Shrimp cooked in an anise-flavored liqueur is perfect for this festive season. Serve it for a weeknight or weekend dinner.
I learned to like this liqueur, usually Pernod or Ricard, in Paris where it was a popular aperitif at our local brasserie. Its also an excellent flavoring for shellfish.
Tarragon also has an anise flavor, and Tarragon Rice adds to the French flavor of this meal. Heres how to make it:
Heat 1 package microwaveable white rice according to directions. Measure out 1 1/2 cups (save the rest for another use). Toss the rice with about 1 cup cubed ripe tomato (from 1 small tomato), 2 teaspoons canola oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried) and salt and pepper to taste.
• Liqueurs are often available in miniature bottles.
• If fennel isnt available, use sliced celery instead.
• Onion can be substituted for shallots.
• Dry vermouth can be used instead of Pernod. The flavor will be different, but very good.
• Make rice and set aside.
• Make shrimp.
Here are the ingredients youll need.
To buy: 1 shallot, 1 fennel bulb, 3/4 pound peeled shrimp, 1 small bottle Pernod or Ricard, 1 small container heavy cream, 1 package microwaveable white rice, 1 small tomato, 1 small bunch fresh tarragon or 1 bottle dried.
Staples: Canola oil, salt and black peppercorns.
The Miami Herald
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped shallots
2 cups sliced fennel bulb
3/4 pound peeled shrimp
1/4 cup Pernod or Ricard
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
HEAT oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and fennel and saute 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add shrimp and saute another minute, tossing them in the pan. Pour in the Pernod and flambe. Do this carefully: As soon as Pernod is hot, tip pan and let liqueur catch the gas flame. If using an electric stove, ignite with a match. Remove from heat while flame dies down. Be sure to have a cover nearby as a safety measure.
RETURN to heat and add water. Let shrimp simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon. Raise heat and reduce juices in the pan by half. Add cream and cook on low 1 minute. Return shrimp to the pan and turn over in sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dinner plates.
Yield: 2 servings.
Per serving: 382 calories (31 percent from fat), 13.1 g fat (4.3 g saturated, 4.9 g monounsaturated), 278 mg cholesterol, 36.5 g protein, 11.7 g carbohydrates, 2.7 g fiber, 305 mg sodium.