of this light casserole topped with fresh Turkish kashar cheese to whet your appetite.
In Turkish, 'karides' is the word for 'shrimp,' and a 'güveç' is a clay pot or bowl used to cook many casserole-type dishes in the oven or over hot coals.
You'll find many different versions of this delectable shrimp casserole served in fish restaurants all across Turkey, especially in Istanbul and along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. The flavors of the shrimp and vegetables blend perfectly with a just a hint of garlic and spicy hot pepper.
Once the cheese is melted on top, you have a show-stopping casserole that's great for an appetizer or even as a main course. Remember, don't waste the juice. Make sure you have lots of fresh, crusty bread on hand for dipping.
- 1 pound/600 grams frozen shrimp, or fresh uncooked shrimp
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 Hungarian wax peppers or 1-2 green Bell peppers
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup small button mushrooms, fresh or canned
- 1 tablespoon. tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 cup grated Turkish fresh kashar cheese, or other mild, yellow cheese
First, fill a medium saucepan with water. Add about one teaspoon of salt and bring it to a boil. Add the frozen or fresh shrimp. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes only. Drain the shrimp and run them under cold water to keep them from cooking too much.
Peel and dice the onion and garlic cloves. Peel the tomatoes and dice them. Clean the green peppers and dice them about the same size as the tomatoes. Drain or clean the mushrooms.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until they soften and become transparent. Add the green peppers and cook a few minutes more. Add the diced tomato, mushrooms, tomato paste, and spices and let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
Add the cooked shrimp and gently turn the mixture with a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the shrimp throughout. Transfer the mixture into one large or several small clay pots or oven-proof dishes. Cover the top(s) generously with grated cheese.
Put the casserole(s) in the oven set on the broil setting on a rack near the top. Cook them until the cheese is bubbly and browns nicely. Remove the casserole and serve it immediately while it's still piping hot. Serve it with crusty bread to dip in the juice.