2 tsp. canola oil
½ cup coarsely chopped shallots
2 cups sliced fennel bulb
¾ lb. peeled shrimp
¼ cup Pernod or Ricard (anise-flavored liqueur)
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 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 the pan and let the liqueur catch the gas flame. If using an electric stove, ignite with a match. Remove from the heat while flame dies down. Be sure to have a cover nearby as a safety measure.
Return to the heat and add water. Let shrimp simmer 2 to 3 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove shrimp with a slotted spoon. Raise the heat and reduce the juices in the pan by half. Add the cream and cook on low 1 minute. Return shrimp to the pan and turn over in the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide between 2 plates and serve with rice tossed with chopped tomato and tarragon.
Makes 2 servings.
— Linda Gassenheimer