Shrimp Scorpio

One of the most asked for recipes from the now closed Elite Epicurean, formerly located in Columbia, South Carolina is Shrimp Scorpio.  Named such for the bite from the shrimp being boiled in Ouzo.  Ouzo is the Greek version of vodka.  Topped off with fresh tomatoes, onions and feta cheese, and broiled to mix the flavors.  Try it once, enjoy it forever.


As there were multiple servings prepared at one time, you will have to tinker with the recipe, depending on how much you are planning to prepare.


But here are the basics:


Peel, remove the vein and submerge in ice cold water until ready to prepare.


In a large 6 to 8 quart pot or kettle:  Melt 1 pound of butter, bring to a boil.  Let set until cool, and pour off the water, when it separates from the butter solids.  Add Ouzo, carefully as it with come to a flash point and flame up.  Let the actual alcohol burn off.  Leaving the butter solids and the leftover Ouzo.  Add the raw shrimp and cook until pink.  Remove and let cool down, setting the pan in an ice bath.  Once the mix is solid, pour off the excess liquids.  What remains is basically shrimp in a butter and Ouzo sauce.


Dice fresh tomatoes, onions and crumble feta cheese.


Layer cold shrimp, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese; and broil till hot.Image


Tiropita-Greek Cheese Rolls

I’m Dreaming of Feta Cheese

The individual Tiropita of the Elite Epicurean, were buttery, flaky, piping hot appetizers. Though, found in many Greek cook books, what is not found, are the secrets of creating these individual appetizers, without having the creamy center blow out the sides of the flaky pastry.

Whether you are making the individual finger sized appetizer or the triangles, the key is to not put too much egg in the mix, to use the mix while it is room temperature, and work quickly. Remember to leave a little space on the sides when rolling or folding the cheese roll, to have room for the cheese and eggs to expand. Other wise, you will end up with toasty brown, but empty pastry tubes. The piles of cheese mix on the outside, rather than a creamy filling on the inside. Once a sheet is filled, top off the tops with butter and cover with wax paper. Freeze solid! Do not go straight for the cutting board to the oven.

The original ingredients were for a large vat of cheese mixture. I have cut it down to make and serve myself. The original recipe, make up to 1000. I doubt you’ll need that many. The smaller recipe makes enough for up to 10 people, but is easily doubled, tripled, or multiplied as you wish to fit your needs.

Smaller Batch Recipe:
8 ounces of cream cheese
8 ounces of feta cheese (wet is best)
1 beaten egg
1 box of Phyllo pastry sheets
1 pound of salted butter, boiled and water poured off
Parsley or dill to taste

Tools needed:
Pastry or filling bag
Number 10 Pastry Nozzle
Flat trays
Tin Foil
Butter brush
Sharpe Knife
Two clean towels (one moist, other dry; to cover the pastry sheets while working)

Butter the tray, and lay on a flat surface, two layers of pastry sheets on top of each other. The individual appetizers are cut into strips and a dab of cheese filling in the middle of each, leaving room to fold the edges over, before rolling up. Roll up all but the end seam, dab a little more butter and shut.
Transfer to the tray. Put on the tray about 1/2 inch a part, in rows that are 1/2 inch between, and put the freezer. If you are making a large batch, then alternate between two trays, stacking the them layer on layer.

Place on cooking sheets, still on the tin foil, straight from the freezer. No need to thaw. Pop straight into a 375 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

It’s that easy!