Dinner in Minutes:Flambe shrimp in anise-flavor liqueur
Shrimp cooked in an anise-flavor 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. It's also an excellent flavoring for shellfish.
Tarragon also has an anise flavor, and Tarragon Rice adds to the French flavor of this meal. Here's 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. Makes 2 servings.
These exotic flavors call for an exotic wine. Try a white gewurztraminer.
Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for 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 black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and fennel and saute for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the shrimp and saute for another minute, tossing the shrimp in the pan. Pour in the Pernod and flambe.
Do this carefully: As soon as the Pernod is hot, tip the pan and let the liqueur catch the gas flame. If using an electric stove, ignite the liqueur with a match. Remove the skillet from the heat while the flame dies down. Be sure to have a cover nearby as a safety measure.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the water. Let the shrimp simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat and reduce the juices in the pan by half. Add the cream and cook on low for 1 minute.
Return the shrimp to the skillet and turn it over in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 dinner plates.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 382 calories), 14 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 278 milligrams cholesterol, 37 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams dietary fiber, 305 milligrams sodium
• Liqueurs are often available in miniature bottles.
• If fennel isn't 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.