This One Is Really Special – As Good As It Gets Recipe
This is one of those “good-as-it-gets” recipes if you like fennel as much as I do. In my opinion, fennel and leeks are two of the most underrated vegetables available to home cooks and when you discover the flavor they add to a recipe, you’ll be searching for more ways to use them.
I’m even more surprised my 7-year-old daughter loves slices of raw fennel as her side dish vegetable. On the other hand, if I tried to serve her fennel cooked to bring out the sweetness of the root, she would have nothing to do with it. Strange?
You may also be asking yourself just what the heck is Pernod and where do I find it. I happened to find some in the way, way back of my liquor cabinet next to some ancient Tia Maria that hasn’t seen the light of day since we last moved.
What Is Pernod & How Do I Cook With It?
Pernod (pear’-no) is an aniseed-flavored liquor whose taste comes from the star anise spice, similar in flavor to fennel making them a great one-two combo. Although made by the same company that once made the infamous, hallucinogenic Absinthe, a popular drink with poets, writers and artists at the turn of the 19th century, today’s Pernod does not contain the dangerous toxic oil from wormwood and is great as an aperitif or cooking.
Not only is Pernod fantastic for adding flavor to any braised fennel, cabbage, onion or carrot dishes, you can use it for deglazing or add some to a salad dressing to boost the flavor. Just remember, it is has an alcoholic content of 40% so be careful when cooking with it around children.
You should be able to find it in most liquor stores but you may want to call before you go shopping for it. And since you most likely won’t be cooking with it all that much, a small bottle should last you a long time.
This recipe was in my May 2007 Fine Cooking and was next to a few other shrimp recipes that I can’t wait to try. I adapted it some when I made it because I didn’t have the full 3 cups of sliced fennel the recipes calls for, my daughter must have been snacking on it. The recipe came out great and I can only imagine it would have been better if I used the full 3 cups.
This recipe doesn’t take long at all to prepare so it’s a great midweek kind of dish. I didn’t have any fresh thyme or parsley when I prepared this and didn’t feel like going out to shop but even so, the outcome was incredible. It could only get better with fresh herbs.
I served it over my oldest daughter’s favorite food, Near East Rice Pilaf.
Some More To Know About Cooking With Shrimp